Photos: Myanmar: Mandalay and Surrounds - Day Two
Our first stop today is Mingun. We are going by boat up the Ayeyarwady River to Mingun, but first we have to get onto the boats, so you have to walk the plank…some had two planks together whilst other just one plank, always an adventure when you are going on these trips and you never know what they hold in store for you
We only had to walk one plank going but coming back to get back to land we had to walk across five boats and five planks, each boat a different height and each plank a little different, some had a long bamboo pole held by two people so we had something to hold onto, but sometimes not…the poles were also used to push the boats off the shore.
We are always impressed at the way of life along the rivers of the countries we visit.
You see everything from boats laden down with huge barrels to farmers tending to their land and women doing their laundry. It was a nice leisurely trip up the river.
This was our first look at the Mingun Temple and the Hsinphynmae Pagoda.
The temple was built by King Bodawpaya who was told that should he complete the temple he or his country would die. He slowed down the building but died before it was completed and the temple was abandoned. It would have been the largest temple in the world if completed standing 150 meters. The base that was completed rises to 50 meters. He also created a giant bell to go with the temple.
3 major earthquakes have taken their toll on the temple, you can see large cracks in the structure. Until 2013, you could climb to the top but now that has been disallowed due to safety issues.
This crack is very big, you wonder when the building will split in two.
Lots of very talented artists in the town, they had water colours, oils, acrylics and most of them were very well done.
Always the souvenir shops.
This is the home of the Mingun Bell
Looks like a crazy Canuck under the bell.
The bell doesn’t have a ringer you can only ring it from the outside, you have to use a heavy stick and hit the bell three times. This was our guide, he spoke excellent English and studied the history of his land so he was a plus 10 for us.
There are always games being played, this game did not seem to attract a lot of attention, whereas in China, there were crowds around the games being played.
A most impressive pagoda, Hsinphynmae, we never did get the pronunciation.
These two handsome fellows would take you around the village and out into the countryside- very passive beasts.
The ladies are down at the river’s edge chatting and doing their laundry as well as a little personal wash.
Back to the boat and then lunch.
We are going to try for a sunset atop Mandalay Hill. Very nice temple, this seems to be a popular spot for tourists.
We are off tomorrow to see Bagan; rather than flying, we decided it might be nice to see the countryside. It is a relatively short bus trip of about 5-6 hours. Very comfortable air-conditioned coach….but most of the trip was over a single-lane, narrow, but hard-surface, roadway through rural farmland and villages…having to often pull to the side to meet ox carts or the occasional vehicle of every size and type.