Myanmar: Trekking Around Kyaingtung (Day 2) [Eng Village Part II]

A few more photos of the Eng village we visited. After making introductions and eating together at the chief’s hut (see previous post) we took a walk around the village.

Older lady at the chief’s house.

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The men were repairing the water structure that runs through the centre of the village. Water is piped down from the mountain and then directed to the bamboo channels. The villagers use the water for drinking, washing etc, but the structure also has spiritual meaning. When a village person dies, a wooden carving is placed by the water channel.

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Below is a new section of water channel, made from a piece of bamboo. On the left is one of the wooden blocks that has been placed by the channel after a death in the village.

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Thread for weaving textiles hanging outside one of the village huts

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The village children can be quite shy, but they are also very curious. It takes a little effort to get their trust, but at first you are viewed from a distance.

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A friendly old man, with teeth stained from chewing betel.

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Probably the most ferocious looking man i have ever seen, working hard at repairing the water channel. Of course the villagers are very polite and friendly, so looks are deceiving. I would have loved to photograph this man some more, but they were hard at work and so i took just this one shot.

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The Eng people grow their own food, including rice and tea.

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Looking up through the centre of the village, with water being channelled down the slope.

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The children are lovely, but sadly infant mortality is high in these very poor communities.

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A mixture of traditional and western clothes are worn by the kids.

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I take a little compact camera (Canon powershot S110) with me on trips as well as my bigger dSLR. I like to show people how to use it as it’s fun for both them and me. These children were initially very shy and running away from me. After a little joking around, they became more trusting, and then lost their shyness as i showed them how to use the camera to take photos of each other.

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As with many the the Eng villages, the houses are built on steep slope.

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This old man was very friendly and we said goodbye as i prepared to leave the village with my guide. Note the electricity cables in the background; the villagers use a nearby stream to generate limited power. Even though this community is remote, the advantages of the modern world can be used. Some villages in this area also have solar panels. However, the electricity generation is very small scale, and generally used for the occasional light or sometimes a television. Refrigerators or washing machines are not yet features in homes.

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Another shot of crops rice drying outside a village home. This Eng village had mainly traditional roofing. At other villages closer to Kengtung you will see that metal sheeting is now more commonly used for roofing material.

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This lady is washing clothes using the water that is channelled through the centre of the village.

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A lady carrying baby on her back.

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Children outside their home watching us leave the village. The markings on the face are very common in this area of Myanmar, both in villages and in the city. The branch from a certain type of tree is when wet with water and then put on the face to protect the skin from the sun. More often than not, the markings seem to applied to just just the cheeks, so i’m guessing the people also like the look.

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Looking back at the village as we made our way back to Kyaingtung using our ‘hybrid’ trekking method of motorbike on the easier bits, and me walking the more difficult slopes.

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3 Comments

  1. Teifi Caron

    Wow – what a trip you’re having Pete! The photos are amazing and the stories are great to give a strong sense of what it must be like to be there with you all. Have some betel for me!

    Teivo

  2. Maxine Caron

    Stunning pics! Stunning photographer!
    Muvver

  3. Paul Taylor (aka Uncle Paul)

    You have left me feeling as if I have been there/wanting to go there. Difficult to chose a favourite but the group shot of children would take some beating . The young women with babies look about fourteen.

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