The City of Mandalay lies almost at the foot of the hill that gave the City its name. It is approximately 800′ high with several temples, the famous temple lions …View image… and an impressive standing Buddha are located. …View image… Unfortunately, we didn’t have the time to climb the 1,000 steps to the top.
The Kuthodaw has 729 monoliths of white marble on which Buddhist texts have been inscribed (Tripitaka Texts) and are unique in the Buddhist world. You have probably seen photographs of them in every article about Mandalay without knowing what they are…we certainly didn’t.
We saw the beautiful Mandalay Palace, crossed the Ava Bridge and visited Sagaing. Sagaing has more than 500 monasteries as well as many temples and caves. There was also a chance to walk through some, watching and listening to the daily routine.
Sagaing became the capital of an independent Shan kingdom around 1315 after the fall of Pagan. It is known as a meditation center and Burmese from all over the country would visit Sagaing for a religious retreat. The view from the Temple at the top was breathtaking. Mandalay Hill in the distance…View image… temples of all sizes and coloration, and the scene was constantly changing as the sun set. Different colors, new shadows, similar to our Pagan experience and just as awe-inspiring.
Sagaing Temple, Mandalay Hill, Burma
In the meantime, “ex-Marine” was busily amusing some young Burmese girls by shifting his considerable “spare tire” from side-to-side by poking himself through his t-shirt. This was amazing to them since they never have weight problems or any excess fat on their bodies with all that hard work and so little food. Unlike us, “heifer” Americans who can bring children to laughter with a “spare tire” show.
It was now time for a serious conversation about tomorrow. We were definitely going to be taking the “Daylight Express” train leaving Mandalay at 5:00am, and arriving in Rangoon at 7:30pm – a 14 and 1/2 hour train trip. Moans and groans all around…but Rose assured us that our seats were “Upper Class.” The routine was going to be: wake-up call 3:30am, breakfast 4:00am, arrive at station 4:45am, depart Mandalay 5:00am. This was REALLY going to be one adventure we could have lived without….