Friday, February 20, 2015

Asia Trip - Day 10 - Mandalay, Burma

Wed 18
Boat ride to Mingun • Explore Mandalay
This morning after breakfast, we board a boat for a ride upriver to the village of Mingun. Here, we get a glimpse of the local culture and stop to see one of the world's largest ringing bells, still un-cracked and weighing in at 90 tons. Bells are a common feature used in many of Burma's religious rituals. It is said that people ring this bell after performing a good deed so they can share with others the merit they earned. Burmese Buddhists consider it one of the world's sweetest sounds.
Following lunch, we'll visit the longest wooden bridge in Burma. The U Bein footbridge stretches almost three-quarters of a mile over the shallow Thaung Thaman Lake. It is constructed of teak planks and has withstood the elements for more than two centuries.
We return to our hotel, and dinner is on your own again this evening.

Leaving the hotel to the sound of some nice local music. The bus is waiting.

First stop: the Jade street. Unfortunately it's being worked on but this is were jade is being sold and bought. Wholesale really. It's starts at 4 in the morning and was almost finished. Conditions are best then for buyers to use a flashlight to examine the rocks to determine the value.

Some had incredible prices on them.

Back to the bigger street to walk to where the bus is.

A funeral car. Fancy.

At the river a chartered boat is waiting for us.

A bit treacherous.

I like the "human railing" though. Two boys are holding a long bamboo stick.

It was a lovely ride. Almost there. We can see the unfinished stupa.

There is even a very happy room downstairs. Coming back from it.


Again, vendors everywhere. But they are all very nice.

Several like these. Guessing what they could be.

An earthquake did some damage. One could climb up on it but OAT advises strongly against it. Not stable enough. None of us want to anyway. Not much view.

We stop. This is a memorial to a monk who could memorize the whole Buddhist text (including page and line numbers).

The world's largest uncracked bell.

See what this is?

Almost back at the boat we think it looks like an elephant from the back.

Janie is very proud of her purchase. A water-bottle carrier.

It got re-purposed though.

We have a disguiser too. James is on his way to find the libation.

Back on the boat. Just lovely. And lots to see.

Lunch. It's Chinese this time. Duck!

The restaurant is located at the moat of the city wall.

Yes, duck!

And now the world's largest wooden bridge. Teak to be exact. Everybody is waiting for the sun to go down.

It's a bit of a rickety rackety bridge but it held up while we were there.

Boats are lined up for the view.

Sonyeon looks over the fields where are some farmers are still working hard. It is dry season right now. He bets it's all flooded when the monsoons are coming.

Looking to the other side you can see (besides tourists) fishermen. That must be hard work too.

Sonyeon wants to see what is under the bridge and peeks through the cracks.

It's hazy again today and the sun loses her color towards the end.

Not hungry. So we just have snacks in the Kipling's Bar again. And something for the thirst.

Got to pack! Our pre-trip ends.


  1. What a lovely way to end the day! Sorry you all missed Ash Wednesday at St. M's. I ended up going twice - 10am and 7pm. Went by myself in the morning and then joined Mike in the evening. Beautiful services and a great sermon from Fr. Lee.

  2. I keep noting words like "steep" and "treacherous" in describing walkways, paths, etc. I cannot help wondering how James' ankle is holding up through all this!