Kakku, the jewel of the Pa-O territory


When Joseba proposed to me to reach Kakku I must admit that I did not even know what he was talking about. I had to look hard enough to discover that what I was proposing was to reach one of the jewels of a territory within Myanmar itself, the Pa-O territory, a place far from the established tourist routes and to arrive would be a long way both back and forth.

He Inle Lake returns to dawn with that mysterious fog We go through each morning to leave this hidden accommodation where we spend the night.

Kakku is far from the main roads, about 3 hours from Inle Lake, in the full hills of Shan state on the east bank of Inle Lake.

Inevitably we have a stop on the road in Taunggyi to pick up a new travel companion. This is our guide Pa-O, a indispensable requirement to enter the area of ​​this ethnic group, also of Buddhist religion, which co-exist together with the rest of Bamar mainly in the state of Shan in which we are. Later we will try to find out a little more about this particular population.

What do our eyes see? We are facing one of the most fascinating places in which we have entered. A magical place, far from the traditional routes (there is no one) that, separated from the road gathers in a large enclosure over 2500 stupas really amazing.

Here a multitude of small pagodas from different stages of history are concentrated, since you can perfectly see the difference between the oldest, simplest, and the most recent, white and gold-plated. All of them are surrounded by lovely figures

This historic place, which covers an area of ​​almost !! 1 square kilometer !!, was opened for visits in 2002, but it remained hidden from the world for centuries until the first Westerner found it in 1996. It seems that it dates from the time of the great Emperor Ashoka around 300 BC.

The truth is that it is really impressive to tour the site. If someone wants to see every detail, he could spend days here

But the most exciting of all is the "effect" of pagoda forest that is created once you are inside. In fact, if it were to be described this would be the definition "a real forest".

We leave Kakku and this little "mini-country" of Myanmar, but not before stop in a Pa-O town. There are around 600,000 Pa-O that still maintain their own language. Its history dates back to 1000 BC. and after several migrations and stages where they were exclaimed, it was in 1947 when they rejected the union with Burma and that their state was integrated into the Shan state. Even so, their society has adapted with the Bamar, even in their dress and traditions.

We walk through the village, quite calm, seeing its main way of life, agriculture, as well as mustard leaf and thanapet tree crops, until unexpectedly, an old woman invites us to enter her bamboo house (a pimp, by the way) and we gladly accept.

Has anyone ever had a Bream conversation? We sit around what appears to be the table, leaning directly on the floor, and kindly offers us tea. Until that moment the language of the signs served but from there we started the most subrealist conversation we have had in our travels.

On the one hand we find ourselves trying in Spanish that Arale understands us, Arale to the Pa-o guide is addressed in "perfect" Burmese, so that the Pa-O guide in a new language transmits it to the old woman in Pa-O. Arale is nervous and does not understand "or palote" and begins to speak to the Pa-O guide in English, and this to us in English, so that Arale happens to speak to us in Burmese. All looking at each other and while the old woman, dumbfounded at such a scene, looking at us and talking to us in Pa-o. Total, that without stopping laughing we end up talking to each one of us who wants to, yes, given the kindness and patience of our hostess. Anyway ... what we could laugh was not little.

He house interior It is really simple, with a small area full of ashes where to make a fire for the kettle and, we assume, to get some heat, a few straw carpets, and a kind of screen that serves as a separation.

I remember that while we were talking with this kind old lady, in our particular “tower of babel”, she told us that she would also like to travel to meet people and worlds different from her but unfortunately she had never left her village. That statement, made by that woman whose living conditions were so harsh, left me quite impressed because I assumed that I would have other “priorities” in life much more important than traveling and, nevertheless, it goes and releases that idea. And, believe it or not, that experience definitely confirmed to me the fact that one of the most important things for the human being, regardless of their living conditions, age, sex, beliefs, etc. It is to know other things different from the world in which we live. Joseba

Already abandoning and saying goodbye to the old lady's kindness (who doesn't ask us for anything), we can see that on the outside it is nothing more than wooden panels covered with straw and grass and bamboo canes.

Our visit to one of those places on the planet that will eventually remain in our retinas ends, and the return doesn't have much to tell more than a new stop along the way in a "Sunset Wine-Garden & Restaurant" where you can stay besides buying some souvenirs (do you like my new shirt?) and eat "something without curry" surrounded by spectacular vineyards and lush vegetation of this area of ​​Burma

Isaac, from Inle Lake (Myanmar)

EXPENSES DAY 16: 8,000 MMK (approx 5eu)