The day began when our boatman collected us at our guesthouse at the north end of Inle Lake, a shallow and beautiful body of water surrounded by mountains in Shan State. This region of ethnic minorities and varieties of ways of living all come together at the “5 Day” markets, so called because they take place around the lake on a rotating 5 day schedule.
We set off on a 3 mile stretch of canal, busy with boats full of families and goods. When we reached the lake it would be another 14 miles before we reached the southern end and spectacular Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the location of that day’s market.
As you may discern from the pictures, while the market is also visited by the likes of us, we were relatively few and far between the day we were there. Consequently, almost all the goods available were for local consumption. I’d found that also to be true at a Hill Tribe market I’d visited several years before in the area just across the border from Shan State, in Yunnan Province, China. And once more I felt fortunate to walk among these people while their market, and the ways of life it represents, is still largely intact and serving them, even as I realized I represented the harbingers of change.
You can see lasts week’s gallery, the boat trip on the lake, here.
(Hold your cursor over the photos for titles.)
For more on the subject of paan, found in various
forms throughout the region,click on this link.
To read more of PortMoresby’s contributions, click here.