Mandalay Things to Do
U BEIN BRIDGE
The simple U Bein Bridge has gone from being a simple transport structure for local people and turned into the best open-air photography studio in Burma. When I say simple, it really is just a long series of teak poles with planks in between. Its scale is amazing though. It is 1200 meters (.75 miles) across and has over 1000 large teak posts planted into the ground and Taungthaman Lake. It is reportedly the longest such teak structure in the world. The best, and busiest time, is at sunset. Any taxi will drop you off at the western side and you can walk across and back and snap away. The bridge is used for local people and monks to get back and forth. The eastern side is a quiet residential area. Along the sometimes precarious rout are wide, covered, rest points.
The western side does have (polite) souvenir sellers should you wish to buy. There are always police posted here so there is absolutely no hassle across and around the bridge area. On the far side is a simple restaurant.
This is a wonderful place to see monks, local women with traditional make-up, fisherman and workmen travelling home at the end of the day. The star of the show is the sunset over the bridge, but get here much earlier if you want some great people photos. Tourists with cameras are a part of life at this location and everyone is happy to let you take a photo. If you ask or smile, you will get smiles back every time.
The bridge was started in 1849 and took 2 years to fully erect. At the time is served the Capital of Burma, Amarapura. It was overtaken as the capital of Burma by Mandalay in 1859. Today Amarapura is a township of Mandalay and lies just 11 kms (6.8 miles) from central Mandalay.
During the dry season there is virtually no water under the bridge, but it is always worth the visit.
Taxis will try and charge you an amazing amount of money to come here. A motorcycle taxi will give you change from $5 and a taxi can be haggled down to about that or just a little more.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
The Royal Palace
The palace is the home of ancient Myanmar dynasty and the last king Minton's residence. It is emptied by British colonist.
Now it is occupied by minitaries, completely empty.Related to:
- Family Travel
Mahamuni Buddha Temple-Mandalay
The Mahamuni Pagoda is an extremely interesting complex to visit when in Mandalay. It is only 3km south of the city centre so very easy to get to. The Mahamuni Pagoda is open daily from 6am-8pm, and entrance fee is US$4 for foreigners not accompanied by a tour package, although I cannot recall having to pay it.
It is the holiest pilgrimage site in Mandalay and the second holiest in Myanmar after the Golden Rock. The Mahamuni Pagoda was built in 1784. The principal image within the pagoda is the Mahamuni Buddha said to have been made during the life of Guatama Buddha when he was in the northern Rakhine region of current Myanmar. It is the object of intense devotion to pilgrims from all over the country. The image was brought to Mandalay in 1784 and placed within a specially built Pagoda.
The statue is erected on a 1.84 meters (6.0 ft) high pedestal and reaches a height of 3.8 meters. Countless thousands of devotees, only men are allowed, apply layers of gold leaf on the image; so much so that the image has been completely covered with a very thick layer of gold and its original shape is now distorted.
In a courtyard of the Pagoda are six Khmer bronze statues – three lions, a three-headed elephant and two warriors – that originally stood as guardians of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat temple.
While we were there a monk approached us and escorted us around until at one quite corner he asked for $40 to buy the golden book. Locals seemed to know he was a fake but did not know how to tell us. We thanked him for the tour and gave him a smaller donation for his time.
Smal river restaurant: A surprise in AVA
Restaurant right at the bank of AVA city and the dock, wonderful location, nice ambient and good food with reasonable pricing. Nothing to complain, $10 per person.Related to:
- Family Travel
Green elephant: Classic for foreigners
Very nice ambiance, Thai and Chinese food however so so. Price is about $15 per person on avg.
The restaurant is recommended to almost every foreigners visiting Mandalay, good to go if you are looking for an escape from Mandalay's rudimentary environment, but not worth the money if you are looking for a food experience.Related to:
- Family Travel
0 Hotels in Mandalay
Moustache Brothers: sarcasm in dictatorship
Spend a nice evening in Mandalay by watching the Moustache brother describing their life, their country and ....
Dress Code: KoolRelated to:
- Budget Travel
Hire a TAXI
Public transportation is nearly none existence in Mandalay, for tourist better hire a TAXI for a day to cover all the attractions, cost $35 a day.
If go to AVA and the other 2 nearby ancient cities, the fare is $40 a day.Related to:
- Family Travel
When in Mandalay, go to see...
Favorite thing: When in Mandalay, go to see the Moustache Brothers traditional dance show. Lu Maw is the only free Moustache Brother at the moment. His brother's are in jail for embarassing the government (you know, jokes like 'we used to call it theft, but now it's called cooperative development'). The shows are great, only 3000kyat for as many as turn up on any night. Trishaw drivers can find Lu Maw's house-just ask a few. The whole extended family-wife, sister-in-law, sister-perform for you in a small room at the back of the house, with a squeaky tape recorder on low volume, and powered by an array of car batteries, whilst Lu Maw scuttles round ones feet, spraying insect repellent, and giving commentary.
Fondest memory: The sun glinting off gilded pagoda spires, the foot rowing fisherman, silouetted against the mountains surrounding Inle Lake, the shadows lenthening across the plain of Bagan as the sun sets, and most of all the most genuinely frienly and generous people possible