Today was the day to explore some major places in Mandalay.
This city sounds like very ancient, but it’s not. It was constructed in 19th century and was heavily damaged in World War ||. The original idea was to construct the city as very big mandala, which is sacred buddhist sign. Now it’s little bit tricky to spot.
The new part of town is made of dozens streets, which are crossed with dozens of avenues. All of them got numbers as their names. My adress is like crossing 32th-81st. Amd this is mostly urban, grey, dirty and uninteresting area.
Most of the sights are around former Palace, which is heart of former mandala. Though citi’s main attraction, it’s nothing more, but reconstruction with the old costumes, armour and some exibits inside. Sounds boring as hell! Skipped!
What else. Several main temples are home to some major relics and interesting things. Like the largest book on Earth. Or second largest bell on Earth (which is more away from the city). That’s one sounds better!
On the way there i also spotted some really picturesque pagodas. One of them consists of main golden pagoda surrounded by dozens of similar smaller ones. This one was cool!
The largest book on Earth happened to be also fun. What i had in mind: i will walk in and in some big room there will be book under big glass or on a large bookshelf. Probably twice as tall as me or kind of it. Probably some old charismatic men will turn page each day.
After browsing around I found nothing like this and asked someone’s guide “where i can see the book”. He had lots of fun, because in reality all the place was the book. There were dozens of small buildings there, which looks more like crypts. Each of them got big stone inside with some letters. The trick is that each stone is kind of page of this book. If you will put them together (i think it’s not possible, but if), you will get this largest book on Earth. Tricky to understand without further explanations!
Later i went to the Mandalay hill, which is nice place to have a look to the city from the top.
To get to the top i had to walk lots of steps and some more temples on the way. And thought it’s really long way and very dusty, i had to walk it barefoot. Sometimes it’s become a problem, especially this time as it was really very dirty and painful because of little stones on the way. This looks and feels more like a pilgrimage when you need to suffer to get to the top. After this walk i had to clean myself several times and took some anti allergy pills, because my skin hated it very much.
The view from the top and the pagoda itself were pretty nice, colourful and scenic.
I understood why Mandalay is green city, as there were lots of greenery around even though it’s officially winter now.
So probably Mandalay is not that obvious city and definitely not love at first sight, but “there’s a little bit of beautiful in everything”! So i will do my best to find it as i got some time here.