La had mentioned before we arrived in Mandalay that it was chaotic so after our cramped 8 hour minibus (they do not make vehicles for tall western people here) we arrived in busy Mandalay.
The roads were as crazy as Delhi, if not worse because in Delhi cars will slow/stop for you, in Mandalay they do not. The first night we spent in Mandalay we stayed in the Royal Guest House and our room felt very strange with it feeling like it used to be a bathroom. Luckily we had booked our own accommodation for the 2nd night at the Royal Pearl Hotel and even though it only cost us £11 each it felt like a luxury hotel.
For our time in Mandalay we had a tour guide named Mala. She took us to several sites of Mandalay including Mandalay Hill and Kuthadaw Pagoda.
Mandalay Hill is a pagoda on top of a hill which gives panoramic views of the city. Whilst we were up there, Alice and I spent far too long watching a pair of dogs and I’m still not sure what they were doing. Also bathed Buddha on my birth day statue – Wednesday morning, elephant with tusks. You shower Buddha with cups of water – 1 for every year of your life and an extra for luck.
The Kuthadaw Pagoda holds the world’s largest book. This is in Buddha’s language and is his teachings. Only a number of monks are able to recite the whole thing without mistakes and would take several months/years to read the entire book.
Mandalay was where we said goodbye to this tour group before heading off to Singapore!