Bagan – Ngaung U Market
Nyaung U Market‘Tomorrow we go to Nyaung U. The market open early and you can see. Market have food and bells and laquer’ Jo Cole our driver explains the best time is early morning. So of course he is ready early and we are bundled into the car with camera gear, our Panasonic G85 and water.
As with any Asian market anywhere the Bagan market is full of people. We forget the locals quiet lives go on with order regardless of us tourists, and they are out selling anything you can eat in various stages of preparation. We are drawn through the outer layers of open areas and into the half light of the covered stalls and even further in.
The handicraft stalls in Myanmar are all much the same, and these are no different, just bigger. With bells, and brass, lacquerware, cotton longis, cushions, artefacts, carvings and just heaps of stuff in various stages of disrepair or perfection are further down the back. We are heading in the right direction.
Its hard for us to stop looking with our buying eyes. Having been importers and retailers for 25 years we are accustomed to evaluating and assessing as we go, determining value and saleability.
But we sold the shop, so this is now an exercise in discipline and restraint…. Apart from bells! …
I want bells…. We have seen them everywhere at the temples and pagodas. The little markets outside the Bagan Temples all have their various versions of them, and the sound is very Burmese.
So we end up with 4 sets of bells from a stall owner who is older and wiser and doesn’t give us an inflated price. We are also now the owners of 2 pc of flat brass temple bells that are to be hit with a piece of wood. They sound a note simple and complex, ringing on and on. Two 2 pc of wonderfully woven longyi material to wear back home complete the bargaining.
Our small plastic bag full of stuff is a long way from the 20’ shipping containers we are used to filling. But … we are practicing restraint.