Port of the Week: Nyaung Wee, Myanmar
| August 20, 2009

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A city full of tradition and culture, Star Clipper guests visit the port of Nyaung Wee, north of Inle Lake in the Shan State of Myanmar — on the new seven-night Myanmar itineraries that sail rounnd-trip Phuket, Thailand. After the ship docks, if guests are not on a shore excursion the best way to move around the island is by bicycle, or if you’re feeling a little lazy rickshaws can easily be found throughout the city.

Inle Lake, the second largest lake in Myanmar, is home to the beautiful floating gardens that are made up of water hyacinths and mud – a photographer’s dream. The Nankand Canal is a popular way of travel, running into Inle Lake, which is surrounded by 200 villages. If you’re lucky you might catch a glimpse of the “one-legged fisherman,” a fishing method specific to the region where the fisherman uses one leg for rowing and one leg for balancing, so the hands are free for fishing nets.

Visitors will notice Stupas scattered throughout the city and countryside. These contain Buddhist relics and are thought to have been places of worship. While in Nyaung guests may want to check out the oldest of these stupas — Yadana Man Aung. Other popular sites include the Museum of Shan Chiefs Stupas.

After taking in the sites, a stroll around Mingala Market is sure to entice shoppers with local wares. The Inle Lake area is renowned for its weaving industry, and the shan-bag, a totebag used daily by many Burmese, is the item to pick up. If the weather’s right, before heading back to the ship you may want to indulge in a relaxing popular local custom like kite-flying or challenge a local in “kite combat,” which is trying to bring down an opponent’s kite.

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