Out and about in Kayin State
We were based in Hpa-An for our few days in this area as most things you might want to see are within about an hours (or much less) drive in any direction. The town is not huge but has everything you need. It has a number of temples and interesting bits of architecture but you don’t need long to explore the town it is the surrounding area that you come for really.
One thing that is indisputable is the beauty of Myanmar. Everywhere I went was stunning. The landscape is idilic and looks pretty unspoilt. Obviously there are numerous fields of rice perfectly manicured and luscious in colour but they sit so perfectly alongside the majestic mountains in the distance. It makes for a pleasant day driving around watching the landscape go by. The people we passed along the way are also delightful most of the time very interested to see a western face and extremely friendly. You could end up with arm ache after all the waving!
On this day out our taxi driver asked if we might be interested in seeing a local weaving workshop along the way and of course we did. So our next stop was fascinating watching a large group of predominantly women weaving gloriously coloured fabrics. I had seen this in Laos a few weeks earlier and had an afternoon of weaving myself, this workshop was very similar.
One of the differences with this style of weaving was the added tufts (for want of a better word) of threads that are carefully caught between the weft and warp threads creating kind of tassels. They are arranged in geometric patterns and create an added texture to the fabric. The workshop had bowls of these perfectly sized and cut bunches of threads ready to be inserted.
One thing that was a lovely change from most of my travelling was that we were not asked to buy anything at any point. We had simply been introduced to this workshop because they were proud of what they were doing and wanted to show it off.
Outside the weavers we came across this gorgeous little chap. I am slightly dog crazy and had been photographing a dog a day on my travels so he had to be added to my collection. To be honest he was so cute he nearly went in my bag!