Well here are the promised/threatened photos ! I have already written about Mandalay, so I’ll just let the pictures tell the story. These are from around the old “Royal Mandalay” area, where the palace, most of the important temples, and Mandalay Hill is located. Click on any image to see a larger version.
Panorama of the Royal Palace. It’s actually a reconstruction, only about 20 years old, as the original was destroyed during WW2
Inside the Royal Palace grounds
The only surving building from the palace, one of the knigs jad this moved outside the palace grounds because it was haunted by his father’s ghost.
Locals like to say this is part of the world’s largest book, as each of 1000+ shrines contains part of Buddha’s teachings on a marble slab.
More of those chedis
Shoes off here, and climb 650 steps to the top of Mandalay hill.
And at the top, you will find this Buddha pointing the way back down (or is he saying get out of here?)
Part of the Palace walls, now used as a Myanmar Army base.
There are several other small towns outside Mandalay which also were the capital for a while, such as Ava(Inwa) and Sagaing. These photos are from day trips to them:
U-Bein bridge is a popular place for sunset.
Traffic jam on the water for the U-bein sunset
There was a whole tour group of Japanese photographers, all with a LOT of gear.
But not everybody was photographing the sunset, there was a fashion shoot going on too.
Chedi in the rice paddies, Inwa
Horse carts are the mode of transport in Inwa
According to local legend, the King could not decide on the design of this chedi, so his Queen ripped open her clothes, pointed to her breast, and said “build it this shape!”
Lunch time, Sagaing nunnery
At lunch time, around 100 girls line up silently for lunch, leaving their shoes in perfect rows.
Most temples have murals illustrating the teachings of Buddha. This modern mural shows the evils of sex,drugs and karaoke !
Mandalay is on the Ayarawady (Irrawaddy) river, and is quite a busy port. Apart from the ferry to Bagan which most tourists take, there were lots of local ferries, cargo boats, and large rafts of bamboo logs.
Panorama of the river at Mandalay. Click for a larger version.
Up next, the ferry journey to Bagan