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Seen on the Street | Street Art Series: Myanmar

Street Art: Myanmar

For the next few weeks, we would like to use our “Seen on the Street” series to highlight the tremendous diversity of artistic ability that is seen not only in markets, architecture and galleries of our destinations, but also literally on the street.

These are some of our favourite street art photos and we would like to celebrate our destinations as part of a global community of artists.

This week, we go to Myanmar!

Street Art: Myanmar

Street Art: Myanmar

Did You Know? | Burmese red teeth

Betel Nut Red Teeth

Did You Know. . .

Burmese with red teeth aren’t vampires. . .they are chewing betel nut!

Green leaves are filled with betel nut, some spices and a pinch of tobacco. . .then folded up, popped in the mouth and chewed.

Traditions & Beliefs | The Non La

The Non la (palm-leaf conical hat) comes from a legend related to Vietnam’s history of growing rice?

The story is about a giant woman from the sky who protected humankind from a deluge of rain. She wore a hat made of four round shaped leaves to guard against all the rain. After the Goddess was gone, Vietnamese built a temple to commemorate her as the Rain-shielding Goddess. Vietnamese tried to make a hat modelling after the Goddess’ by stitching together palm leaves, which is now known as Non la.

Story Behind the Image | Mahagandayon Monastery

Carsten Schmidt, Country Manager in Myanmar, tells this story…

“I took this photo while I was in Mandalay together with the German movie maker Thomas Juncker. We went to the Mahagandayon Monastery in the early morning in order to witness breakfast with the hundreds of monks who live there. The breakfast takes place at 04:45am. The scene shows monks giving out food to the other monks.

We went early in the morning to witness breakfast with hundreds of monks.

There are a lot of Buddhist people in Myanmar who can afford to donate breakfast for the monks for one day, which is worth around USD 800. In that case, the donors themselves give the food to the monks.”

Mahagandayon Monastery is located in Amarapura, half an hour driving time from Mandalay, Myanmar.

Seen on the Street | Street Art Series: Indonesia

Street Art: Indonesia

For the next few weeks, we would like to use our “Seen on the Street” series to highlight the tremendous diversity of artistic ability that is seen not only in markets, architecture and galleries of our destinations, but also literally on the street.

These are some of our favourite street art photos and we would like to celebrate our destinations as part of a global community of artists.

This week, we go to Indonesia!

Street Art: Indonesia

Street Art: Indonesia

Insider Tips | Swim in a Pool of Spring Water

Ms. Thit Thit Zin – General Manager, Myanmar tells us “Visiting Vang Vieng in Laos is on my wish list as I want to see the strangely shaped limestone mountains that flank the Nam Song River and tower over the small town.

One cave was used by locals as a hiding place during the Vietnam War…

These rugged karsts are riddled with caves full of stalactites and stalagmites. One contains a large reclining Buddha, another an underground lake, while another was used as a hiding place by the locals during the war.

In particular I want to visit Tham Chang cave, not only for the amazing views over the town and rice fields, but also to swim in the turquoise blue pool of cool spring water by the entrance.”

 

Traditions & Beliefs | “Sir Buffalo”

Today is the Do San Buffalo Fighting Festival! Since the 18th century, Do Son, Vietnam’s locals believe that buffalo fighting brings favor from the guardian gods…resulting in safe voyages, abundant crops, wealth and health to their people.

The festival is held annually, and like other festivals in Vietnam, the Buffalo Fighting Festival consists of two parts: spiritual rites and entertaining activities. On the first day of the festival the elders carry out a sacrificial ceremony to the god Diem Tuoc.

“Sir Buffalo”

All of the villages with buffaloes in the competition will participate in the ceremony…after which, each fighting buffalo is officially called “Sir Buffalo”, representing the locals’ spiritual life, hope, and beliefs. Following this ceremony, the annual Buffalo tournament takes place to see whose village has the most fearsome buffalo.

Traditions & Beliefs | Vietnam National Day

Vietnam fireworks

Today, Vietnam celebrates independence from France.

In Vietnamese, the day is called Ngày Quốc Khánh and marks the day that Ho Chi Minh Declared the establishment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam after the country’s final king abdicated the previous week.

ICS Travel Group offers an exclusive 10-day tour which includes a look at Vietnam’s rich, contemporary history.