23rd and 24th Mandalay
Mandalay, everyone likes the name, but no one actually likes to spend time here! Understandable, it’s a noisy busy city, the people are mostly great, but there’s little to do and see, and frankly after the last week I’ve seen enough, Temples, Pagodas and Stupas to get me through for some time…
Nevertheless, I do feel good, because this is the first place I’ve been for over a week that has, girly things like moisturiser (I didn’t have any in the dry part of the country in the dry season!!), it’s the little things hey?!!
Mandalay it seems is best used as a pit stop en route to somewhere else, for me Hsipaw (pronounced see-paw), but the bus from Bagan arrived at 2 pm-ish, in time to see the sunset, walk along the river, visited a small produce market, and have dinner at a family run street food stall, great fried rice, that lady knew how to fry an egg!!. The train to Hsipaw leaves at 4-am, so I decided to take a day in Mandalay, watch the sunrise from the hill, walk the streets, eat some street food, and chill, and buy moisturiser! Ha Ha. I walked a lot through the streets, had a look at the moat and wall, surounding the huge mandalay palace. Found a lovely little shop selling nice Longyi’s (traditional clothing, like a wrap skirt, I shall put up a photo soon), the lady in the shop was so lovely and kind, and showed me how to wear it, and thanked me. I do like supporting a shop like that, she obviously catered mostly if not entirely for locals, and it felt good to support a local business, and I at least have a souvenir from Mandalay that’s useful.
I was going to go and see U Pein (sometimes called U Bein) bridge, but as I was walking and using Maps-Me (the app) to get around My battery drained, and I opted to not be wandering around a city in the late afternoon with a dead phone!! So caught a shared taxi, I love these things, it’s such a great way to travel with the locals as they commute to and from there jobs/homes, and its way cheaper…
Overall a lovely day, tired from my walk, but feeling good, early start tomorrow (I have to be at the train station at 4 am!!), but I have my snacks, my laundry’s done (mostly), I’ve had decent Wi Fi for a day, now I’m good and ready for trekking over the hills and through the villages.
I will see you on the other side of the great iron bridge, in Hsipaw…..