We reached the city of Mandalay on our third day of our trip. We took the overnight bus from Yangon and arrived in Mandalay very early in the morning. Our beloved driver, Fatty Ko was waiting at the bus terminal to fetch us. It was a too early for us to check in at our hotel, so Fatty brought us to a nearby the Shwe Pyi Moe cafe to have local breakfast. As we arrived, my wife and I felt something wasn’t right. We felt extremely bloated and was feeling a little sick. After breakfast, Fatty drove us back to our hotel and he helped us to inform the hotel to let us check in earlier so that we could get some rest before our big day ahead. Fatty then brought us to a local pharmacy to get some medication. The shop was old and dodgy, but there were lots of people. The pharmacists couldn’t speak English, but they were extremely friendly and helpful. We took our medication back to the hotel and gotten some rest.
Mandalay was the old capital of Myanmar before the colonial period. It is now the 2nd largest city of Myanmar and also one of the most gorgeous of them all. Despite the topic of walking around, I would suggest hiring a car to drive you around the city as many of the sites aren’t reachable by foot. I had a list of photography spots to cover but due to my upset stomach, I had to cross out some places. Thankfully we had our driver that took great care of us. He drove us all around Mandalay whenever we wanted and even brought us to Amarapura, Mingun, Sagaing, Mount Popa then all the way to Bagan. On our first day in Mandalay, Fatty took us to the beautiful Mahamuni Buddha Temple. It is one of the important and sacred sites in Mandalay. The Mahamuni Buddha image worshipped in this temple is said to have been cast in the life-time of the Gautama Buddha. Upon entering the temple, there is a shopping arcade that strectches across the entrance pathway that leads to the Buddha. Here you can find lots of Buddhist items and images. The most recognisable part of this temple are the golden arches that stretches across the entire temple while the locals sit on the floors of the temple complex.
One of my favourite temples in Mandalay is the Shwenandaw Monastery. Once the original structure of the Royal Palace in Amarapura, then moved to Mandalay to be rebuilt into a manastery. The monastery is known for its teak carvings of Buddhist myths, which adorn its walls and roofs. The monastery is built in the traditional Burmese architectural style. It is the single remaining major original structure of the original Royal Palace today.
We also headed up to the Mandalay Hill. Located northeast of the city centre, this was where we could see the entire Mandalay City. It is also my favourite place to see the extremely enchanting sunrise. At the summit, there is a temple called the Sutaungpyei Pagoda. Here you can see a panoramic view of Mandalay City that stretches far into the horizon and also the city walls of the old Royal Palace. Sunset over the river and the western hills as seen from the terrace of the temple can be an awesome experience. However, there will be crowds of tourists that you will encounter that is also enjoying the sunset with you in the evening.
There’s so much to see in Mandalay and 3 days is just not enough at all. The temples, the culture, the people and the sceneries are all absolutely amazing here. If you plan to visit Mandalay the next round, try to spend longer days here so that you can fully enjoy it. Unforunately for us, due to our upset stomach, we didn’t get to fully enjoy the awesome cuisine that Mandalay has prepared for us. Below are some of the photos I took while I was here. It’s so difficult to short list the photos because this city is just too beautiful. I hope you enjoy the Mandalay set.