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Story Behind the Image | Yangon Railway Station

I arrived at the main station after having enjoyed a ride in the Circular Train with two regular guests from Germany. The photo features a typical scene on platforms 6 and 7, where passengers go their way and local women try to sell produce and other goods.

Photo by Carsten Schmidt, Country Manager in Yangon, Myanmar.

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Seen on the Street | Street Art Series: Vietnam

Street Art: Vietnam

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 Vietnam!

Street Art: Vietnam

Street Art: Vietnam

Insider Tips | Inle Lake

Valentina Leggenda (Sales Representative – Italy) tell about her amazing trip to Inle Lake, Myanmar and the surprising use of the exotic lotus flower

I couldn’t believe my eyes. . . silk from a lotus plant

“In a manner of speaking, I couldn’t believe my eyes. . . silk from a lotus plant.  The aquatic lotus plant (which is unbelievably beautiful during the short time it blooms) can also be used to make silk cloth.

On a recent trip to Inle Lake in Myanmar, floating among the canals and watching the children jump from stilt houses, we happened upon an amazing weaving workshop. As it turns out, the people who work there produce valuable and beautiful silk from the lotus plant.

I watched as a smiling, young Burmese girl extracted a thick, white gum from the stem of the flower that stays underwater. After removing it, she rolled it along a well-worn wooden platform into a thin, long thread. Meanwhile an old man sat nearby in front of an antique spinning wheel, using the thread. He was able to produce a pure silk thread. This was truly an unforgettable experience for me!”

Italiano:
Inle lake e il Fior di Loto.
Non potevo credere ai miei occhi.
Una giacca in “fior di loto”, la stoffa vegetale più unica, che rara, al mondo.
Navigando tra i canali, visitiamo una delle eccellenze del lago Inle:
un laboratorio di tessitura di inestimabile valore.
Dal fior di loto si ricava un materiale più prezioso della seta.
Una giovane e sorridente ragazzona birmana estrae dal gambo del fior di loto un collante,
che tra le sue mani diventa un filo, spesso e di corta misura.
Un’ anziano signore, seduto di fronte ad un antico arcolaio, gira inesorabile la ruota,
che produce il materiale puro.
Ciao

Traditions & Beliefs | Keris…the Cursed Sword

With it’s distinctive curvy blade, the keris is both a weapon and spiritual object. Some blades possess good luck and others possess bad luck.

In Indonesian tradition, the keris was commissioned by an ambitious king from East Java. However, the sword was cursed when the king betrayed the priest who was crafting it.

Today, Keris swords are used for display, as talismans with magical powers, weapons, a sanctified heirloom (pusaka), auxiliary equipment for court soldiers, an accessory for ceremonial dress, an indicator of social status, a symbol of heroism, etc.

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.