Motoring from Heho to Pindaya: Shan Plateau, Agriculture, Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave Pagoda, Mulberry Paper Umbrella Making

Shan Plateau and Agricultural Scenes



After a short flight from Bagan to Heho, we begin motoring across the top of the Shan Plateau to Pindaya. This part of Myanmar is intensely farmed, and we awed by the beauty of the rolling croplands, with fields of sesame, mustard, wheat and vegetables.

cabbage loading

Above, wheat is threshed and cabbages are loaded onto a truck. Below, farmers on the way to market with onions.

truck hauling onions
boy on bullock
boy on bullock

Children tend (and ride) bullocks. Below at right: bullock carts parked in Aungban.

parked carts
boy and girl on bullock

fields of sesame and mustard

We approach this group of farmers threshing wheat. As usual in Burma they are very friendly and hospitable.

children with cart


baby and mother

We stop again when we see this baby in a field near the road. The baby is well sheltered from the sun and equipped with everything he could need, while his mother works nearby. But we get a bit too close, and the frightened baby loudly declares that he needs one more thing: his mom.


Near Pindaya there are a lot of pagodas and stupas with well-trod paths leading to them.


Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave Pagoda


view from mountain
cave entrance

At Pindaya we head for its best-known attraction -- the Shwe Oo Min Natural Cave Pagoda, perched on a limestone mountainside just a little outside of town. The natural cave and added tunnels wander among galleries stuffed with gilded Buddhas. These photos show some of the approaches to the cave, and view from it.

cave approaches
golden Buddhas
golden Buddhas

Over 8,000 statues are in the cave; some are centuries old, but the collection continues to grow as others are added now.

golden Buddhas
golden Buddhas


Mulberry Paper and Umbrella Making



On our way back to Pindaya we stop at this roadside place, where mulberry paper and mulberry paper umbrellas are made.

umbrella making