Saturday, June 2, 2012

Myanmar / Thailand Trip Recap (6)

Day 7 - Mandalay

We rode a boat to the town of Mingun after a delicious buffet style breakfast at the hotel.  The main attractions here are the Mingun temple, Mingun Bell, and the Hsinbyume pagoda  (yes - more temples!)  Our guide also took us to visit a local elderly home.  It's funded straightly on donations and it's completely free to the tenants.  Even though it might be a scam, we still left a donation.  (Let karma take care of the rest.)

mohinga for breakfast
fishermen's life
Mingun Temple
View from Mingun Temple
Happy faces

Mingun bell

Hsinbynme Pagoda

An elderly home our guide took us to.

Mingun is a pretty small town so you can either sight see on foot or ride the cattle cart.  Out of curiosity, we tried out the cattle cart on our way back to the jetty.  It's not as comfy as the horse cart but it's definitely an experience as we saw the cow urinated and pooped along the way...  (You may say "ewww~" but that poor cow doesn't have another choice, right?)

cattle taxi

After taking the boat back to Mandalay, we opted for a light (?) lunch.  Our guide must really knows his tea and coffee, the place he took us made the best milk tea we tried this trip!  (it must be a job requirement :P)

photogenic guy
In the afternoon, we visited the Shwenandaw Monastery, market, and the Mahamuni temple.

Shwenandaw Monastery
Artisan wood crafting on the door
Mandalay market
Advanced napping
How the statue evolved over the years
Music for Buddha
And thus, this is how I visited 2 of the 3 most revered pilgrimage sites (Shwedagon, Mahamuni, Kyaiktiyo) in Myanmar and a very rare opportunity to pay my respects to the Buddha top bone relic when it made its round to Macau last month (May 2012).  Maybe I should just pay a visit to Kyaiktiyo next time I visit Myanmar... just saying!

The last stop of the day is sunset on Sagaing hill.  On the way we saw a herd of cattle and their cowboy.  View from the hill is magical and time seems frozen for a moment.  Maybe Myanmar cannot be considered a modern country in most aspects, but to be able to enjoy a slower pace of life and scenery as such is a blessing that most modern countries could not.

Very few Burmese eat beef.  Cows are mainly used as cattle.
Cattle and their cowboy
Timber for export
Irrawaddy bridge
boys will be boys
Reminds me of Sule Pagoda in Yangon
Can you see the "heart" in the sky?
gorgeous sunset 
the plain is dotted with temples


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