A Letter to our Readers

Dear Readers,

We are entering the new Myanmar Year of 1367, after washing away all ill fortune during the five days of the Water Festival preceding it. Even if you did not get a soaking, we wish all your ill luck left behind in 1366 and that you go into 1367 with more fortune than before.

To entertain you and give you some insights into our country, Hpone Thant tells you about the enchanting town of Kyaing Tong (once known as Kengtung) and the villages around it where many ethnic nationalities live.

Many of the nationalities are Buddhist, and living in their own culture with pagodas and monasteries that are vastly different in architecture than the ones seen prolifically in central Myanmar. One such monastery that lies off the beaten path, unseen by most travellers until our art director Sonny Nyein discovered it during one of his forays into parts unknown. Whenever he takes off into remote regions, we at Enchanting Myanmar are confident that he would come home with marvellous photos.

The literary tradition in Burmese is long and rich, its heritage left for us thanks to monks and scholars who kept in safety the many palm leaf manuscripts of the past. They were stored in trunks or cabinets called Sar Daik, and these ornately decorated and gilded chests that are works of art once graced palaces and monasteries. Here is an article to look into these ancient treasures.

Last but not least, the civilisation of the Rakhine has flourished for over two thousand years. The last capital of their kingdom Mrauk Oo has majestic temples built of stone. One that recalls not only the religious fervour of the time but also the social values is the most revered Temple of Eighty Thousand, built 470 years ago. Learn about its glories in the article by Ma Thanegi.

Wishing a happy and successful 1367 to all our readers,

The editorial board