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Entries in Myitkyina (8)


Myitkyina 2005

Packing up our stuff in front of the Aye Chan Tha Inn in Myitkyina after six weeks of collecting and counting rattans along the Ledo Road in northern Myanmar (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey and Mandalay Express). The plant presses are in the rice sacks, the plant specimens are in the cardboard boxes, that's my large, extremely dirty Eagle Creek duffel bag; Andrew Henderson, U Kyaw Lwin, and I stand back and observe the proceedings. [NOTE: Photo by Tun Shuang (thx)].


Mandalay Express (from the Archive)

After finishing the rattan survey in the Hukaung Valley (see Hukaung Valley Rattan Survey), we arrived at Myitkyina to learn that our flight to Yangon had been canceled and that no planes would be available in the near future. Our flight from Bangkok to New York was in four days. For lack of any better options, we decided to traverse the 919 miles from Myitkyina to Yangon by train.  We bought our tickets, got blessed by a Buddhist monk, and then wobbled and lurched and squirmed for almost 48 hours.

[NOTE: Music (local pop) was playing the entire trip - all night and all day.  They never turned the lights out in the cars for security reasons. The springs kept popping out of the cushion of my seat.]


Myitkyina Pagoda

A simple pan of seven large paintings and the altar in the main pagoda in Myitkyina, Myanmar (see Signage and Bo Tree III). The paintings depict auspicious events during the life of Buddha, but I am not sure what all of them are supposed to represent.  I don't remember, for example, a story about a little girl on the back of an elephant talking to Buddha and a line of Bodhisattvas (Painting No. 5). [NOTE: I find it interesting that the first painting shows Buddha sitting on a lotus surrounded by a group of Nats (see Nat Worship and Beautiful Nats). I don't remember that story, either...]



At the entrance to the main pagoda in Myitkyina (see Reclining Buddha II). I assume that what they meant to say was "take off your shoes".   


Bo Tree III

Apparently, I really like to take pictures of bo trees (see Bo Trees and Another Bo Tree). This one was tucked away in the back of the main pagoda in Myitkyina. Love the little statue.  [NOTE: Was unable to find out if the tree came from a cutting from the "original" one at Bodh Gaya, but I'm inclined to think that it did. There are cuttings of cuttings of cuttings of the Bodh Gaya tree scattered throughout all of South East Asia]. 


Reclining Buddha II

A slow pan of the beautiful Reclining Buddha statue in Myitkyina (see Reclining Buddha).  I especially like the rack of "loaner" malas shown at the start of the clip. Looks like they've been used a lot...


Reclining Buddha

Another exquisite statue from Myanmar. This one, a 50 - 60 foot long reclining Buddha of the "Paung Laung" style, is in Myitkyina, Kachin State.  I was with my friend, Dr. Brian Horne from the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research, and I was supposed to be looking for turtles in temple ponds.  We did find a lot of turtles - but I took a picture of this. [NOTE: It was great fun traveling with Brian. He knew the name (the Latin name) and conservation status of every animal we saw...]. 


Buddhas and Bodhisattvas

The entrance to the main temple at Myitkyina in Kachin State has a line of statues representing the Buddhist lineage in Myanmar, i.e. Gautama Buddha followed by dozens of bodhisattvas. [NOTE: Each statue is subtly different].

The temple grounds contain 1000's of statues of bodhisattvas and reknown Buddhist teachers. The base of each statue has a plaque with the person's name and temple affiliation.  You could spend hours here.