Today was a lot of driving but worth every minute. The beauty of driving versus flying is obvious. You get to see the real Myanmar and we headed off from Nyaung Shwe over the Shan Mountains to the hills East of Inle Lake. The Kakku Pagoda site is believed to date back to the 3rd century BC and is one of Asia’s largest and most spectacular ancient monuments. There are 2,478 pagodas at present but many were damaged by a tornado in 2016 so repair work is underway. Our guide Robbin explained that there were at one time more than 7,000 pagodas but earthquakes and time have taken their toll on this magnificent site.
The Aythaya Winery was established in 1999 by a German expat. The area is perfect for grapes and the white Sauvignon Blanc was exceptional. The wine industry in Myanmar has nowhere to go but up. They have quality soil, temperature and elevation so keep your eyes open for some good vintage wine coming out of this area in the future.