Jack's Temple (Shwe Inn Thein Pagoda)
Part of our day long adventure around Inle Lake included a stop at Shwe Inn Thein pagoda. Though we were pagoda-ed out after a full day of visiting pagodas and stupas in Bagan we decided to make the 700 meter walk from the boat launch area through the covered path up to the temple. It turned out to be one of our highlights of the day. But, not for the reason you would think. Along the walk to the temple we met Jack. As mentioned in our post regarding stray dogs in Myanmar, we like to name our four legged friends we meet along our travels. Jack was one of these four legged friends. Why the name Jack, you ask? Well we thought he resembled a werewolf with the wiry hair on his face. Werewolf, Wolfman Jack, just Jack. Our thought process for arriving at names can be a bit confusing, we know. Anyway, Jack decided not only to befriend us and protect us from other stray dogs, but also be our designated tour guide for the temple. He walked with us all the way to the temple, waited with Sarah as I wandered around inspecting all of the stupas on the grounds, and escorted us back down the walkway. It didn't end there however. He even walked with us all the way over the bamboo bridge to our boat, got into the water and whined as we boarded our vessel. As if that wasn't heart wrenching enough, as we took off, he ran along the shore next to us. The whole thing was surreal beyond belief. We wanted so badly to adopt the little guy after that. Sarah cried. Perhaps he was once a bad tour guide whose karma resulted in being reincarnated as a dog. Now he spends his day atoning for past sins and racking up good karma points so he can return as a human tour guide. Whatever the case may be, we fell in love with Jack and will never forget visiting his temple.