25 Feb 2015

Taung Kalat

Our final day in Bagan and also Myanmar began with a parade of hot air balloons floating past the back verandah of our hotel chalet.
One landed in an adjacent field.
Our trip today was to Taung Kalat, a volcanic plug with a Buddhist monastery on top, situated not far from Mt Popa.

It was about an hour's drive and we took a break at this toddy palm place to have a look around.
The sap collected was fermented and then distilled in a simple set up.  The tray of water on top served to cool the condensate, which then dripped into the bottle.
Ready for sale - the number of dots indicated the strength.
These women boiled down the palm sugar and rolled them into little balls to make a sweet called jaggery.
Mt Popa, an extinct volcano.
And nearby was Taung Kalat.
This staircase, flanked by the elephants, led to the monastery at the top via 777 steps.
We opted not to climb.
We drove to a hillside resort for another view of Taung Kalat.
Because we opted not to climb up the 777 steps, we had a lot of time before we were due at the airport.

Our guide took us to have a look at a little village.
I saw something I had never seen before - a sesame seed plant with its pods of seeds.
This old lady was smoking a cheroot, holding half a coconut shell as an ashtray.  The other lady in the pic told us that the old lady smoked three a day, each lasting over 2 hours.

Then it was time to go home.  We don't expect to holiday much this year as our dog-sitter (my mother-in-law) has gone to live in Adelaide.  And my poor old dog is now ailing and in not such good health.


  1. I love the photography, you are an expert Arthur. Hope all is fine with Flemington. Will you be in S'pore for Micky's dinner on 2/3/15 (next Monday)?

  2. Thanks, Luke. Not an expert; just have been doing it for a very long time. Flemington is getting old, nothing can change that. Just have to make him comfortable and keep him pain free. No will not be in Singapore soon; but may come in June for the 50th reunion.

  3. Wow! Cigar-smoking ladies. I wouldn't want to climb the 777 steps either, thank you very much. What's with all the hot air balloons? They have that all the time or there was something on that day - a hot air balloon festival or something. We have that in Putra Jaya (near Kuala Lumpur) once a year, an annual event. Lovely pic of them, the first one. Nice!

    1. My fault - I should have explained. The balloons carry tourists to see the temples at Bagan at sunrise. I think, in season, they are a daily occurance.

    2. Ahhhh!!! I see. No, thanks. I've this phobia for heights. :D