Welcome to our travel blog. We are Tabitha and Nic. In 2011 we 'retired' in our early 40s and set off to travel the world. We spent our first year in South America and have been lucky enough to make two trips to Antarctica.

Our blog is a record of our travels, thoughts and experiences. It is not a guide book, but we do include some tips and information, so we hope that you may find it useful if you are planning to visit somewhere we have been. Or you may just find it interesting as a bit of armchair travel.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A boat to Bagan

It was a bumpy drive on the truck this morning, and as I was still feeling pretty delicate - bucket still to hand but thankfully not used - it was almost a relief to be to told that we were getting on a boat again. And as regular readers will know, I'm not generally too happy about the boats in Myanmar.

As it turned out, the boats were actually OK this time, as they were the bigger ferry boat style rather than the narrow ones. At our boarding point in Pakokku they clearly had experience of western tour groups, indeed they were unloading a small coachload and their baggage onto boats while we were there, but we were a different matter with our truck, and we soon had our usual crowd of watchers.

The boat trip took us along the Ayeyarwaddy River and into Bagan. There were a few other river users out fishing etc, but in the main, the journey was not especially interesting until we had Bagan and it's temples in sight.

So for some of the trip, our local guide Myo kept us amused by showing us how to wear the longhi, and some other things it can be used for. The longhi is the skirt like piece of clothing worn by most people in Myanmar. Men and women wear different colours and patterns, and the fabrics and designs vary by region and tribal background.

For the ladies, it is worn in a simple wrap around style, similar to a sarong, so can just be a straightforward length of fabric, but more often it is the same format as the men have, which is sewn up at the side to create a tube of fabric about twice the width of a normal skirt. The men wear theirs differently by gathering the loose fabric at the front and knotting it there, creating a bunched effect.

But it was the other uses that we found more amusing. Some were practical, such as the rolling it up and using it as the base for carrying things on your head, for making a hammock to swing your baby in, or even a baby carrier.

We of course, preferred the ones where he would use it as a cape and pretend to be superman, use it as a ninja outfit, or even to create the ears and trunk of an elephant.

As we got close to Bagan, the scenery finally captured our attention as we saw the first views of just some of the beautiful stone pagodas that have made Bagan such a popular destination.

Once we made it to our hotel, we a quiet evening to help us get over our remaining sickness, and an early night as Nic and I had an early morning ahead.

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