Tucked away in one of these floating houses is place I would give a great deal to spend just one week.
On the other side of the room from the dyers are spinners and weavers. They spin cotton, silk and lotus. All these natural fibres are locally grown, harvested and hand spun into threads and yarn that are then woven into beautiful cloths for sale (sadly, a very small percentage of the money received goes to the crafters as the country is run by a military junta who take almost all the earnings).
The fibre that sparks my curiosity is from the Lotus plant. The Lotus stems are collected from the lagoons or flooded fields in the area and then this old man, with a great deal of skill, breaks the stem in two without breaking the sinew-like plant fibres that are inside. Carefully (but quickly) he pulls the two halves apart, stretching and extracting the fibres out of the stems. As he does this he twists them to form a long lotus yarn that is later spun.
I think Alexa must have felt me trying to swap places with her when she took these photograph. To imagine the trade secrets and skills that are here leaves me with my mouth wide open and my heart running out the door to get on the next plane to Burma (but I am not quite as brave as my heart always wishes).
P.S. Thanks Alexa for sending the pics and letting me share them :)