After hearing Victoria’s stories about the levitating cats and the stunning beauty of Lake Inle with its floating markets and villages, gilded temples, lakeside weavers and children who row their boats with their knees, I was all ready to pack my bag, my camera and some kitty treats and go! But then while researching the jumping cats a bit further to write this post, I learned that the military junta that runs the country with an iron fist had enough with the jumping cats and recently – and inexplicably – shut the show down.
No one apparently knows why, but it is quite likely that as more tourists made their way to the monastery, the monks improved their English and they started engaging visitors about the less-than-pleasant political situation that has choked the country for decades. If so, the cantankerous generals who rule the nation would not be amused. Or maybe some official in Rangoon demanded a bribe from the monks at Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery – after all they were rolling in alms from all of the tourists – but the monks refused.
Who knows what the real story is, but I do hope Myanmar transitions soon to a more benevolent government, that the monks can resume welcoming visitors to their magical monastery and that, of course, Buddha’s jumping cats will be allowed to jump again to the delight of people from around the world.