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Sandra Scott Travels: Understanding The Philosophies Of Buddhism

a reclining Buddha

A reclining Buddha

Last week I asked: What is the significance of a reclining Buddha?

It represents Buddha’s last days.

a reclining Buddha
A reclining Buddha

There are a plethora of statues of Buddha throughout Asia.

Many people view Buddhism as a religion but technically it is a way of life or a philosophy.

Buddhism began in northeastern India and is based on the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama.

Buddhism is 2,500 years old and is followed by 350 million worldwide.

Like most religions and philosophies understanding Buddhism is difficult to understand completely.

Khin Khin and her baby boy.
Khin Khin and her baby boy.

But, I like the calm and gentle ways of most Buddhists much of which comes from meditation.

I try to learn a bit more about Buddhism each time John and I are in Asia.

There are many different poses of Buddha.

Buddha’s hands in his lap stands for mediation.

The upraised right hand is the protecting Buddha.

Visiting a chicken farm.
Visiting a chicken farm.

The reclining Buddha represents Buddha in his last days before he enters Nirvana.

Reclining Buddha statues are impressive.

While we were in Myanmar, we visited a new reclining Buddha statue which is the biggest in Myanmar.

It was the last stop on an interesting day with friends.

Myanmar is a fascinating country that is changing fast but our favorite beach, Ngapali, is still relatively uncrowded.

It is two miles long and except for the guests at our favorite resort, Amazing Ngapali Hotel Resort, and a few locals there were never more than five other people on the beach.

Lunch at the chicken farm.
Lunch at the chicken farm.

This was the 10th year we flew halfway around the world to stay there.

And, we are not the only ones.

We have made friends with some Europeans who also return year after year.

One of our friends, Frank, is German but lives and works in Shanghai.

He has started some projects in the area of Ngapali Beach.

One of his projects is a chicken farm that also benefits a local family.

He arranged a day tour for us and some other friends to see his new chicken farm.

Taking a ride in a Tuk Tuk.
Taking a ride in a Tuk Tuk.

We stopped to pick up Khin Khin and her baby boy.

We had all attended her wedding a couple of years ago.

After showing us around his small chicken farm he had arranged for the family that takes care of the farm to provide us with lunch.

Guess what was part of the main course?

Egg sandwiches plus tomatoes and watermelon grown by the family.

It may be Frank’s project but it is of great benefit to the family.

After lunch we went into Thandwe town to the local market.

Asian markets are always fascinating.

Frank opened a small shop that sells the hardware for doors and similar items that is part of his business in Shanghai.

He pays the son of the family that oversees the chicken farm to run the shop.

Amazing Ngapali Hotel Resort
Amazing Ngapali Hotel Resort

He has also rented a small place in the market where the mother of the family can sell soup at lunch time.

I am not sure if Frank makes any money from his projects but it sure helps the family.

Our last stop was at a religious site on top of a hill.

Our tuk-tuk couldn’t make it up the hill, so Frank had arranged cars and motorcycles for us.

There was an amazing panoramic view from the top plus the immense reclining Buddha that is about 600 feet long and about 90 feet high.

They are currently building a protective cover.

It was a fascinating day and one of the things we most enjoy about travel – meeting fascinating people who introduce us to interesting things.

Travel Trivia Tease™: Where is Hoa Lo Prison?

Look for the answer next week.

Sandra and her husband, John, have been exploring the world for decades, always on the lookout for something new and unique to experience. We have sailed down the Nile for a week on a felucca, stayed with the Pesch Indians in La Mosquitia, visited schools in a variety of countries, and — to add balance to our life — stayed at some of the most luxurious hotels in the world. Let the fun continue!