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Published: June 22nd 2017
Old Palace Wall
The palace grounds (2km square, encircled by the moat) now house government officials and their families. It's like a large gated community.
Geo: 22.0069, 96.1026
We have rearranged today's schedule because we were going to see pottery, vegetable markets, pagodas and a horse and cart ride again. Instead we now have wood carving, golf leaf hammering, silver smithing, a short ferry ride and an optional cart ride. Importantly we now expect to have time to check out the main Mandalay market before getting back to the hotel and enjoying another massage this afternoon.
I was fascinated by the gold leaf hammering. The wood carver also was a tapestry vendor and the workshop and shop were interesting. The silversmiths were at lunch so we had an abbreviated visit there, and the consensus was that their shop was too expensive. We had a local passenger ferry ride across a small river to our lunch venue, then another dusty and bumpy horse and cart ride to view another teak monastery.
All this took a lot longer than our guide expected and we didn't get back to the hotel until 4:45pm, without a stop at the market. Not happy, Jan.
We had a brief happy hour at the bar and another great dinner at the hotel. The quantity and variety of food at the buffet encouraged serious over-eating but
Gold leaf making
Pure gold is rolled out to a thin strip, ready for conversion to gold leaf. Small pieces of the gold strip are sandwiched between specially-made bamboo paper in 200 layers! This giant sandwich is then hammered for 30 minutes. Each piece of flattened gold is then split into six (we now have 1,200 layers) and hammered for another 30 minutes.
what the hey, we're on holiday!
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