A day in Mandalay, Myanmar

From Bagan, we thought we might take a slow boat up the river to Mandalay, but then decide to take the short plane flight of 30 minutes, rather than spend 2 days on a boat. In addition, I (Peta) was getting over a stomach bug (which is the first time either of us has ever been negatively impacted by street food), and hopefully the last.

In Mandalay, the place we are staying is across the road from a clinic and so I make an appointment to see a doctor. He speaks a little English, enough to tell me that he has seen this before in many a traveller, knows exactly what I need, gives me some pills and tells me I will feel better in a few days. Because I rarely take any medication, I am feeling better by end of day.

After the magic of six days in Bagan, both us are feeling extremely mellow and relaxed and arriving back in a big city is a bit of a shock. We read up a bit and decide to select just one or two things of interest and go and see those.

We are off to the Bagaya Monastery made entirely of teak and a brick monastery, both fine examples of the best of Burmese architecture.

After strolling the streets and enjoying seeing all the small eateries and food stands we are ready to go out into the countryside a bit.

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We stop to watch artisans doing stone carvings of Buddha and other sculptures, along the side of a small street.

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Burmese writing ~ an art form.

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Theravada temple along the way…

 

 

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An enormous ancient bell with Burmese inscriptions going all the way around it, at a temple along the way…

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Ben in his longyhi, standing at the corner of a large impressive white and gold stupa.

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Lake just outside Mandalay, which has an aging teak wood bridge (U Bein) that goes across from one side of Taung Thaman lake all the way to the other side. It is the longest teak bridge in the world.

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We walk a portion of the wooden bridge which undoubtedly once carried mostly locals and monks from one side of the lake to the other… Today it is mostly full of tourists, and a few vendors such as this ice cream guy, and so we do not  stay very long.

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After taking a short ferry ride we hop on one of the horse and cart carriages which take locals and visitors alike to see the teak and brick monasteries.

 

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Our favorite sight was this very old temple, crumbling in parts, with beautiful archways and carvings around the doorways and large ancient Buddha sculptures.

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Beautiful ancient brick stupa and Buddha sculpture in front.

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In Bagan, many of the Buddha sculptures were new, but in this case, the original one still stands in all its majestic glory.

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We came upon a few very small very old temple structures across the road from the larger temple. Most of them were covered over by foliage, creating cave like structures in a field.

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Going through the numerous doorways and arches at Mahar Aung Mye Bon, the brick monastery built by King of Bagyidow during the Konbang period (19th century.)

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Bagaya Monastery, built entirely of teak wood in 1834 AC during the reign of King Bagyidaw. Some of these posts are 60 feet high and are solid wood, simply beautiful

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Exterior of the teak monastery, teak posts against tall palm trees.

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9 tiered roof of the Bagaya teak monastery.

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Ancient teak sculptures adorn the door ways.

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Solid teak posts, teak walls, teak floors. Gorgeous!

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A monk taking a midday rest inside the teak monastery.

 

18 thoughts on “A day in Mandalay, Myanmar

  1. Stan

    Again, so many stunning pictures and sights – the pic with you, Pete, walking through the doorways and arches of the brick monastery particularly stands out for me!!!
    Such beautiful composition and everything about it!
    The white and gold stupa looks amazing too!

    Hope the stomach returns to normal soonest!
    Thanks for the treats!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Stan, so glad you are enjoying our photos and blog. I really like the colors in that particular photo too, and it was such a stunning architectural piece. Many of the temples in Bagan had been restored, and what I loved about this one was that it had not. Even had its original Buddha sculptures.
      Oh yes, am all fine and well, thanks!

  2. Janice

    What a treat to share your journey ! Amazing photos and composition. I too love the one with you in the archway. All my favourite color palate.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Janice, glad you are enjoying our photos and following the blog. Thanks for the feedback. Okay, the photo with the archways is the winner for this post.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Thanks Trevor, glad you reading and enjoying the blog and it’s keeping the spirit of adventure alive!

  3. Alison and Don

    This brought back some lovely memories. Most of the photos don’t show – just a frame with a ? in the middle. Most of them I could click on and the photo would show up, but with several of them not even that would work. Hope you can figure it out. It must be coding, or spacing issues or something. Hope you’re well again now Peta. Nothing like stomach bugs on the road!
    Alison

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Hi Alison, that’s very strange re the photos as they seem to be fine and have not received any comments re an issue from anyone else. Hmmm, only thing I can think of is maybe they didn’t have enough time to load up on your screen??
      Glad it bought back memories for you.
      We never get stomach bugs and we always eat street food so this was a first. I recovered pretty quickly, thanks!

      1. Alison and Don

        Photos are all fine now. Don’t know what it was. Weird. My favourites are the one of you walking through the archways, and the boat on the lake. I loved Myanmar – a really special place.
        Alison

        1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

          Great happy to hear!! Thanks for checking back. Yes Myanmar is a very special place ~ except of course for the tragic genocide against the Muslim minority. The beauty and serenity of Bagan rings therefore in sharp contrast to the tragic treatment of a minority group, the Rhoinga. Concentration camps, boat people, tragic deaths.

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      Haha… We will just have to do a chicken update soon. Sorry for the lack of any Balinese chicken reporting!

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      It IS amazing! If you get a chance to go, don’t hesitate. Especially before the hordes of people that will of course discover it. Right now there are low numbers of visitors as the country only opened up to visitors fairly recently.

  4. badfish

    Thank you, thank you…I saw a photo of U Bein bridge, and didn’t know where it was…now I do, and will make time to go see it. Just love all your photos. Especially the old Buddha, I’d rather see old things than new. I wonder if it will spoil Bagan for me??

    1. GreenGlobalTrek Post author

      U Bein bridge unfortunately is very touristy… Loads of buses of people getting off there. But take the ferry nearby to the island with the temples as less people make that effort and it’s totally worth it!

      Nothing can spoil Bagan as nothing can compare to bring there in person! Glad you enjoyed the photos!

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