When I had expressed interest in seeing more of Myanmar’s countryside my tour guide suggested a very small village by the name of Salay, located on the Ayerwaddy River banks nearby Bagan. He had said that while it was small and far from the bustling tourist scene that was in many of Myanmar’s other villages and towns Sale was extremely renowned for its giant 19th century wooden monastery called Youqson Kyaung, a bamboo made Buddha image from the Bagan period and other Bagan era monuments. I almost forgot to mention Temple 99; the mural paintings were amazing.
There were a few monasteries and temples scattered around this magical place. Most of the time I found myself walking on very elaborate stone steps and gazed around at buildings that featured very ornate designs on them. I was also surprised to see some faded colonial buildings from the days when Myanmar was occupied by the British. The pagodas in this area were a lot more toned down than those in large cities like Yangon but had their own charm and appeal. This is definitely a place where I could lose myself and relax for a day.
Salay, 10 May 2010