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SEA 2014

South East Asia again!

We were there for 2 months, with Burma and Cambodia as our main destinations.

This was our first time in Burma where we spent 4 weeks and of course, being so near to Cambodia, we could not resist a visit to Angkor.

Read on to learn what we saw and experienced!

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Path: Photos > Around Mandalay
Tags: SEA14  2014  Burma

Around Mandalay

 

(vero;2016-June-21)

We used Mandalay as a base to visit Amarapura, Sagaing and Mingun, all former capitals of the Burmese kings. Because we used public transport and did not want to be rushed, we dedicated one day to each site, which gave us plenty of time to discover a bit more beyond the usual sights. However, if you're pressed for time, it is quite feasible to visit Amarapura and Sagaing in one day, even with pick-up.

Amarapura, Mahagandhayon monastery: one of the biggest monasteries in Myanmar. Everyday at 10.30 am, hundreds of monks line up silently to access the refectories and get their daily lunch (their last meal for the day). This is now a highly touristy affair with loads of tourists coming in time to take shots of the procession and the proceedings, outside and inside the refectories. One feels a bit ashamed of intruding in such a way into their life and privacy, but the monks seem to have grown used to the hustle-bustle and know how to keep an air of devotion and dignity while queuing in the lime light.Amarapura, Taungthaman Lake: this is the lake which can be crossed by walking on the famous U Bein teak foot bridge.Amarapura: two happy Burmese girls on U Bein bridge. Note the wooden pavilions erected at intervals along the bridge which provide benches and shadow for welcome breaks during the 1.2 km crossing.Amarapura: mural in the Kyauktawgyi pagoda on the other side of the lake.A frequent sight in Burma: water jars with cups or glasses to refresh and quench the thirst of passers-by. This picture has been taken in the village of Taungthaman, but you can find many of those outside shops, along streets, in temples.Amarapura: this young boy was arranging his ice-cream cones to tempt passers-by along the U Bein bridge. He had come pushing his bicycle and set up shop in one of the resting pavilions of the bridge.The U Bein bridge. Built between 1849 and 1851, with a length of 1.2 kms, its carries the name of the then mayor of Amarapura. It is supported by 1060 teak trunks which were originally gold-plated. Some have now been replaced by beton pillars.Amarapura: threads of silk hanging in the sun.Amarapura: the village is bustling with silk weaving workshops and factories. The noise in this small factory was deafening, they were weaving some longhis with the traditional chequered pattern, as seen on the picture.Amarapura: we had a long rest at the Pahtodawgyi pagoda which was in the midst of repairs and quite lively. This man was busy painting metal bells with gold colour. Those bells were to be fixed on the terrace of the stupa, so that they would tinkle in the wind and carry prayers through the air.In the pick-up, on the way to Sagaing.Group of Burmese tourists in Sagaing.Sagaing: the Sun U Ponnya Shin pagoda.Sagaing: view from the Sun U Ponnya pagoda on the surrounding pagodas scattered among the hills and linked by covered passage ways to protect devotees and visitors from sun or rain.Sagaing, Umin Thounzeh pagoda: 45 gilded Buddha statues lined up in a colonnade decorated with sparkling glasswork.A serene Buddha in one of Sagaing's numerous pagodas.Sagaing: a nat in candy colours.A buddhist nun, met in a street of Sagaing.Sagaing: two fierceful lions guarding the access to the Aungmyelawka pagoda.Sagaing: close up of the head of a lion at the base of a stupa.Waiting for our departure to Mingun, we had plenty of time to observe the boats moored along the Ayeyarwady River in Mandalay.Mingun: flight of stairs leading up to the Settawya pagoda.The Mantara Gyi pagoda in Mingun, started in 1790 by King Bodawpaya was meant, with its planned 152m height, to be the mightiest pagoda of its time in the buddhist world. However, work stopped after the death of the king, while only the basis of the pagoda had been erected. Subsequent earthquakes took their toll on the building, but one can still imagine how impressive the pagoda would have been.Mingun: rest of a pavilion shattered by earthquake.The Hsinbyume pagoda in Mingun. The seven wavelike terraces at the bottom are symbolising the seven seas surrounding Mount Meru (the stupa) in the buddhist cosmography.Mingun: this bronze bell is said to be the biggest intact bell in the world. It weighs 90 tons, has a height of 3.70m, a diameter of 5m and a circumference of 15m. People love to go inside the bell and listen to the muffled sound made by their friends hitting the bell with wooden sticks.Mingun: remains of giant stone elephants near the river, probably originally adorning an access ramp to the place and built to fit the scale of the planned Mantara Gyi pagoda.

Go back to Mandalay City or go on to Temples of Bagan or go up to Photos


$updated from: Photos.htxt Fri 15 May 2020 14:57:27 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$