After an 11 hour bus-ride from Yangon to Mon State, we arrived in Kyaiktiyo, a small town which holds one of Asia's most important Buddhist Pilgrimages, known to the west as the Golden Rock. (I'll post about that next time). There is a hidden gem however which is not frequently visited, called Dat Paund Su. Dat Paund Su is a small Buddhist Monastery located about an hour hike up a mountain from Kyaiktiyo village, where about 20 monks reside and practice their devotion to Buddha in quiet and piece, away from it all. As we arrived there, the monks seemed to be very surprised to see a Western face there and welcomed us with open arms, inviting us to stay with them and get to know their everyday life a little better. The Monastery's Abbat (the Monk 'priest' if you will) radiated nothing but humbleness and wisdom, and made sure that our stay was of the most pleasant experiences. Monks play such an important role in every level of society here, it was a great privilege to get a bit closer to understanding their every day life.
U Nanda, 64 Years Old, is the Head Monk at Dat Paund Su Monastery. He has been living here for over 40 years, dedicading his life to the preachings of buddha.
U Nanda reading prayers while keeping cool on the wooden floor.
Monks eating a meal while being fanned by devotees. A group of women come there every day to bring Monks food, cook for them and make sure that all their basic needs are met. According to Buddhist beliefs, Monks may not eat after 12 midday, until the sun rises on the next day.
Than Htaik has been living as a Monk in this Monastery for one week. By donating money, one can move into a Monastery and live as a Monk for a chosen amount of time as a means to free oneself of wrong doings.