From Inle Lake, I made my way to Mandalay, Myanmar where I previously booked my departing flight. I felt I made a wise decision by extending my time at Inle as Mandalay turned out to be hectic and loud, in a different way than Yangon. It may be strange to say but over the next month or so of travels, I would find myself gauging places on how they feel energetically.
Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar. It was built by King Mingdon, in the late 1850s and was the last capital of the Myanmar kingdom before British rule.
In Mandalay, a cold started to surface [in me]. It was one of those that didn’t seem to be ‘full on’ externally but it was bubbling underneath.
As a result I debated whether I should stay in bed under the covers, I wasn’t ‘feeling’ this city anyway.
I decided, I wouldn’t let this hold me back and out the door I go!
I am really glad I did, not so much for the city and sights but for the people. I’ve said in my previous posts that the people in Myanmar are some of the friendliest I’ve come across and it was even more so in Mandalay.
As I began by walking around the moat of the Royal Palace, people were enjoying breaks in their day, eating lunch and spending time with each other.
It was crazy to see that they’d just park their motorbike on the road next to the gap between the sidewalks and make themselves comfortable with no thought given to the impacts of the other cars and traffic that would be inconvenienced by their parking.
I was astonished by the number of people who said hello, smiled, laughed, etc. as I walked passed. It was as if they knew I could use a little pick me up.
One of the road construction workers, an older gentleman, stopped me and chatted away. He was so excited to talk. The entire experience was just so pleasant.
I enjoyed seeing the ‘largest book in the world’ at Kuthodaw Pagoda. It has more than 700 marbled slabs inscribed on each side with Buddhists teachings.
Outside of Mandalay you can also see the world’s oldest teak bridge.
I had spent almost a month in Myanmar and still did not hit all my hot spots. It proved to be a beautiful and geographically diverse country with incredibly friendly people. It’s one of the few countries I’ve been where the traditional dress, in this case colorful longyi’s, is still prevalent across much of the population and generations. Oh, and it wasn’t so scary after all.
Although, in western eyes, the country may still not be considered ‘developed’, Myanmar has certainly have made great strides in the short time they have been open to the outside world for tourism. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have been a guest in this ever-changing country.
It’s now time to say so long to Myanmar and thank you for your hospitality; bhinebhine and cè-zù tin-ba-deh.
I would love to hear your Myanmar experiences and do let me know if there is anything you are curious about regarding Myanmar which I didn’t touch on.
Love & Light,
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Stay tuned for my next destination and see how ‘it’s funny how things go’.
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