Travels

Visit to Mandalay

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People worshiping the Mahamuni Paya Buddha


The first day we did little good to sleep until 4 and go out to eat something. Then we walked downtown until the railway station. Is a real show. Worn-out wagons seemed to serve as houses for the tens - or hundreds - of people who were scattered between the platforms and the tracks. Blankets and comforters here and there, pots and pots boiling over the fire of small fires, women cooking and men reading the newspaper of any day except the current one, children running and playing between the tracks. It was a small town that seemed to wait for the train of a prosperity that never comes. And the problem is that it is not that it arrives late, but that it may never arrive, stopped at some platform of the corrupt government with exit to the houses of the usual ones.

Buddhist nuns in Mandalay

With a suffocating heat we decided to take a little-visited route in the city and headed towards some monasteries near the river. There were not many monks we saw under that Sun of justice - and that there are about 20 in the city - but thanks to that we got lost in some unpaved streets where people lived in bamboo or wood shacks. Everyone greeted us as we passed, especially children. Some women washed clothes in the river while others threw leftovers into the water or washed cutlery. The men protected themselves from the heat as they could and the children continued to riot tirelessly. From their faces we knew that not many tourists came to the area and were glad to see us.

Although we didn't do anything else in the city, we met people who recommended us the tour of the surrounding old capitals: Inwa, Amarapura and Sagaing. Everything is done in a day with a guide for about $ 10 per person. It also includes a visit to the famous U Bein bridge. The U Bein is a 1,200-meter long teak bridge and famous spot for sunsets.

Who prefers to see it on high, has the option of finishing the tour on Mandalay Hill -Mandalay Hill- where you can take advantage of some exercise and see some more Buddha statues.

At negative side -According to the comments of all who went to see it- is the spectacle of the Mustache Brothers. The Lonely Planet announces it as a group of comedians whose anti-government humor had already cost them some prison sentence. They commented that now they can still do private shows - a petit committee for foreigners - at home. Several people from our hostel went and, upon returning, told us that it was a great pantomime in which they did not attack the government at any time but made jokes about characters from the Western gossip and some typical Myanmar dances.

Someone even suggested that the government turns a blind eye because part of the money they charge - they call it a donation - the Brothers for the show ends up going to the coffers of the Military Junta. I also tell you that if the actors have gone through jail and treated them like the majority, it is normal that their desire to tell jokes about the Military Junta has been more than diminished.

That said, nothing of manor or imperial times, but much chaos that will wake up and keep your five senses entertained. An experience that everyone must live to be able to comment. We had been advised that we were not more than necessary to take the next bus and in the end we lacked time.

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