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Mandalay with great expectations…but…

27 March 2020

Leaving Bagan

Experiencing the beautiful site of Bagan was great and definitely unforgettable but leaving it was not so painful. Exploring the huge area with an electric scooter was beautiful and eco-friendly but really bad for our health. Dust and sand are everywhere, even on the big roads in the center and our lungs were begging us to change. So we left to go to Mandalay with great expectations without knowing what there would have happened next!

Road to Mandalay

Mindful about the bus trip Yangon-Bagan I had great expectations also about the trip to Mandalay considering also that we booked through the hotel. Ok, the same hotel that didn’t respond to our emails for more than three weeks. The one with the empty reception all the time, but a really nice one! Pick-up/ trip / drop-off, big deal for 5,5€, well..never again!

Picked-up with an open van we went through all Bagan riding to the real “bus”. We were entirely covered of dust and our bags as well, then the real trip was long and uncomfortable. About 110km in 5,5 hours jumping on an entirely bumpy road.

Dropped-off we took an open van with the driver getting lost multiple times in the crazy traffic and pollution that we breathed entirely. So remember, never trust hotel concierges in Myanmar (other story in the next post) and book directly at the bus station or a certified website like JJExpress or Mandalar Minn Express.

Mandatory tourist days

Once at our hotel we had a really hard time at the reception. First of all because the staff knows just some english words and furthermore due to the hundreds chinese around. Screaming all the time, sneezing, coughing (without any hand in front of their mouth) and spitting (outside) everywhere. So yes if I’m still alive after this trip I’m probably an highlander and #coronavirus is scared of getting close to me.

Imperial Palace

The day after we started to explore the city with a friend that we met during the trip. We arrived in Mandalay with great expectations but they collapsed because the city didn’t unveil amazing like we were expecting. We obviously visited the Imperial Palace, a huge site that offered some nice views, the Khutodaw Pagoda, the Sanda Muni Pagoda. But as I anticipated, after the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon the others are just pagodas.

Mandalay with great expectations, Imperial Palace
all pictures by Riccarrdo Tosetto Ph
Mandalay with great expectations, Imperial Palace

Then we went to the Atumashi Kyaung Taik Shwe Kyaung or Incomparable Monastery and the Shwenandaw Monastery. All nice buildings but noting that my heart will remember forever for the emotions they gave me.

Shwenandaw Monastery in Mandalay, Burma
Shwenandaw Monastery in Mandalay, Burma

Since we were pretty lazy and disappointed we went at the hotel to be even lazier and save the Mandalay Hill for the second and last day there. We spent part of the second day looking for the office of 12Go Asia because we booked to train tickets to Hsipaw that we were supposed to receive at the hotel. We never found any office and the tickets arrived at the hotel at 8pm and we should have leave at 4am, so we changed plans in the morning, so stay away from 12Go Asia too.

Mandalay Hill

In the afternoon, also remembering about temperatures and light, we went with a tuc tuc to the Mandalay Hill and it was actually the best moment especially to enjoy the sunset view.

Mandalay with great expectations, Mandalay Hill
Mandalay Hill, Burma
Mandalay Hill, Burma
Mandalay with great expectations, Mandalay Hill

The day after we started our long journey to Inle Lake making the third mistake of our trip!


#mandalay#myanmar #asia #trip #asiantrip #southeastasia #eosr #canonphotography #urbanphotography #landscapes #travelordie #explore#wonderlust



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