So, now that I finally got round to telling you about Christmas and New Years, let’s pick up where we left off, and I’ll finish telling you about Myanmar.
So, to set the scene, Myanmar was the final country of my year-long stint across Southeast Asia.
I arrived in Mandalay sometime in September 2017 (I cannot remember the exact date) and had already been on a tour of a startling amount of pagodas. As it turns out, Mandalay has even more pagodas.
I booked a tour via my hostel to Inwa (which I’ll tell you all about in my next post), that also included some further sights around Mandalay in the first half of the day, such as…
The Mahamuni Buddha Temple
The temple is a major pilgrimage site and houses a large Buddha statue which is covered in gold leaf by devotees visiting the temple for good luck and health.
Which incidentally it turns out, is sectioned off and women aren’t allowed to get close to it. Go figure. It would have been nice if someone had told me that before I purchased an entry ticket.
Constructed in 1816 and dedicated to Princess Hsinbyume ; the design is quite unique in comparison to many of other Pagodas that you will see in Myanmar. Apparently, it was modeled on the descriptions of a mythical Pagoda situated on Mount Meru.
We were taken to a monastery to watch the monks come back from their collection of alms. In all honesty, I do not remember the name of the monastery and didn’t pay a lot of attention as it just felt like a very forced display for tourists. However, we did meet a very friendly monk who we had a great chat with and whom I bumped into several times in Mandalay.
Mandalay Buddhist University
I really enjoyed walking around this particular building as I thought the design was absolutely beautiful. All we were really told was that the university was for studying aspects of Buddhism, and unfortunately, there seems to be relatively little information pertaining to it.
Sagaing Monk School
Another stop where the name was not really clarified and our guide’s limited English did little to shed any light on it. It was interesting though to see all the young monks (both male and female) at school and running around the playground playing games and gawking at my nose piercing with a mixture of awe and confusion!
Mandalay Hill Pagoda
Hop back on the magical mystery tour because we’re not really sure where we are! We were taken to a Pagoda with a lot of stairs, and a fantastic sprawling view. I’m going to have a stab in the dark and say it was Mandalay Hill Pagoda, but I could indeed be wrong!