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In Dala, particularly of note is the slightly run-down pagoda within which there is a mini Golden Rock and a crypt of a Buddhist saint, his robed and gilded body on show. At the centre of the town you can revive yourself at the café Chu Chu, part of the Chu Chu Workshop where Wendy and her little team transform plastic waste into pencil cases, purses and retro jewelry.
Near to the main jetty of Dala there is an assortment of ramshackle barber shops where clientele are presented with poster of the Manchester United Football Squad and asked if they would prefer their hair like David Beckham or Garry Neville.
The main sight at Twante is the Shwesandaw Paya. This pagoda is 76 metres (249 feet) tall and is estimated to have been built by the Mon people 2, 500 years ago. At the Oh-Bo Pottery Sheds one can see some of the finest Myanmar pottery. You will be able to witness how the pots found all across the delta are created.
For a long time the potters were the main attraction at Twante. These clay pots, some small enough to hold in the palm of your hand, others so large a small child could climb inside, were one of the trappings of Myanmar that led visitors to describe the country as “timeless” or “lost in time”.
However recently those working in the Oh-Bo villages have seen their work dry-up as locals opt to store water in plastic bottles. Plastic is cleaner and represents a modernization that many in the country are ready to embrace after years of economic stagnation.
Although many of the elderly in Myanmar claim that water is never so thirst-quenching as when it has the earthy flavor of the clay pots, the Oh-Bo Pottery Sheds are soon to become more of a tourist attraction than anything else.
Only a ten to fifteen minute ferry trip from Pansodan Jetty in downtown Yangon will bring visitors to the Dala Jetty. The ride offers good views of the city’s riverfront and one can enjoy the bustle from the cheery vendors on board the ferry. Screeching seagulls will flock around the craft as passengers toss away crumbs and titbits.
Between Dala and Twante travellers can make a detour to the Mwe Paya, which is situated in the middle of a large fish pond connected to the banks by four bridges. This is known as the ‘Snake Pagoda’ due to the Burmese Pythons that reside here, sleeping on the window sills and in the bowers of the tree in the centre.
Nearby is a copy of the Mathabodi Pagoda in India where the Buddha is said to have gained enlightenment. The body of this pagoda is painted in rich crimson with golden summits. It looks utterly different to most of the pagodas in and around Yangon. The surrounding lawns are idyllic and spotted with tall toddy trees. Goats amble about, slumbering in the outbuildings and munching on all that they can find, including unattended sandals …
When in Twante, A short cruise on the water can offer the contrasting scenery of the chaotic activity of Yangon to the provincial calmness just beyond the city’s precincts. Time your ferry journey back to Yangon for dusk, when the setting sun infuses the Yangon river with a rich crimson.