Images from the five-day rotating market in Nyaung Shwe.  A day of catching up.

It was time for a short day and for writing blogs and processing photos.  It takes four hours per day to keep up and I had once again fallen behind with full days like the boat trip on Inle Lake yesterday…

It was market day in Nyaung Shwe.  This region is known for two unusual markets:  The “floating market”, which really means little more than a market in one of the marsh-towns of Inle Lake and the “five-day market” which refers to a rotating schedule between the major towns of this area.  On such market days the otherwise sleepy local market swells to triple and quadruple proportions and vendors as well as customers from the surrounding mountain areas descend upon the town.  I spent three morning hours squeezing my way through the tiny crowded alleys of the market, smelling, tasting, looking, sneaking pictures, wondering, guessing, being amazed, and buying one little souvenir trinket.

There is not much that I can say, but these places are full of stuff I have never seen nor would I know how to classify them.  Are these things to eat?  Are these medicinal herbs, cooking ingredients, construction materials?  Is this manufactured?  Is it natural?  If I had a local guide explaining things to me I would be miles ahead of the game.  As it is, I am mainly looking for photo ops.  Faces are intriguing and in this region a group of women stand out with their red and orange turban-like head gear.  They are from the Pao ethnic group and are distinctly beautiful and darker skinned than most other women.

The markets are definitely a woman’s domain.  There are a few men but in a clear minority.  Most vendors and most buyers are women.  Some have their children with them.  Some carry tremendous loads on either their heads or on their shoulders, strapped tight around their foreheads!  All of them are busy looking and bargaining.  All the vendors sit and once you decide to buy, the buyer also sits.  Weighing is done the old-fashioned way with a portable scale and weights.  Everything is paid in cash.

So, enjoy the images and if you can identify any of the weird stuff you see, let me know.

I will head home and start to get some work done!

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  1. Great photos! Markets are a must when we travel and I too, have marveled at some of the “unknowns” that are for sale.