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.
We stop to watch artisans doing stone carvings of Buddha and other sculptures, along the side of a small street.
Burmese writing ~ an art form.
Theravada temple along the way…
An enormous ancient bell with Burmese inscriptions going all the way around it, at a temple along the way…
Ben in his longyhi, standing at the corner of a large impressive white and gold stupa.
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.
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.
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.
Our favorite sight was this very old temple, crumbling in parts, with beautiful archways and carvings around the doorways and large ancient Buddha sculptures.
Beautiful ancient brick stupa and Buddha sculpture in front.
In Bagan, many of the Buddha sculptures were new, but in this case, the original one still stands in all its majestic glory.
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.
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.)
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
Exterior of the teak monastery, teak posts against tall palm trees.
9 tiered roof of the Bagaya teak monastery.
Ancient teak sculptures adorn the door ways.
Solid teak posts, teak walls, teak floors. Gorgeous!
A monk taking a midday rest inside the teak monastery.