Things seem to be more complicated than we had thought. Our equipment has still not been released from customs, and in addition we seem to need permissions from different authorities to sample the lakes. While our colleagues from the Myanmar Geosciences Society are working hard to solve the problems, we have time to visit the lakes, check for accessibility and take water samples for isotope analyses. This at least is a start and will make our work easier once the equipment is here and the permissions have been issued.
With the 4WD we can fairly easy reach the villages, which are located on the rim of the craters, but it is not possible to drive down the steep, sandy slopes of the craters. This means that we will need to hire an ox cart and a local villager to carry all the equipment down. But given the many ox carts available in the villages, we don’t think that this will be a big problem.
Monywa, the city we are staying in, is not directly located along the tourist trail. Nevertheless some tourists find their way to Monywa and visit the many pagodas in and around the city, such as the Shwe Gu Ni Pagoda, the Laykyun Setkyar Standing Buddha, Bodhi Tahtaung, Po Khaung Taung, Pho Win Hills, and Kyaukka Village. Maybe we should have a look at some of these tourist attractions, given that we still have time until the equipment and the permissions arrive.