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Mandalay & Environ


Each of the above small white pagodas, at the base of Mandalay Hill,
houses each of the 729 marble tablets, on which the sacred Buddhist scripture
was committed to stone in 1872 by King Mindon during the Fifth Great Synod of Buddhism.

Mandalay: Mandalay is sacred to the Buddhist faith. Unlike Yangon and Mawlamyine, where so much evidence of colonialism lingers, Mandalay feels purely Myanmar. For travelers, it is the centre of a vast amount to see. One can see the remains of old Myanmar around Mandalay by making day-return excursions to the former capitals of Ava, Amarapura and Sagain, as well as interesting towns of Mingun and Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo).

 

In 1861, commemorating the 2’400 anniversary of Buddha’s first sermon, King Mindon transferred his court to the new city of Mandalay from the old capital Amarapura. The major places of interest one could observe in Mandalay are Mahamuni Temple, Mandalay Palace and Mandalay Hill. A number of handicrafts such as gold-leaf pounding, embroidery weaving and bronze casting also can be witnessed as well.


Exploring Ava on a horse cart is the best way to enjoy the reminisence of old Myanmar village life

Young monks coming down from the
gigantic Mingun pagoda
on their way to collect alms

World longest U-Bein wooden
bridge over Taung-ta-man Lake
of Amarapura

Amarapura: Amarapura, the city of Immortals, was a capital before Mandalay was built but now both cities have spread so much that Amarapura has no discernable border with Mandalay. The major places of interest in Amarapura are Mahagandayone monastery, to observe the morning meal of monks and the world longest teak bridge, U Bein.

 

Inwa, the City of Gems, was a royal capital four times for various dynasties. It is now a farming region with shady tamarind and neem trees. The journey to Inwa is a pleasure in itself. Just before reaching the old historic Inwa Bridge, which crosses the Ayerwaddy, one leaves the main road and lurches along a small road, until Myit-Nge River. Here one boards a flat bottomed ferry. On the far side of the river, one continues by pony and trap. Among the several places to see in Inwa, Bagaya Monatery, famous for its over two hundred teak pillers, is a must.

Sagaing is a religious scantuary with the town at the foot of the hills and hundreds of pagodas, monasteries and nunneries tucked into the surrounding valleys and hills. Some monasteries are magnificently built of brick in a combination of Western and Myanmar architectural designs while some are of teak. Trees cover the hills so that the monasteries and nunneries are often hidden from view until one turns a corner and they suddenly loom up like magical mansion.

 


Pandaw Cruise is to enjoy
memorable riverine journey
between Mandalay & Bagan

One of the temples
on a Sagain Hill, the centre of
Buddha teaching & meditation

Satge coaches are for wandering
round the Hill station town,
Maymyo (Pyin-Oo-Lwin)

Mingun, A ride up the Ayerwaddy River lies Mingun and it is a half-day trip from Mandalay. The highlight one would see in Mingun are the huge, incomplete Mingun Pagoda and a 90-tonne bell hangs in a nearby pavilion.

Pyin Oo Lwin (May Myo): One of the nicest excursions from Mandalay is to drive for two hours east of Mandalay into the hills to the town of Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo). This hill station remains a tranquil oasis of cool weather and amazing wild flowers. Some pretty water falls and many strawberry fields draw city dwellers to spend a few months at their summer homes here. The splendid 175-hectare (432-acre) Botanical Garden is beautiful landscape and many colonial building remain.

 
   

Recent Accolades:

2008 Condé Nast Traveler World’s Top Travel Specialists Award






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