In 1784, King Bodawpaya and his Burmese Army seized an ancient bronze Buddha and transported it to this current site in Mandalay. In the gallery at Mahamuni, large paintings created in the 1950s tell the story of its epic journey.
Except for the face of the Buddha, which is polished by a monk every morning at 4 o’clock, the surface is covered in a six inch layer of gold, as a result of years of the application of gold leaf. Only male visitors to the pagoda are allowed to near the inner sanctum and place the leaf on the Buddha. The second photograph in this post was taken by my husband. I had a view further back with the women.
Ceramic jars like these are found all over Burma for people as accessible sources of cold drinking water.
Where? Just outside Mandalay, near the town of Amarapura on Taungthaman Lake.
What? The U Bein Bridge – the world’s oldest and longest teakwood bridge
When Burma’s capital city was moved to nearby Mandalay around 1859, U Bein, the mayor who served under Burma’s King Bodawpaya arranged for the dismantling and recycling of teak from the palace of Amarapura to construct this 1.2 km long bridge across the lake. With the exception of some more recent replacement concrete pylons, the bridge’s columns and planks are made entirely of teak.
The bridge serves commuters in the area, particularly during the peak hours around dawn and dusk.
Today was a Saturday, and a significant day in the Buddhist calendar. Everyone was out for the day and a gentle jostle was had by all as we crossed over the waterway and came back facing into the setting sun. Look Mum, no safety rails!
When we emerged from our visit to Mandalay Palace, our taxi driver was nowhere to be seen. We waited and waited in case he returned after perhaps taking another fare in this low season of work. He did not.