Sunday, 11 January 2015


Then next day was a ride south to Htone Bo (Tonbo) village, a few thatched bamboo huts amongst some dirt tracks, where we commandeered a barely river-worthy vessel to take us upstream to see the ancient cliff side Buddha carving’s of Akuak Taung.

   Once again we were a novelty, with the locals staring, taking pictures and pointing us out to their children like they had never seen ol’ whitey before!

The jaunt up river takes probably 10 or so minutes, with the cliff carvings visible almost from the start, the biggest and best being further along though.  Then we pulled ashore to tackle the steep cliff side steps and track, past some of the carvings and to a small temple at the top. 

In hindsight, not sure it was worth the effort, even the views were nothing special, it’s a very barren part of Myanmar, though maybe it's different in the monsoon season.

 Then came the shit fight of trying to get back on a boat, huge crowds were gathered at the river’s edge, scrambling and wrestling each other for a berth.   As with quite a few places I have been to in Asia, they can be the nicest people until you’re in a line with them, or trying to get on and off buses, boats etc! 

We kept exploring the area on our way back to town, then stopped for a look at Shwe San Daw Pagoda in town, a seriously massive and impressive structure, beautifully decorated and a testament to their faith in Buddha.  Ever been to a Wat or Temple with an elevator??!!  Nope, me neither, until today!  That’s how big this thing is, by far the most amazing temple/pagoda/wat I have been to.

  I don’t normally get too excited by them anyway, I really only like the ancient temples and ruins because of the history and fascination with the knowledge and skills of such an ancient civilization.  

It is a must see in Pyay (there isn’t much else anyway!) entry is free, though we paid 10 cents to park our bike in the shade and leave our thongs under ‘guard’!  There is a great stall just across the road that sells preserved fruits, nuts and local treats.

 Then it was a couple of cold beers to wash the dirt down and some food before I took the bike back to Myat Guesthouse near sundown.  We are basically stuck here for another day as our bus to Sittwe goes at 7pm the following night, arriving at 4am!   But it will give me a chance tomorrow to hit the internet cafĂ© and see if I can hook up my laptop to get all these updates posted.

The turn off to Htone Bo

'Ticket Office'

Shwe San Daw Pagoda