Pizza in Burma?

Added 12 Jan 2015

In some respects tourism is in its infancy in Myanmar. The people are so friendly and genuinely want to help but in some of the hotels they still need some training and experience. That is no complaint, and you do have to remember where we are and the standard of the accommodation and food we are enjoying in comparison to most locals. Anyway, a funny story …. One of our guests called Brian (we have more than one!) decides to have some toast at breakfast. On the buffet table sits a hotel toasting machine, one that has a “conveyor” taking the bread around the heating element and delivers it toasted the other side. As you know, these machines rarely work perfectly so you end up putting your slices of bread around 2 or 3 times. This morning one of the restaurant staff is standing by the toaster to help guests. Brian grabs a plate and a couple of slices of bread. He puts the bread into the toaster and it comes out mildly toasted first time. Brian sends the bread for a second time and puts his plate down in the meantime. The result second time is better but still not fully toasted. Brian indicates he would like to try again. The restaurant waiter misunderstands, picks up Brian china plate and puts the plate into the toasting machine! Perhaps he thinks Brian wants a warm plate? Thankfully the plate is retrieved before it gets stuck inside the toaster. Brain will have porridge tomorrow.

For our last full day at Inle Lake we are heading across to visit the small village of Indein. This mysterious place is at the end of a long creek, which connects with Inle Lake near the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. The creek is narrow with many twist and turns and on both sides we can see farmers ploughing their paddy fields. The farmers dam the creek at certain points to help irrigate their fields and our water taxis have to bounce up mini-waterfalls. Great fun.

At Indein, there is a breath-taking complex of over 1000 ancient stupas dating from the 16th century. A few of these have been renovated but the old, overgrown ruins are almost more appealing. It could be a scene from the film Lord of the Rings! At the top of the hill there is a pagoda (yes, another one) featuring a Buddha image. We enjoy free time here and there is another market selling souvenirs and artefacts, before heading to lunch at the Golden Kite Restaurant. This is an Italian restaurant, honest! Tomato soup, pizza, pasta, chocolate crepes – wow. And more complimentary drinks.

Back at our hotel, Dawn & Richard have arranged a surprise show after dinner. Performed by the hotel staff we enjoy Shan dance, singing, music and even some audience participation!

Dawn Furlong

Photo: Stupas at Indein © Dawn Furlong