Browsing articles from "March, 2013"

Road from Mandalay to Hsipaw, Myanmar

Mar 31, 2013   //   by David   //   Blog, Myanmar-Burma  //  2 Comments

Mandalay is a dusty town with impressive temples. Going east into Shan (Thai) country …

click on a picture to enlarge it

Side Street, Mandalay









Gold is pounded into thin leaf then sold to Buddhists to add to Buddah statues in local temples. It’s an act considered meritorious.









Workshops 1: Wood Carving












Workshops 2: Saygin White Marble Sculpture








Not shown: puppet workshop, material mosaic workshop


Psychedelic Buddah












Temple Golden Ceiling








Initiation Ceremony. Boys aged 7 and up are initiated into Monastery life as Novice Monks. There they live like monks up at 4am, eating only until 12pm, learning to pray, meditate and repeat Buddhist mantra and suryas. The initiation ceremony is like a Bar Mitzvah. They dress up, visit the Temple, tell the head monk that they are ready and celebrate with family and friends.











Novice Monk Ceremony 2: note the Buddhist symbols like the umbrella.














Road making by hand








More road making by hand. Preparing the tar.














Gardens at Pyin-OO-Lwin








I don’t think its called Veneration.








Cheese sales on the road side








The Rice Pancake Factory









HSIPAW an interesting outlying town on the way to China

Madahya Monastery at the entrance to Hsipaw








More of the Madhaya Monestary








Hsipaw mandarin seller. Cart, straw, mat, mandarins
















Hsipaw. Still using the old wooden wheeled cart and bulls with the ring through their noses.









Hsipaw. Smart chess players even in the remotest place
















Hsipaw’s local market








Hsipaw’s rice merchants. Each box a different rice type.

























Inle Lake, Myanmar (one month ago)

Mar 31, 2013   //   by David   //   Blog, Myanmar-Burma  //  1 Comment

Photo essay.


Floating Island, Vegetable cultivation. Farmers use boats to tend to their crops which grow on floating islands made of Lake debris. Usually one wouldn’t stand on the island. It sinks.

Sinking onto the floating island

This home cost $100 to build

But the house needs wood for cooking fire bought from this market.
As in North America, people try not to burn their house down.

Making a Living 1: Rice Noodles drying

Making a Living 2: Rice Wine factory 40 and 80 proof. I think that these guys do well.

Making a Living 3: the silversmith. He’s copying the drawing onto the container.

Making a Living 4: Bringing the market to you.

Making a Living 5: Cloth made from Lotus stems. Sacred Cloth. Everyone should aspire to own one.


Avia apprentices in Lotus cloth making.










































Making a Living 6: Blacksmith “all together now” see video.








Making a Living 7: Fashion photography








Making a Living 8: Hotel (Hospitality)








Making a Living 9: Flower impregnated paper and parasols








Making a Living 10: Massage














Making a Living 11: Two robes, a towel and alms













Making a Living 12: Italian Restaurant








Making a Living 13: Tourism. Hat Model.













Making a Living 13: Rice Paper Home Factory








Hospitality from Rice Paper Making Family. People are especially hospitable and friendly.









There’s got to be a temple or a stupa somewhere








Temple Mural.








David sees Africa wherever we go








Back to the Airport. All our bags. And some of our journeyers.
































Myanmar’s Rosetta Stone

Mar 31, 2013   //   by David   //   Blog, Myanmar-Burma  //  Comments Off

In Bagan, Myanmar there lives a stone. Captured in 1112 and now in jail for a thousand years, it tells of … it doesn’t matter… the point is that it has four sides each written in a different language: Mon, Pali, Old Burmese and Pyu. And as a result of this linguists were given insight into these ancient languages. This  Myazedi inscription can be seen near the Myazedi stupa, in it’s own cell.

People come from far and near to be photographed with foreigners next to the inscription.

Cambodian Village Soccer

Mar 30, 2013   //   by David   //   Blog, Cambodia, Videos  //  1 Comment

When David was a boy he’d get to school early for a game of pre-class soccer and then stay late for a game of post class soccer. Here’s an unedited video snippet of how the game is played in a Cambodian village.


Angkor Wat and Pa Trom (two month ago)

Mar 30, 2013   //   by Eva   //   Blog, Cambodia  //  Comments Off

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a Hindu Temple to Vishnu (the Protector God) so it is built to resemble Mount Meru the holiest place in Hinduism, hence the three peaks. As the Khmer king is god on earth it is a fitting place for him to live.

