A Magical Day in Mandalay

Before we knew it, our time in Yangon was up. Although I was sad to say goodbye, I was excited to continue my explorations in Myanmar.

Stepping off the bus in Mandalay, I couldn't believe how different it was compared to bustling Yangon.  The second largest city in Myanmar felt more like a town. Tourists were even fewer here and the place had a quiet laid back vibe to it. I didn't mind though. Mandalay is still a city bursting with culture and history with enough to keep us entertained.

We started the day off at the unique Golden Palace Monastery, also known as Shwenandaw Kyaung.





Built out of teak wood, this monastery was covered entirely in intricate carvings. It was a nice change of scenery considering we saw so much gold in Yangon.





Once we finished admiring the beautiful wood work, we headed to the Kuthodaw Pagoda to see the world's largest book.



Well, it's sort of the biggest book. Each of these pagodas hold one marble slab inscribed with Buddha's teachings. There are 729 marble slabs and pagodas in total. It was pretty cool walking through the endless aisles of white shrines and peering at these ancient writings.




After all that walking, we rewarded ourselves with a hearty lunch and icy cold beers.



Myanmar beer is one of my favourite brews in Southeast Asia. It's a refreshing lager that goes down so smooth. It also tastes great because a big bottle costs a mere $1.50US.

In the late afternoon, we traveled to the outskirts of the city to take a stroll on the famous U Bein Bridge.



This rickety wooden bridge is over a kilometre long and according to a monk I was chatting to, is over 200 years old! As the sun crept lower, more people piled on the creaking wooden planks. Each step I took, the entire structure trembled. I was scared it was all going to collapse!







Monks in flowing crimson robes walked to and fro. Children fished on the bridge and showed off their catches of the day. Locals took tourists out on boats to explore the alluring riverside. I stood planted at the edge, enchanted by the striking scenery. Creamy white clouds engulfed the sky, lush greenery surrounded the outskirts and peaceful ripples moved across the water.

It's the rainy season in Myanmar at the moment and the water was extremely high. According to the monk, most of the water disappears come November.

Eventually, the sun started to make its exit and I couldn't help but stare in awe. I'm a sucker for sunsets.






It was a perfect end to a fun-filled day of sightseeing. After snapping too many photos, Marc and I enjoyed the last few rays of sunlight and agreed that we never want to come back to reality.

Melissa Li

I’m a Canadian girl on a quest to step foot in every continent before I’m 30. You’ll most likely find me chowing down on Japanese ramen, partying at a music festival, hiking to the top of a scenic lookout, cuddling with cats, or chilling out at the beach. I’ve visited over 60 countries so far and hope to inspire you to do the same.

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