Gubyaukgyi Temple, Bagan, Myanmar (2)

Visiting the historical temples and pagodas in Bagan, Myanmar, you will see the fascinating sight of many people smoking the local cheroots. This is common in the temple grounds, for some reason, which is unclear to me.

Locally produced cheroots are a very established part of the culture

The cheroots are made of dried thanet leaves, tobacco and wood !

They were around at the time of the Burmese Kings - so several hundred years ago at least

More recently, students of English literature may know they are mentioned in the famous 19th century poem by Rudyard Kipling - “On the Road to Mandalay”

This delightful old lady looks very happy indeed with her “smoke” and seemed very pleased to be photographed.

Around 20 years ago, 5 billion such cigars were produced each year in Myanmar, compared with “only” 1 billion cigarettes.

However, now the numbers are very different at 2 billion and 9 billion respectively.

So, mostly, you will see older citizens smoking these cheroots as the younger generation is more likely to be smoking cigarettes in original or electronic form.