Myanmar Inle Lake Tour – Mountaintop Moment with Monk

The Monk had no English; we had no Burmese
 

Who:  Sleeping Monk

Where:  Inthein’s Nyaung Ohak hamlet, Inle Lake, Myanmar

When:  After a long boat trip that started before dawn

We sat there silently, sipping tea and munching on the foot wide rice crackers he had given us.

He was an older monk who lives in a monastery at the top of a round hill filled with crumbling stupas atop Inthein’s Nyaung Ohak hamlet.

 

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Three golden pagodas lured us up a hill from where we could see the hamlet below
Walking down the path from these mountaintop golden stupas we saw a small building to explore. We opened the door, not realizing it was a monastery in which the Monk had been asleep
We had just awakened him, unwittingly, when we tried to open the monastery’s door. Roused, he smiled gently when he saw us and then went in to grab a pot of tea, three glasses and motioned for us to sit.

He had no English and we had no Burmese. Silent for fifteen minutes or so, looking at the crumbling stupa remains that were his backyard, we shared time, tea, but not words.

 

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The path to the monastery where the Monk slept
Inthein's many hamlets have clusters of pagodas in varying states of disrepair

It was peaceful.

It had been a wrong turn.

It was another Myanmar moment of serendipity.

You can expect several a day.

Inthein’s Nyaung Ohak hamlet is very small with pastoral farmland only steps from the hamlet center

Photography:  Peter Kachergis

 

 

This article is an adaptation of one published earlier in Splash magazines.  

Find other travel and entertainment articles in Splash magazines by Amy Munice, many featuring photography by Peter Kachergis here.  

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