Trip to Mandalay

I have not really travelled domestically within Myanmar for more than a decade. So, I decided to travel to Mandalay, a historic and royal place of Myanmar.

I took a bus from Yangon on 11th September, 2014 at 9pm (local time). The bus was chilly and comfortable. But I knew it was going to be a long ride. In fact, the trip was about 8 hours long. So, I took the opportunity to recover whichever sleep that I had lost in the past few days. On top of that, it was a night ride and the road to Mandalay is just one straight road. Therefore, I knew the trip was going to be boring with nothing to look around. We had two stops. Had a quick supper and it was pretty good. I was amazed by how Feel had managed to pull of a 24/7 high way restaurant with good food and decent service quality in the middle of nowhere but dust and wind.

I reached to Mandalay around 6am on 12th September, 2014. The first thing that I noticed after stepping out of the bus was the sheer amount of motorcycles which are acting as taxis. The drivers were just lurking around the bus and trying their bus to secure a customer which would pay them approximately around 2000ks - 5000ks. On my scale, that was the most expensive taxi ride that I have taken in my life for what seemed to me like a 5 minutes drive. Felt like I was ripped off but I was new to the city. So, I managed. On a bright side, the driver was rather chatty and informative. I guess, those praises about people in Upper Myanmar being very hospitable is not a hoax after all.

I checked-in and took a relatively quick nap. I had a friend, Wai Yan Kyaw Oo, pick me up from my hotel and we had a quick lunch at Aung Family Restaurant. The food was fantastic. But what’s more striking was the fact that they family had outgrown from their small little storefront into a four storey building with roof top. It was certainly inspiring.

The next stop was U Bain Bridge. Such a shame that it was rather cloudy during that time. But I managed to take a few photos.

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Here’s something a little extra for you. Awesome crab snackers.
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Spent about 30 minutes and could not really walk until the end of the bridge. So, I took off and headed to the glorious Mandalay Palace. The architecture was amazing but I wished the governing people of Mandalay had left the original architecture intact. Here are some more shots that I had taken.
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One thing that disturbed me was how the whole palace is covered in dust. And it was embarrassing since the palace is one of the renowned tourist attraction. I wonder where all the taxpayers’ money go to. Oh well.

Afterwards, I went to a few temples as well as the famous Mandalay Hill. The view was phenomenal. I would highly recommend everyone to pay a visit. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to take any more photos. So, I took off and headed back to my hotel.

The next day was just filled with walking around the malls and watching movies. But the highlight of the day would be Daung Lan Gyi. They only had started operating in early-2014 and they have already gathered the hearts of locals and tourists. Almost everyone that I had spoken with, knew where Daung Lan Gyi is. So, it made sense for me find my way there. And boy, it did not disappoint me. Here’s a look at what approximately US$12 could get you.
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The food was good. The service was top notch. Perhaps, if the dishes were a little less oily, it would have been perfect.

Here are some more photos from streets of Mandalay.
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Oh, and yes, I believe the competition would be very stiff between MPT, Ooredoo and Telenor. A lot of marketing efforts from the two foreign telcos. But I believe MPT would also start to move aggressively. Well, I hope they do so. Here’s a random Telenor shop and the thing is, Telenor has not even launched officially, yet.
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That’s all and now I’m sipping orange juice in Nay Pyi Daw; stranded in my hotel room. Perhaps, I’ll write about my trip in Nay Pyi Daw as well if I have time.

 
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