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Published: December 13th 2016
So our last day in Mandalay and we decided to have a bit of a mooch about locally. This of course involved the customary dice with death walking the streets, we only walked about a mile and a half and it took a good couple of hours, every step you are watching your feet, dodging potholes, dodging motorbikes, cars, large tuk tuks, bicycles, stray dogs and people - it's mental!
We found the local market with thousands of stalls side by side selling every kind of fruit and veg imaginable and plenty I have never imagined before. All manner of dried fish, prawns and other smelly creations and pieces of wood that we couldn't work out what they were for and plenty of blankets and plastic toys. All the while motorbikes and other vehicles were honking there horns and squeezing through the narrow lanes.
There was an indoor wholesale market so we decided to have a look and saw stall after stall laden with bales of material, blankets and clothing, going was slow as all the ladies wanted to look at my tattoos and check to see if they were real! Lots of smiling, laughing and bootifuls going on.
The Zay Cho Market Mandalay
How do you get 30 nuns in a tuk tuk?
Eventually we managed to find our way out again and through the outside market - it went on for ever, and we carried on to a lovely little pagoda, Eindawya. This was such a welcome relief from the noise and craziness of the streets, calm and tranquil with only a couple of other visitors. As we entered the main corridor there were a few ladies dotted about with sewing machines making clothes for the monks then passing the first Buddha we came out into the main courtyard with a very large stupa covered in gold leaf and dazzling in the sun.
We explored all the other little courtyards with assorted Buddhas and a very strange couple of monuments which looked like someone had covered them with green expanding foam and left it to set.
It was reluctantly that we left to face the trek back! We ended up following a monk down a narrow passageway flanked by a dragon and came out in a lovely little back street of ancient houses and by the stares we got I don't think many tourist go down there! It was really interesting seeing where ordinary people live and a group
of children spotted us out of their window and started shouting out hello and soon their mum came out to see what was going on! The missed photo opportunity was when Howard asked if I had seen the sign above one of the doorways - the House of the Democratic Party - no I hadn't 😞
Then it was back to crazy and eventually the welcome refuge of the Hotel 8
Tea was at the fab BBB restaurant, great western food, very clean (and that includes the loos) and a bit pricey but worth every kyat!! Our taxi back had a super duper music video player in it! And it was playing, yes you guessed it, Bon Jovi - I like him very much the driver told us, we just had to laugh and then sing along.
So it's a 6.15 start tomorrow down to the jetty to catch the slow boat to Bagan, best get to sleep then!
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