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// APRIL 2016
Where the Past Meets the Present
Yangon
Bagan
Bagan
Mandalay
Inle Lake
Yangon
Bangkok
Thessaloniki
Istanbul
Bangkok
He Ho
Nyaungshwe
Nga Phe Chaung Monastery
He Ho

Mandalay


3rd of May  
To the mythical Mandaley!!! 

Some more good byes and then with a short distance flight with Air KBZ, while enjoying the views of Bagan, we were transported to the 2nd largest city of Myanmar, to the mythical  Mandalay
We arrived, met our tour guide, Ms. Nan Sein Than and started our new adventure.

We would stay only day to this city and the really bad weather of the previous day had defined the places that we would be able to visit.

The fallen trees and the mud were making impossible our access to some of the sites that we were wishing to see.

So we would try to make the best out of the places that were accessible.

Mandalay is considered centre of the Burmese culture and the Buddhist teaching.
Within a little distance from Mandalay, situated are the three ancient capitals, Amarapura, Ava and Sagaing, and also the medieval city Mingun.   


Amarapura, the royal capital of Myanmar!!!

Our driver took us till Amarapura.

Amarapura - the royal capital of Myanmar, which was built in 1782 by the King Bodawpaya..

On the way, we stopped and bought mangos,

 


which are considered the best in the world.

We started our exploration to the city with a visit to the Mahagandayon monastery, the largest Buddhist monastery in the country, which can host more than 1000 monks. 



The monastery is kept alive by the donations of the worshippers.

Part of the country’s culture is that, every morning, the monks, with their bowls in their hands, even if there is no need, are asking for their food from Buddha’s worshippers, so as to give them the chance to do a good act.
And the truth is that many worshippers come to the monastery on their own will to bring supplies and food, which they serve themselves to the monks.

The tourists, on the other hand, come to Mahagandayon to see the thousands of monks queuing for their food. This is a very exotic picture and at the same time it is also a chance for someone to have a glimpse of their habits and their way of life. 
Thousands of monks are eating together during meal time, dressed up in deep purple plain clothes, seated on low benches. They have in front of them a deep plate and a bag with their humble gruel. 


Sagaing, the ancient capital of Burma!!!

Our next stop was Sagaing, , the ancient capital of Burma.

Sagaing, the important religious and monastic centre of Myanmar, situated 20 kilometers southwest of Mandalay , is the city where the young novices start their lives as monks.
The novices are hosted in about 600 monasteries.  
The holly hill of the city is decorated with bougainvillea trees, mango trees, palm trees and oleanders. Also, birds in baskets, which symbolize the souls, are waiting for the ones who will offer them their freedom by paying a symbolic amount of money.   

We visited the U Min ThoneSae Pagoda

 


We saw 45 Buddha statues seated in semi lunar array.

We continued with Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda, at the top of the hill, 



while enjoying the wonderful views. 

On the way back to Mandalay, we stopped at a beautiful and fresh restaurant, Sagaing Hill Restaurant where we had a nice meal. 
Eventually, we arrived at our hotel Sedona Hotel Mandalay for the necessary siesta, after having a short stop at the  Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, where young pilgrim girls were getting the chance to renew their make up with a little thanakha! 
 

 

The longest, wooden footbridge in the world!!!

And then time came for the nicest moment of the day. 
We would see U Bein bridge in Amarapura. 
It is a footbridge of 1200 meters made of teak wood trunks and has taken its name by the mayor U Bein.
It is practically a crossing that spans the Thaungtaman Lake.
The longest wooden footbridge in the world has benches and shelters all along and one may enjoy the route, while eating delicious pineapples sold and peeled continuously by peddlers that are to be found there.  

What impressed us most were the tops of the trees, which could barely be seen above the water that had covered the trunks.

We crossed it, of course, treasuring moments, pictures and smiles.
 

 

Dancing…

Eventually, we reached the opposite shore, where we heard music and we continued dancing, so as to see where it was coming from.

A beautiful family gathering was taking place. It was the day before a marriage and all the members of the family were participating to the preparations. Food was cooking into big casseroles, tables were being set and everybody, older and younger ones were genuinely happy.

All of them were in a great mood, except a little boy, who got upset and started crying as soon as he saw me…

We were invited to join them at the table which was being prepared for the feast…
 


We thanked them, of course, but the moments were too personal for us to be there, so we started the long trip back to the opposite shore of the lake.

We enjoyed one more magic sunset and
 


then returned to our hotel, where we had a gastronomic experience of many stars.  

Dinner at a buffet with all the local dishes… The absolute pleasure!!!

Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Date: 2016
Route: Myanmar (Burma)
Cities: Yangon, Bagan, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Yangon, Bangkok
Duration: 8
Difficulty:
Population: 54.704.285
Rating:
comments
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comments
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Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Date: 2016
Route: Myanmar (Burma)
Cities: Yangon, Bagan, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Yangon, Bangkok
Duration: 8
Difficulty:
Population: 54.704.285
Rating:
comments
VIEW
Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Date: 2016
Route: Myanmar (Burma)
Cities: Yangon, Bagan, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Yangon, Bangkok
Duration: 8 days
Difficulty:
Population: 54.704.285
Rating:
comments
VIEW