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Finding Mandalay



 I like Mandalay. The city does not revolve around tourists unlike Bagan or Inle so you get to experience how people are naturally like. I was lucky to have encountered such wonderful folks during my stay.






Highlights: The ancient cities tour around Mandalay is a must. There's so many interesting things to see in Mandalay. I really liked the street where they were carving all the Buddhist figures. The area by Sagaing hill has some nice residential architecture. It was interesting to walk around the zeigyo (marketplace). You need to dust off the surface a little to see the beauty of Mandalay.
Cast of Characters: Just me. It was ok to explore the city solo. There's motorbikes abound so getting around is easy.
Logistics/ Links: http://wikitravel.org/en/Mandalay
When: I went mid-February, 2012. It was pretty hot in Mandalay. And oh my god was it dusty!
Location: Mandalay, Myanmar
Cost: Myanmar cost me about $35 per day for everything.
Trip Report: I was waiting for the internet cafe next door to open. I asked a shopkeeper next door what time it opens. She doesn't speak English so we make do with charades. She offered me a seat & invited me to come hang out with them (she was with her mom). I took up their offer & tried to chat using all 5 Burmese words I know, lol. They were really nice. Her mom was sewing. I quickly thought of my bag that has been torn up for about 2 yrs now. I showed the damage & asked how much. The lady & her mom went back & forth on how to go about it. The mom asked me to empty my bag, she took it & quickly did the repairs. My mutilated bag was quickly made whole. I asked how much. They would not accept any payment. I thanked them over & over in Burmese. I was just soo amazed at their kindness. I brought them some fruits the next day. Ohh! They are soo nice!!! That's why I have a blog. I never want to forget moments like these.

This was what my breakfast looked like for the whole 17 days I was in Myanmar. I suppose its better than what they have in South America (just a sad little piece of bread, bleh)

I stayed at AD1 Hotel by the marketplace. It smelled like dried fish. Plenty of character though.

I did like my hotel location. Felt like I was implanted in the heart of the city.

The seamstress' cats

See this is why Myanmar is so awesome! You get scenes like this happening everyday. In the Philippines, you will only see these in cultural shows.

You need to visit the Buddhist carving street when you go there. It's a sight!

Local cyclo. Interesting form of transpo.

I don't know what these are

Marketplace scene

Monks hogging up all the computers

The royal palace which I did not visit

The city of Mandalay looks just like any other city in SE Asia. Pretty standard. About medium sized development. Reminds me a bit of Phnom Penh. It's Myanmar's biggest city I think. Yangon is not as developed as Mandalay.

Nuns

Local toys

Cultural show at Mandalay. As soon as I step out the hotel, I get transportation offers. I hired a motorbike to take me to a western restaurant that has wifi (the only 1 in the country I encountered) & then to this cultural show afterwards. It was nice.

I was having tea with the monks. They recommended I visit Mingun bell. They were describing the size of the thing. I say "Oh! Big-ASS bell!!" My monk friend corrects me and says "Biggest bell". Ooops!


Lunch with my new monk friends. I would not recommend eating local food unless your stomach is used to the local bacteria. You can prolly guess what happened afterwards...

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