Seeing statues of Buddhas was a becoming a daily occurrence. Mawlamyine was no exception and numerous temples were scattered around the small town. We'd come to see one statue in particular though, a reclining Buddha measuring 180 metres in length and 30 metres in height. This was the worlds largest reclining Buddha and was amazing to behold. To add to the spectacle you could walk around inside the giant structure and witness the story of Buddhism. This was displayed via life sized and very graphic models, definitely 'not safe for work' or children but interesting nonetheless!
On our way out we were accosted by a friendly monk looking for donations towards building another similar structure opposite the current one. As if one world beating Buddha wasn't enough! You had to chuckle since the first one could definitely have done with a face lift and didn't appear to be structurally sound in places.
The strangeness continued outside where a concrete waterside had been built. Tim wasn't expecting a trip to a waterpark but would never turn down the opportunity of getting wet. In true Burmese tradition you had to go fully clothed. Much to the amusement of the locals Tim and another boy raced down the slide. The problem was this slide was made of concrete so Tim appeared from the pool at the bottom covered in cuts and bruises but with a big smile on his face.
We spent a more more sedate day visiting Ogre island a small island that maintains the traditional ways of the Mon people. We visited a rice processing facility where the rice husks were removed and 80kg bags of rice were packed and sold at less than £5 a bag. We also got to see a house that made slate boards for schools, as it turned out these were perfect for playing hangman on, who needs a shiny expensive iPad! Finally we got to do some impromptu yoga in a temple on top of a big hill. It wasn't that often that we got to experience such active village life.
For such a small island to produce so many different things was quite a feat. As westerners we become so reliant on importing things from abroad, not to mention being able to order things on the Internet and have them delivered the next day. It was definitely something to ponder on the rain sodden ferry ride back to the mainland.