Here are a few tidbits that did not make it into posts while we were traveling.
Seven princesses were spending the day picnicing near the Pindaya Caves, near Kalaw. It becomes dark and too late to travel home, so they stay in the cave for the night. During the night, a giant spider spins a web across the opening of the cave, trapping the princesses. A handsome prince comes along and rescues them. He then marries the youngest of the seven princesses and they settle in the area. They build a temple and their descendents inhabit the area today.
There are two flags on the dashboard of the van we use in the Kalaw area, in the Shan state. One flag is the Myanmar flag and the other is the flag of the Shan state. Our guide, Wai Yan, explains the Myanmar flag like this. The red is for bravery. The green is for the fields. The yellow is for religion. The white is for purity. The star signifies that the country is a star. The Shan state’s flag has the same background but has a white circle instead of a star which represents unity. (Flag picture copied from Wikipedia.)
We flew with Asian Wings airlines from Bagan to Heho Airport, near Inle Lake. We were amazed at how efficient the airline was. There were no assigned seats on the (approx) 80 seat plane. As we loaded through the rear door, we were asked to move to the forward seats. It worked very well and we were all seated and ready to take off in minutes. Air Canada should take note!
In all our travels I have never seen sesame plants growing. The plants we saw were about 2 or 3 feet tall with a small purple or white bell shaped flower on top. We tromped into a field to take a closer look. Here is what the not yet ripe seed pods look like.
Water Buffalo vs Chinese Buffalo
Wai Yan explains the difference between a water buffalo and a Chinese buffalo. A water buffalo can help plow, plant and harvest. A Chinese buffalo can also plow, plant and harvest, but is can also pump and transport too!