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Ventana - An Enchanting Resort in BIg Sur

Summary: I love Ventana. I highly recommend visiting  and exploring the landscape at Lime Kiln and Andrew Molera State Park which I've blogged about here. Please note this is #notsponsored . Yes, that means we paid our own bill! Lots of details in the following review. including a Post Ranch vs Ventana comparison.  Can you tell there's something exciting beyond this beautiful gate? There's something special about Big Sur, a magic in the light, the presence of the Pacific, the cliffs, beaches, redwood forests and the murmur of the surf. It's one of my favorite places in California. I couldn't think of anywhere else I wanted to be to celebrate turning fifty, because it's a place where there's a sense of nature, space and light and a wide horizon. We've been to Big Sur many times and for a celebration there are two fantastic hotels vying for your attention. The exclusive, modern and very private, cliff top Post Ranch Inn and on the other side of the road the …

Kakku - Lots and Lots of Stupas

I'm not really sure what possessed me but I thought Kakku sounded interesting and that I could work it into our itinerary on the way (not really) from Bagan to Nguang Shwe! This meant that we  would drive directly from Heho airport to Kakku and then on to the hotel at Inle. I can't say I recommend my thinking! This is a long drive, hours to get there and hours to get back. It would make sense if you were staying over, or doing some walking in the region, but if you are considering a day trip I would suggest taking an extra day at Inle instead.

However, this is not to say that we didn't enjoy our trip, the landscape on the drive is magnificent, rolling hills and heavily cultivated farmland, broken up by small villages. Because Kakku is on Pa-o land you have to pick up a local guide and it was very interesting to hear about their  culture traditions and social structure. Shan State is a very diverse area with a large number of ethnic groups with diverse cultural traditions. On the way from the airport we we stopped at a Shan restaurant for a delicious lunch and passed through villages settled by more recent Nepali and Gurkha migrants who remained in Burma after fighting for the British during the Second World War. 
Kakku is a large site with thousands of small stupas collected together
Many of the stupas are covered with these decorative covers.
The stupas have been heavily restored and the "restoration" was sponsored by commercial interests and foreign firms, many from China.
Local sign in three different languages, I think they were Burmese, Shan and Pa-oa.
Here are the stupas seen in the reflecting pool, as you an see there are thousands of them. The Favorite Person described it as, "A huge garden of stupas!"
For all of my Burma posts click here.

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