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Since I’m skipping Mandalay, I’m getting an extra day in Inle Lake which, like Bagan, is so gorgeous. It has a different sense of peace though.

Bagan- Spent the day in a horse drawn cart and climbing up the sides of temples. Most of these are made out of brick and it is a nerve racking climb. Shan Shan the driver is gentle with TuTu the horse and soft spoken. He points out a lot of details about the temples. When it gets too hot to climb temples or bike, we hang out by the pool, which is set among some 11th century temple ruins. Sunsets are watched from the top of one of the bigger temples. The buzz of the cicadas and the songs from the monasteries surround us as we watch the sky’s brilliant pinks, yellows and blues fade over the field of temples and the river.

Inle Lake- Spent the morning riding into the town with a french family on the flatbed of a truck. Winding through the hillsides, we make it down to the rice paddies and lake where I take a motorboat across the lake to my hotel. On the way we pass by houses on stilts, kids swimming in the river, men paddling longboats with their feet, and gardens of plants only grown by water. The lake is surrounded by beautiful green mountains and the sky has huge puffy clouds. The rain began falling after I checked in, so right now I’m typing away and reading Burmese Days from my deck. In a few moments I’ll be biking down to a small village to watch the sun set.

On a non-serious note: I feel like I finally know where they came up with most of the towns in Avatar the Last Airbender.