Mandalay Journals

Mystical Mandalay

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An April 2010 trip to Mandalay by nmagann

Hsinbyume Paya Photo, Mandalay, Myanmar More Photos
Quote: Mythical, mystical, magical Mandalay is what I found searching the outer perimeters where history religion seemed to collide creating a unique cosmos. Kings from different countries all wanted a piece and if they wasn't enough, the capital was repeated moved and structures added leaving the King's mark in the future.


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Attraction | "Incredible Sunsets and a Side of Entertainment"

Amapura Seafoam Shire Photo, Mandalay, Myanmar
Amapura's claim to fame is the U-bein Bridge which spans a mile across the sometimes nearly dry Taung Tharman Lake. This teak foot-bridge has stood the test of time for some 200 years and is the longest in the world. About six or so wide spots offer much needed shade and benches along the way. They offer great photo opportunities even if you have to nudge your way between the vendors who seem to take them over during even the slightest occasion including the water festival. On the other hand a bottle of water if you haven’t brought enough can really be appreciated.Sunsets views from the middle of the bridge are widely touted and most tours will ensure you arrive at Amapura just before....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2010


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Attraction | "Inwa, by any Other Name, Ava"

Bagaya Monastery Collection Box Photo, Mandalay, Myanmar
Inwa is cut off from roads so your driver will stop at the end of a dirt road to let you off. From here a dollar ferry will take you on a one-minute boat ride across the very short distance of shallow water. Horse drawn carriages that charge $4 for the hour long ride to see the three main sites, are the only option offered.Our first stop wasn’t even worth the guide telling us anything. I believe it was more of a warm-up for things to come. We stopped very briefly at a handful of seriously decaying statues which had everyone turning face and returning to the carriage. But there was a structure just to the side that appeared to be strictly walls with overgrown grass inside not worth loo...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on July 10, 2010

Saiging Hill

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Attraction | "Cerainly Great, Saiging Hill"

Saiging Hill Panorama Photo, Mandalay, Myanmar
Saiging Hill is a surreal place. Just the other side of the Inwa Bridge, is a hill surrounded by several smaller ones. From a distance you could see there was a temple right on top of it as well as the smaller ones. As we got closer I could see crooked paths with uneven sheets of tin covering them dripped down from each of the hills connecting each other and finally to the pinnacle.Dropped of at the entrance, I took off my shoes and carrying them with me, I headed up the covered zip-zag steps. along the way, a monk stopped to tell me it was 490 steps to the top. I paused at several platforms to take in the increasing panoramic vistas of Ayerarwaddy River and the Inwa bridge we had com...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 13, 2010


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Attraction | "Mingun Paya Towering Above it All"

Mingun Pagoda Photo, Mandalay, Myanmar
Mingun is reached by a government ferry that departs at 9:00am and returns at 2:00pm every day and costs a mere $3 round trip. The trip takes and hour each way and will run with as little as 4 people. Reservations are not necessary. The five passengers that went were given wicker chairs placed on the top deck under a tarp that provided much needed shade, but also the cool breeze off the water.The breeze was very refreshing and the views offered an insight into the life styles of those along the river. Simple wooden homes and row boats dotted the shoreline. People washed their clothes and cooking utensils in the water and well as bathed, fully clothed in longyis. In the foreground, an...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on June 5, 2010

INTENTIONAL FLOODING! Photo, Mandalay, Myanmar
Thingyan or Spring Festival is the largest and most important holiday in Myanmar. It occurs in April and last for about 4 days depending on what a seer/monk tells the government. It is the only holiday the entire government really recognizes and closes for during the entire week. It is a religious festival designed to precede the New Year.Traditionally it was held during the driest time of the year when the king of nats or spirits, Thingyan judged the people's deeds. His departure marked the beginning of the New Year. Needless to say if you hadn't been very good, the new year wouldn't be very fruitful.Although scheduled to begin on a Tuesday, I received my first taste of t...Read More

ET Hotel

Hotel | "Mixed Reviews"

E.T Guesthouse on the corner of 83rd and 25th is located near other guest houses. Hence, you'll find eateries where English is spoken and menus have English written on them. You'll also find a little bit of it spoken at the markets and by the street vendors.However, the hotel is right next to monastery that makes great use of megaphones to blast spiritual meditation in the early morning and late at night. I did go over to check it out as it isn't on any of the maps and it was one of the better ones to see.The room was basic with 2 twin beds, a night stand and clothes rack. The floors were tiled and the bathroom was basically clean. Unfortunately, the towel felt like sandpa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on June 4, 2010

ET Hotel
No. 129, 83rd Street
Mandalay, Myanmar
+95 (2) 65006