It is not easy to enter Angkor Wat. You need to travel from Earth to heaven. You need to cross the primordial waters and arrive at the inner courtyard from where you ascent to heaven.During your ascent you see murals which tell famous Hindu tales and on your leaving you see murals which tell of the warrior prowess of the Khmer king.

Here in pictures, “To Heaven and Back”



Bagan, Myanmar – must see (one month ago)

Mar 30, 2013   //   by Eva   //   Blog, Myanmar-Burma  //  Comments Off

Bagan is one of the world’s gems.

Bagan is situated on a red earth, scrubby, plain. Over the course of 250 years (from 1044 to 1287), Bagan’s rulers and their wealthy residents showed it off by building over 10,000 religious monuments in an area of 104 square kilometres (40 sq mi).  (about 1000 stupas (towers containing Buddhist relics also called pagodas). Today, about 4,000 remain.

In twenty years Bagan will be a must visit place on any itinerary to Asia. Today it is a place of sand roads, run down hotels and home based restaurants.

It cost $3 to rent a bike for a day which coming after Vietnam’s $1 per day felt like a rip-off. Nevertheless, feeling strong-armed, we took the bikes out.










Following are a few views from Shwe-san-daw Paya

Shwesandaw Paya








Everyone wanted Daniela in their photo








Peaceful place








View from our hotel








More views








More views












Stopped by the cows








On we went























Heading for the village. Man against beast.










Villages have no running water and no sewage. This village has a well sponsored by the Japanese government which pumps water into a trough every day at 5pm. All the village children then carry water in very heavy buckets to their homes.

South East Asian Religion – Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism

Mar 16, 2013   //   by David   //   Assignments, Blog, March  //  1 Comment

Click  Indian Belief Systems  to read an abstract on Hinduism and Theravada Buddhism.

Not for the casual browser. This is part of David’s Humanities curricula for Yannay and Daniela.

North East Asian Religion – Chinese Folk, Tao, Mahayana Buddhism

Mar 16, 2013   //   by David   //   Assignments, Blog, March  //  Comments Off

Click  Chinese Belief Systems to read an abstract on Chinese Folk Religion, Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, Confusion-ism.

Not for the casual browser. This is part of David’s Humanities curricula for Yannay and Daniela.


Exam: South East Asian Religion and Geography

Mar 16, 2013   //   by David   //   Assignments, Blog, March  //  Comments Off

This test was taken by Yannay and Daniela. Grade A+.


1. Describe the design of the Myanmar Buddhist stupa pictured below especially the symbols of Buddhism. (South East Asia Review Test – click on the link and scroll down to see the picture of the stupa.)

2. Who was the Buddah? In point form (no more than 7 points) describe his life story – birth, childhood, adulthood?

3. How do Buddhists view life?

4. What is the main objective of life for a Buddhist?

5. What is the main objective of life for a Taoist?

6. How do you achieve the Buddhist objective?

7. How do you achieve the Taoist objective?

8. Describe how a monk’s life meets the requirements of a Buddhist life.

9. What are some main differences between Theravada and Mahayana (Pure Land) Buddhism.

10. What is Chi?

11. What is Feng Shui?

12. What is Ancestor Worship? And how is it practiced in South East Asia (What have you seen)?

13. What is Animism?

14. What are the main three Hindu Gods and what is each one’s role?

15. What are Hindu Castes?  Name them.  What caste did Swastika belong to?

16. Name the main Hindu symbols and their meanings.

17. Symbolism of incense in Chinese temples.

18. Purity and Impurity in Hinduism – bonus


March Itinerary

Mar 16, 2013   //   by David   //   Assignments, March  //  Comments Off

Bangkok, Thailand

1st – 3rd March, Riva Surya Bangkok Hotel. Visit Palace, Jade Buddah Temple, Markets, bargain but they’re hard on prices, swim, cabbages and condoms restaurant, homework, breakfast across the road.


Jerusalem, Israel

4th – 9th March, Ahron Berkley’s Barmitzvah.

5th March - Avia, Daniela and Yannay take the South East Asia religions and geography test. A+ for all.

10th March Visit Dome of the Rock, Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

11th – 24th Hebrew Language Ulpan and Homework

25th – 31st Pesach, Cesarea.