We bumped down at the airport.
Several airlines serve Mandalay throughout the day we came in the late afternoon and on schedule, the Yangon Air twin engine propeller aircraft did a good job. The door opened and the heat swept in, its a different heat as the southern version we just came from, when visiting Myanmar Mandalay should be on the agenda.
Where is Mandalay ? It is located 650 kilometers north of Yangon. The second largest city in the country can be reached by flight, rail, road or river. Flying is the best option, by train or car takes about 14 hours while by boat up the Irrawaddy river takes at least a week.
Rudyard Kipling’s “The Road to Mandalay,” made the name of the last capital of Myanmar kings familiar even to those who had never heard of the country before.
A look around showed the horizon ringed by low hills, we climbed down from the airplane and the bus moved us immediately into the arrival building. The problem was as information tells it is almost everywhere the electricity brakes down frequently and at monsoon torrential
rain often set everything under water.
Outside the airport building some rotten taxis waited for passengers, it looked like the paint and some wires were the only things keeping them together. Coming in through the suburbs from the south, miserable huts made from wood, palm leaves and plastic sheets where everywhere along the road.
We passed some small pagodas and checked into a down town hotel. There are plenty of them, the best is just in front of the rebuilt palace, it’s the Sedona Hotel from where the picture below was made.
Many other, much cheaper are around, usually run by Chinese owners with all comfort including satellite TV, restaurant, bathroom with bathtub etc. rooms there are up to around $ 80,-. This smaller hotels are a good deal.
The city is on a very flat plain, the right environment for bicycle and small motorbike, they are moving and parked everywhere now in the evening their owners were sitting in tea shops, talking away the time. Some thickly-bearded locals of Indian origin are around, their families came in during English colonial times.
Mandalay is originally the last capital ruled by Burmese Kings
|Mahamuni temple and pagoda|
|Palace and Hill|
During colonial times the English escaped to Maymyo, today Pin Oo Lwin , a hour drive to the east in the Shan hills, they even built a railway to this place.