Events of Saturday 22nd April 2017
Before 7.00 a.m., the people carrier had dropped us and our luggage at the house of the Doctor's relative who had accompanied us.
A street scene in Dawei.
A walk to the nearby market was decided upon. The range of fruit, vegetables, fish and meat on offer in Myanmar never ceases to amaze me, although the conditions would probably cause a European food inspector to expire on the spot.
Around Dawei: Dawei Market.
After our market tour, we stopped at one of the Tea Houses that are such a feature of Myanmar life, where we took breakfast. By the time we returned to the house, a Toyota saloon and driver had appeared. With the Dawei relative acting as our guide, we set off to see a little of Dawei.
Our first visit was to a famous wooden Buddhist pagoda with a natural spring believed to have health giving properties.
Around Dawei: Visiting a local pagoda.
Another Buddhist pagoda of wooden construction featured a series of old paintings depicting scenes from the Life of Buddha.
Around Dawei: Visiting second pagoda.
Up in the hills, we visited a large, reclining Buddha image, protected from the weather (as at similar sites) by a huge steel framework supporting a massive roof.
Around Dawei: Reclining Buddha image.
Various 'flavours' of the Baptist Church remain active in Myanmar. We visited the Karen Baptist Church, founded in 1922 and dedicated as a memorial to Marion Sutton.
Karen Baptist Church, Dawei.
We paused at a large British Colonial style building now serving as Dawei Education College. Whilst schools were currently on their summer break, the college grounds were crowded with teachers undertaking training.
Dawei Education College.
Finally, we visited perhaps the most famous Buddhist complex in the area at Pha Yar Gyi, including the Shwe Taung Sar Pagoda. There's a website here.
Shwe Taung Sar Pagoda.
Back in the town centre, we took lunch at the Daw San Family Rice and Curry Shop. The food and service was excellent but I was fascinated that a traditional wooden building is in course of being rebuilt into a reinforced concrete structure, with all sorts of trip and other hazards whilst this work proceeds.
Around Dawei: Daw San Family Rice and Curry Shop (new construction on left, old on right).
I discovered that we were to spend the weekend at wooden beach cottages at Maung Makan Beach so, with our luggage transferred to the Toyota, we set off through the hills to reach the beach, a beautiful white sand expanse fringed with palm trees. But also quite popular with day trippers, as attested by the number of stalls and beach restaurants we passed on an exploratory walk.
We occupied two of the four or five cottages which had been erected on a private strip of land and I was allocated my own cottage. It was a lovely spot but, although my cottage had a raised bed, the plywood base with a thin sleeping mat on top was, shall I say, rather firm for my taste.
Maungmakan Beach: I was given the cottage in the background to myself.
I managed a paddle in the ocean on Saturday evening but Dr. Hla Tun and his Dawei relative had a lengthy swim. Later, we all had dinner at a beach restaurant near our cottages. Fish was on the menu!
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[Minor additions: 1-May-2017, Links to pictures added 2-May-2017, Pictures added 12/13-Jun-2017]