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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 > Mandalay City
Tags: SEA14  2014  Burma

Mandalay City



Mandalay was our first stop in Burma and we enjoyed our stay there very much; see our blog entry for some our first Burmese impressions.

When we arrived in Mandalay, our first visit was for the Zeigyo, or Central Market.
Street bustling with shoppers and passers-by outside the central market. Note the row of pick-ups on the left hand side waiting to take shoppers back to the suburbs and outlying villages at the end of the day. The old Shwekyimyint pagoda, built in 1167 AC, long before Mandalay even existed. Indeed, Mandalay is a fairly young city founded in 1857 as the new King Mindon decided to transfer his capital city from Amarapura to here. Shopkeepers sorting their new delivery of fresh fruits in the morning. Negotiating a taxi ride back home. Mechanic working on the street. The much revered Buddha statue inside the Mahamuni pagoda. Legend has it, that this statue is one of only five Buddha statues made after the real living Buddha... It was brought to the temple in 1784 as spoils of war from the Rakhine kingdom, on the west coast of Burma. Only men are allowed to come near it and adorn it with gold leaves as shown on this picture. Women can only watch from a distance. The statue has a height of 3.80 meters and is made of bronze. The gold cover is estimated to weight several hundred kilos and is said to be more as 25 cm thick on the arm (35 cm over the breast). The main stupa of the Mahamuni pagoda. Mahamuni pagoda: after the war with the kingdom of Rakhine in 1784, around 30 Khmer statues (now 800 years old) were also brought to the temple as spoils of war. Most of them were melted and transformed into cannons, only leaving three lions and two guardians for posterity. The picture here is one of the three remaining lion statues. Mahamuni pagoda: statue of the Khmer guardians, brought as loot from Rakhine with the Buddha statue. Those guardians are said to possess magic powers and cure the faithful when they rub the part of the statue corresponding to their ailment. The man on the left suffered obviously from headache. Vero is rubbing the guardian's knee in the hope it will work for her Mother, who is prone to falling and hurting her knees (small family joke...) Procession in the Mahamuni pagoda. Shwe In Bin monastery, built with teak wood in 1895 by two Chinese Jade traders. Sculpted roof of the Shwe In Bin monastery. Fine wooden carving of the Shwe In Bin monastery. Graceful Buddha within the Shwe In Bin monastery. The Tingza Kyaung monastery had a rural feel. Unfortunately, we could not go inside. Detail of a wood carving on a door of the Tingza Kyaung monastery. Eindawya pagoda: built in 1847 by King Pagan Min at the place where he used to live before becoming king. Man having a "shower" at the foot of Mandalay Hill. View of the Sandamani pagoda from the top of Mandalay Hill. The main pagoda is surrounded by a "forest" of small white painted pagodas containing 1774 marmor plates inscribed with Buddhist scriptures. View of the Royal Palace enclosure and its moat from the top of Mandalay Hill. Unfortunately, the skies were too hazy for clear views. View of the Two Snakes pagoda on top of Mandalay Hill from the Sandamani pagoda. Detail of one of the marmor plates inscribed with texts from the Tipitaka (authoritative scriptures for Theravada Buddhists) in the Sandamani pagoda. The Shwenandaw monastery is the most significant of Mandalay's historic buildings, since this 'Golden Palace monastery' remains the sole major survivor of the former wooden Royal Palace built by King Mindon in the mid-nineteenth century. Originally part of the royal palace at Amarapura, it was moved to Mandalay, and became the northern section of the Glass Palace and part of the king's royal apartments. King Mindon died in this structure in 1878, and his son and successor, King Thibaw (reigned 1878-1885), often went there to meditate. He soon became convinced, however, that Mindon's spirit was haunting the building, and on October 1878 he ordered it dismantled and removed from the Royal City. Over the next five years it was reconstructed as a monastery and dedicated as a work of merit to the memory of King Mindon. The Shwenandaw monastery is completely built with teak and boasts incredible wood carvings. It turned out to be the most beautiful building we saw in Mandalay. Shwenandaw monastery - detail of an outside wood panel. Shwenandaw monastery - small carving of a Nat (or spirit). The most important Nats form a group called the “thirty-seven,” made up of spirits of human beings who have died violent deaths. They are capable of protecting the believer when kept properly propitiated and of causing harm when offended or ignored. (Source: <a target="_blank"  href="https://www.britannica.com/topic/nat">Encyclopedia Britannica</a>) Buddha statue inside the Shwenandaw monastery. Imagine the magnificence of the place, when all gems were still incrusted around the base of the statue, with the golden frames around it and the panels behind adorned with glass mosaics. Shwenandaw monastery: western hall inside the monastery. The columns and the walls were once covered with gold or incrusted with glass mosaics, hence the name Golden Palace. Shwenandaw monastery: detail of the wooden roof. Street scene in the morning. Front of a fashion shop in Mandalay. Buddhas in the making… Ice cream seller near the Zeigyo market. The Sacred Heart cathedral in Mandalay. This is a fairly new building as the old cathedral got destroyed by bombs during World War II. Burma surprised us with excellent and very cheap food. We always get our food from street stalls such as this one (although we tend to avoid meat).

Go back to Prasat Preah Vihear or go on to Around Mandalay or go up to Photos

$updated from: Photos.htxt Mon 03 May 2021 16:08:30 trvl2 (By Vero and Thomas Lauer)$