Faces of Burma Part 5

Visiting a number of small villages on and around Inle Lake, I came to what was my favorite of them all, Indein Village. Sometimes known as the "Shan Bagan", it is filled with beautiful, ancient pagodas. My favorite kind of site in Southeast Asia!

A 700m covered walkway connects the two pagoda sites at the village. Filled with numerous steps and market sellers hawking souvenirs along the way, I came across this old Pa'O woman smoking. She very graciously allowed me to take some photos of her smoking, of which mostly the photos are of her face obscured by smoke.

Carrying on, exploring the area, a few minutes later I ran into her again outside the dark covered walkway. Only this time, she appeared ready to get back to work, hoisting up this big pile of wood supported by her forehead. Really impressive to see a woman this old, still doing hard, manual labor, while smoking no less!

Speaking of smoking, the area around Inle Lake is known for its cheroot. Basically a hand-made cigar using cheaper cheroot leaves. Possibly the only benefit of smoking cheroot is that it's believed its aroma, sticking to the smoker's skin hides the scent of sweat. A scent that would otherwise attract mosquitos. So there you have it, a cheroot a day keeps the mosquitos away.

An old woman smokes her cheroot in the small village of Indein.