Ploughing the rice fields
After a ludicrously early start this morning, we got to the airport in time for our 6.30 am flight to Mandalay. On arriving, we were taken straight to the ferry to Ava, an island in the Arewaddy river. There, apart from a couple of Buddhist temples - one built out of teak and the other out of brick - we saw how the land is still farmed using basic hand techniques, including this scene of ploughing the rice fields, with the oxen up to their axles in water, We had lunch on the island (strong Chinese influences because of the proximity to the Chinese border} before returning by boat and then taking the coach to our hotel.
Later in the afternoon we visited the famous U Bein bridge, the world's longest teak walkway (1.1km). I was disappointed by the huge crowds of tourists, but we found a friendly monk who was happy to stop for a chat in English. The water levels in the Taungmyo Lake were very low, but we still took a boat out to take the iconic photographs of the sun setting behind the bridge,