The Road to Mandalay and beyond

Mandalay has an almost mythical status in some ways but could anyone tell you why? Rudyard Kipling’s poem Mandalay made the place famous as did several musical adaptations. It is Myanmar’s second city and has some interesting sights that have nothing to do with poetry.

 

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Mandalay Palace has a huge moat and wall
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The formidable defences and large gates did little to stop the British who apparently just waltzed in unopposed and ended the Burmese monarchy in 1885
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Kuthodaw Pagoda is known as the world’s largest book
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There are 729 white stupas arranged in neat rows
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Each stupa contains a stone slab with an inscription from the Tipitaka (Wikipedia: Tipitaka is the entire Pali canon of Theravada Buddhism)

 

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An adjacent pagoda contain an enormous golden chamber which I had imagined only existed in old Greek exaggerations of some Emperor’s palace but no here it is
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The head monk took our photo so I repaid the favour
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A skinny Buddha, something I’ve never seen before
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U Bein bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world. Good for sunsets and tourist watching
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Local boatmen will take you out onto the river for a good view of the bridge and the sunset

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The botanical gardens at Pyin Oo Lwin were perfect
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Perfect for a stroll
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Train time. Journey to Hsipaw

 

 

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A famous journey because of the huge metal bridge
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Hi mum! Photo credit: Nina Hesselmann
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Never short of snacks on these trains
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A quick 2 day trek around Hsipaw
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A huge banyan tree
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Passing through a local village
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Early evening and the end of day one
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Homestay for the night with excellent food
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A fire and a nice spot for some rice wine aka ‘happy water’

 

Next up: Trekking to Lake Inle

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