Saturday, 31 October 2009

Bago (Pegu): Snake Monastery & Sule Moni Paya

We could see that dusk was approaching and heading back to Bago before it got dark would be wise as the streets were poorly lit. Min-U would have none of that. Instead, he insisted that we visit the Snake Monastery. We turned into a small dirt road where a village is found amongst the trees. A child, who was sorting out a basket of vegetables by his woven house, was surprised by our presence and ran into the house immediately with shock pasted all over his face.

The fear of visiting a large python snake immediately paralysed my legs. I was fretting about it after Min-U announced our next place of visit. I bombarded him with questions about the snake, its dimensions, if it was in cage, etc but nothing kept my fear in. When we got out of the car, I clung onto R who was also clinging onto me! At the compound where we stood, clueless as to where the snake was, my eyes became watchful of the slithering creature that may come lurking out of somewhere unexpected. Seeing our stiffness, Min-U got out of the car and directed us to the building in question. There, a monk sat next to the giant snake. I was too afraid to take photos! My mind was conjuring all sorts of stupid images of the python flying at us and snaring us with its unforgivable fangs. A man stood by one corner of the room and he too seemed stiffened by his fear of the humongous reptile. Still clinging onto R, we entered the hall slowly while my eyes darted from one place to another in search of the snake. There was a small cement pool by one side of the room. "Is it in the pool?! Where is it?!", my mind screamed. There, a big black coil accumulated on a counter. I did not see its head for the coil, looking somewhat like a 18-inch car tyre, with yellow markings had blocked my view. That was enough view for me. I left after that since my fear has had me frozen from going closer to the creature.

The first step outside was such a relief. According to Lonely Planet, the Burmese python is about 120 years old and is believed to be the reincarnation of a monk. It is at least 17ft long and a foot wide. This species of snake is considered to be one of the largest in the world.

On our way out, we saw the Sule Moni Paya situated on a hill beside the monastery and there were some livestocks feeding in the grass while children were playing about by the well.

Surprised child who got frightened by us

A village

Shops in the village

Cows and a herder

Wooden long house on stilts

A temple beside the Snake Monastery

Compound of the Snake Monastery

Poster of the Snake Monastery in Burmese

Sule Moni Paya

One of the stairways to Sule Moni Paya

A pinkish pig

A herd of pigs caked with mud

Children by the well

A mosque

Young men playing sepak takraw by the road side


A main street almost in darkness

On the 51st street, the same block as where Lashio Lay Shan Restaurant was (It is closed now), is this new restaurant Cherry something. I can't remember the name and its signboard is in Burmese. They serve really good fried noodles. The cooking is rather Chinese than Burmese. This dish here that I've ordered is chicken noodle soup.

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