My family and I had the opportunity to spend our Christmas-New Year holidays in Burma a few years ago and it remains one of my favorite trips. For me, one of the highlights of our visit was getting up before dawn on Christmas day and visiting the local market in Kaung Daing (also spelled Kaung Dine). It is one of the five markets around the lake which rotate on a daily basis. Local Shan and Intha people, as well as numerous Pa-O villagers from the surrounding hills, converge to sell their wares and produce and buy items they need.
It was a chilly morning and the lakeside was covered in fog as the sun came up over the mountains. Before long I could hear the gentle whooshing of oars in the water as the vendors arrived in their long wooden boats and began bring their wares ashore.
The small market had a little of everything from fresh fish from the lake to clothes to vegetables to bootleg Chinese DVDs. The vendors and customers were friendly and always willing to let me take a photo or two.
All throughout the morning people bustled around bringing items to and from the market. Some to their boats beached on the shore, others to the ox carts or motorized tuk-tuks going up and down the road.