Sunday, February 9, 2014

1328. Two monasteries in Hintinda, Irrawaddy, Myanmar

Feb 10, 2014 Monday
Hotel Grand United Rm 709. 6.30 am

Yesterday, I  had a Myanmar breakfast at a monastery and saw a local wedding in the monastery. The bridal costume was white but was not a "real" wedding dress according to Thin Thin. It was a white Myanmar dress.

My friend Khin Khin is a benefactor to the monastery and has donated money to build a library cum bedroom for the monk. "Don't use the monk's bathroom," Khin Khin advised me. I used the common public bathroom in another building. It was dark and needed renovation.

Donors are appreciated and their names are shown on the buildings. Her grandparents and parents had been donating money to help this monastery. Recently, her mum and she donated $80,000 to build a new 2-storey building. The head monk showed us the location of the building to be built. "Plan for 3-storeys," I advised. "In case there is another donor with $40,000 later."

This monastery has a school to educate around 140 student monks as in the traditional monastery made of wood and housing student monks, seen in Inle Lake area. I was surprised to see the young student monks reciting their mantras in a big class-room.

Lucky Two Guest House in Hintinda is a guest house. Next to it is a shop selling Myanmar silk and longi. Bought 2 blouses for two Myanmar friends in Singapore. Singapore ladies will never wear these traditional Myanmar blouses with shiny sequeins, so I don't waste money buying for them.

A straight road to Yangon from Hintinda cut travelling time by 1-2 hours but being unpaved, it was rocky bumpy ride for over 1 hour. Saw some sunflowers on the way. Lunch in a restaurant where the food is so good that local wealthy people send their staff to take away.

Prices will be higher but there is this niche for good food with good cooking oil, according to Thin Thin. She bought me some fish "stomach" dish which is expensive but I did not eat it. Went to Royal Asia Veterinary Surgery in the afternoon to visit the vet. A 2-seat ride around the back lanes in the evening. New apartment blocks of 3 storeys exist with run-down houses. The land in this suburb is so expensive. Had dinner at Coca Restaurant set up by a Singaporean. The family had a trusted Myanmar employee who now runs the show after the passing away of the founder, according to Thin Thin. A graduate in history who can speak English and had worked in Singapore as a domestic worker earned around 0.8 laks was serving us in a room since Dr Aung always bring his foreigner friends for dinner and is well known. She is worth more since she can understand and understand English. Poaching for good English-speaking staff will continue in modernising Yangon.

Got to go. 6.45 am. Breakfast and out at 7 am as Khin Khin has a driver to bring me to see some travel agents and a realtor.


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