My friend Bert and I visited Myanmar some months ago and our first stop was the northern city of Mandalay. From there we travelled to Bagan, Lake Inle and Yangon, the capital.
Welcome to Myanmar! While some may refer to it as Burma, the official name is The Republic of the Union of Myanmar.
We flew from Bangkok into Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar, situated on the Irrawaddy River in the north of the country. We took an Air Asia flight from Bangkok which included a free transfer from the airport to the city and checked into our hotel for a two night stay and it was hot, so very hot.
That evening saw us on the hotels roof enjoying a puppet show telling some of the country’s history by some yawnful looking puppeteers. Bert had organised a driver/tour guide for the next days activities, so we retreated early to our air conditioned room for the evening.
One of the first stops was the largest book in the world. The Tripitaka stone tablets at the Kuthodaw Pagoda features some 729 pages of scriptures.
Mahamuni Buddha Temple was an unexpected highlight. It was fascinating watching the ladies prepare the alms for the monks and the men laying golden leaf on the Buddha.
The U bein Bridge was to be my highlight of the tour, in fact I kept asking our driver when we would get there. Stretching 1.2 km long, the teakwood bridge is not only a walkway for the locals but a major tourist attraction. Walking across the 1000+ pillars felt safe although we didn’t trek he whole bridge.
After U Bein Bridge the driver dropped us at a restaurant where lunch was a rather curious affair. We were seated and the food just kept coming with no indication of what it was, I guess we were trying a little of everything. Some of it was lovely, some not so much. After lunch we were taken to another stop, but we were a little over the heat and touring so opted for our driver to take us to the airport where we were catching a flight to Nyuang U. While we both enjoyed the 24 hours in Mandalay, we felt we had seen most of the highlights and were glad to get out of the heat and onto our next destination and the temples of Bagan.