Blogs from Mandalay, Mandalay Region, Burma, Asia

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Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay December 20th 2018

Today has been a much more successful sightseeing day than yesterday. Whilst overcast it did not rain and we were able to get out and about without getting drenched. We initially got a ‘grab’ tuk tuk to Mandalay Hill, the furthest point from our hotel that we wished to see today. Here we passed between the 2 huge lions that guard the entrance to the top. Shoes off we started the 45 minute ascent. The walk is interesting as there are a number of small pagodas to see along the way. My personal favourite was a pink one. There’s also one with a large standing Buddha, pointing towards the city, foretelling that Mandalay would become the capital of Myanmar. Stephen enjoyed the ordination hall - a concrete building that’s quite literally falling down and is a ... read more
Way up Mandalay Hill
Way up Mandalay Hill
Way up Mandalay Hill

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay December 19th 2018

This morning we woke to the sound of torrential rain, slightly surprising given this is the drier season. Assuming it would pass we enjoyed breakfast on our (undercover) rooftop restaurant. It got heavier. The main things to do in Mandalay are seeing the Mandalay Palace, Pagodas nearby and the view from Mandalay Hill. There are a few half day trips to local temples and other sites, but again they’re almost all outdoors. Digging out our waterproofs from the bottom of our bags we braved the weather. At least up to a point - instead of walking to the palace we used ‘grab’ to book a taxi (it’s a bit like Uber and much cheaper than hey would otherwise be). The palace is in the centre of a walled square, surrounded by a moat, with just 4 ... read more
Soggy Stephen
View of moat and walls
View of Manadalay Hill and moat

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay January 23rd 2018

The wandering road to Mandalay was certainly long and winding, from Newcastle via Heathrow & Singapore and we then followed the road into Mandalay 24 hrs later. Mandalay, in the central region of Myanmar, was a typical bustling Asian city. We were spending three nights in the city, prior to joining a small group tour entitled “Discover Burma” - a tour around the major tourist sights of Myanmar. After an easy day recovering from the time difference and flight we booked a photographic tour around the non-tourist sights of the city. In the early morning we visited a local flower market, where great mounds of chrysanthemums, in a rainbow of colours, were stacked on stalls and motorcycles beneath large shady trees. The local sellers were welcoming and friendly and were happy for us to take photographs! ... read more
U Bein Bridge Sunset
Singapore Airlines flight
Motorcycle flower stall - Flower Market Mandalay

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay January 10th 2018

After travelling in rather more remote parts of Myanmar, it was quite a shock to the system to find ourselves in very heavy traffic. Mandalay at rush hour is complete gridlock and we were not really sure we liked it at first. We were dropped off at our hotel, url=https://www.booking.com/hotel/mm/8.es.html?label=gen173rf-1BCAsolQFCAThIM1gDaEaIAQGYAQrCAQp3aW5kb3dzIDEwyAEM2AEB6AEBkgIBeaICDXIuc3J2dHJjay5jb22oAgM;sid=3b65adcceeb66182b43724a9d65ca3f1;dist=0&sb_price_type=total&type=total&Hotel 8, and we were quite happy with our choice. It was a bit on the noisy side, but in such a big and bustling city we couldn't have expected otherwise. We had been told that after about 8pm the city went to sleep and we were quite surprised to find this was not very far from the truth. The main problem was the mosques. It was impossible to escape the call to prayer! The people working in the alleywa... read more
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Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay October 23rd 2017

Bagan King hotel Completely different to Clover in style and ambience. Staff are of course attentive, friendly and helpful but the whole place is rather posh. I am most definitely the customer. Prices are listed in USD with a poor exchange rate. For example Sprite was k1000 in Clover and k2100 here. Although I arrived before 10, staff prepared my room so I was able to bag up my t-shirts and trousers that were soaked in Yangon’s rain and by 7 this evening they were back in my room freshly laundered, at a cost of 12 USD for 5 pieces. It was useful to pay for dinner on my last night as I have not changed enough into kyat. That was $14 a good price for peppered beef and rice, banana fritters in honey and a ... read more

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay October 22nd 2017

October 22nd This all day tour started with a trip to Mandalay Hill and was listed as a tour of that area followed by “The rest of the day the car and guide are available for additional visits till 6 pm if wanted – we suggest you to visit Yankin Hill” I had researched many interesting places and had a list of possibilities to share with my guide. Mandalay Hill - half way up we stopped at Byardeik Paye Pagoda - the first Buddha encoutered points at arrivals and seems to be showing us the way out! Within this area were also calm seated Buddhas and I was fascinated by their hands - so much so that I photographed them from every angle! Next we continued up the hill on the one-way system, to the base ... read more
Buddha Hands
Su Taung Paye
Snake Nats

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay October 21st 2017

This morning I was up by 5:30 to see my first Burmese sunrise, like sunset last night it was a bit disappointing but hey, there is more to life than seeing the start and end of a day. It is now noon and I will shortly be collected for a tour of the historical area south of here. After an early breakfast I left the hotel around 7:30 heading east as I thought, huh, a block later I realized it was the other way. Lucky I checked the phone map. I also remembered to map my walk and am proud to report that I covered 3.88km in 1 hour 17 minutes taking lots of photos and rejecting possibly more rides on taxi motorbikes. This in sun and temperatures above 30C. My goal for the morning was ... read more
Motorbike oil -
The road over the railway
Mandalay Central Station

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay October 21st 2017

Ein Daw Yar I reached the temple around the back, I think it was the west entrance but I had intended to enter through the east, the direction from which I had walked. Thankfully I did it that way round because at the entrance I used, there were people collecting money for the temple with the usual donation stall and loud hailing for any passers by to give money or goods. I left from the east entrance and although it also had people making goods to donate to the monks, in this case fans, I'm not sure I would have seen all the different things made for donations. The Pagoda itself was quite spread out. In the centre was the stupa in gold, as so many are, but around it were other stupas in marble, wood ... read more
Donations for monks
Ein daw yar main stupa
Buddha's Life story

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay September 12th 2017

On The Road Boat To Mandalay To get to Mandalay, I took a boat up the Ayeyarwady River on a ten hour trip north departing Bagan at stupid o'clock. At 4am, I stumbled out of bed, showered, packed, and met my pre-booked driver who took me to the pier at Nyaung U in time for my 5am check in at the boat. The boat departed at 5.20am with just seven passengers. This is one upside of traveling during the low/wet season - empty hotels and tourist transport. The top deck of the boat was comfortably laid out with rattan deck chairs. We each had lots of space to ourselves. After setting off from Bagan, I watched the sunrise over the Ayeyarwady, then I settled in for the long ride, observing the riverside communities and other boats ... read more
The Boat To Mandalay
The Boat To Mandalay
The Streets of Mandalay

Asia » Burma » Mandalay Region » Mandalay March 28th 2017

Mandalay...the name evokes an exotic, almost mythical time and place; of a paradise far away, thanks mostly to the words of the poet Rudyard Kipling and his famous poem. Songs by Sinatra and er, Robbie Williams, add to the air of Western intrigue about the place and the famous Vegas hotel, the Mandalay Bay, ensconces the idea of Mandalay being a haven of Oriental luxury. Mandalay was also the last royal capital of Burma before the country was annexed by the British; the idea of Mandalay being the residence of 'the last emperor' also adds to its aura. In modern times, the place is merely a sprawling, mainly non-descript city and I certainly got this impression as I arrived in Mandalay. The amazing thing about my journey here from Bagan however was the fact that it ... read more
Shwenandaw Kyaung
Monks Lined Up For Breakfast
Sagaing Hill




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