Our first stop was at a village that was on the standard tourist route, and we received the standard tour, which I'll save for another day.
We were told that this is a typical village kitchen in the Bagan region
We visited a second village, and were invited to tour the kitchen of the wealthiest family in the village – the middle-class owners of the local general store. This family has its own private outhouse, a summer kitchen, an indoor kitchen and a separate dining area.
This is the family's cooktop. In the absence of electricity, villagers cook their food over charcoal or wood fires
The summer kitchen is outdoors, to avoid generating excessive heat inside the house during the sultry summer months
The food preparation area of the kitchen has a spice shelf and storage space for pots and pans
The family eats a hot breakfast at this table. These are the breakfast left-overs.
It's rare for villagers to have time to prepare lunch, so the breakfast left-overs are saved (covered to protect against flies) and eaten for lunch
When we arrived at Inle Lake, our next stop after Bagan, we found that the Bagan kitchens were not an anomaly.
We were given the chance to see the interior of a house like this one, built on stilts over the water
Here's the kitchen
Whenever we sat down to a restaurant meal in Southeast Asia, we found ourselves wondering what the kitchen looked like. We had a chance to satisfy our curiosity once or twice, so stay tuned for more.