I got up early as I couldn’t sleep and headed down to the footbridge for some sunrise images. Sadly it was overcast but the mist rising off the hills in the distance was cool.
I walked out to the big temple I’d spotted yesterday and went in a side entrance which took me to a big wooden hall filled with pillars and paper flags.Colourful paintings ran around the ceiling with mythology scenes.
I was lucky to see a monk come to receive gifts of food from some locals, he kneels in front of them and they take it in turn to give him rice and other food and drink. He accepts it and then turns to pray to the buddah statue. Getting sharp images was tricky as anyone walking anywhere in the building sent vibrations through planks and wobbled the tripod.
I continued onwards past some monks living quarters. A friendly young monk agreed to have his photo taken and was very keen to see the result, a senior monk was very amused by the whole affair but didn’t object to me taking some photos of him too.
I explored the rest of the impressive temple complex, with a number of halls each with different statues and shrines.
The most impressive building from outside turned out to be a building site inside (pic above). The sun was blazing down now. I walked to the other big attraction nearby, a big golden pagoda (tower). A colourful childrens school was next door and all the kids seemed to be having a siesta in the classrooms. I caught a motorcycle taxi back to base as the heat was crazy.
Had lunch at a little bakery which made awesome cookies. It has free wi-fi and is a westerner’s haunt, the place was full of people my age with laptops. On the way to the bakery I came across the owner’s guest house, an animated Burmese woman who showed me her super cheap rooms, just matresses on the floor but you could rent for a month or longer at £3 a night. She regaled me with her woes of having broken both her shoulders from falling, she rotated them and you could hear them clicking – brrrrr. She warned me to take it easy so I didn’t end up like her!
I went for another explore, going around a small temple next door which had a nice golden chedi (see above). Then I walked along the coast road and found a disused ferry station where a young couple were hanging out. I think they were a bit surprised to find anyone else there having made the effort to escape from everyone, but they were friendly enough! It was a good romantic spot for them. I left them to it and got back before the rains began, which they did in earnest.
Upgraded to an air-con room back at the ranch and as I packed my stuff up I moved the pillow and found this guy chilling out underneath!
From now on, I always check under the pillows before bed! I was so knackered I needed a good rest in the nicer room I’d bought. I had a sleep and then rested on my balcony watching the river. A boy was fishing by himself from a rowing boat, using amazing balance to run up and down it and cast his net, using a paddle with one hand when he drifted away. He spotted me watching and shouted “Fish!”. Sadly for him he didn’t get any luck, seemed a shame with all the effort involved, every time you cast you have to reel in the whole net, untangle, fold and do it all over again.