Wednesday 20 March 2013

Hot, dusty, and busy day in Mandalay

Set off this morning on another walking tour of Mandalay, with the goal of carrying out a few errands and visiting a temple.
Darren suggested we take a shortcut and cross the moat around the Palace and out the other side. We walked over the bridge and two soldiers sitting at a checkpoint stood up. One pointed quite a big gun towards us and the other waved to show we were not going to be allowed through. We quickly changed our plan and retraced our steps.
It took us quite a while to find the Post Office, then the railway station and finally the market.
By then it was getting hot and the Maha Myat Muni Temple was quite a long way away, so we jumped on a half empty bus to get there.
The Temple is very popular and has a golden Buddha in a little room. Only men are allowed in to the room and there is a cctv camera so that the ladies sitting outside can see what is going on.
Daz went in and got a few photos but I sulked a bit at the injustice and didn't watch the telly.
Anyway, he said that all that was happening was that the male visitors were sticking gold leaf pieces on to the Bhudda. I saw some photos and there has been so much gold leaf added over the years that he is a lot bigger now than he used to be.
The Temple Monks also wash his face every morning at 4am and lots of tourists come to see this.
Probably the best bit of the day was the trip back on the bus. It was completely packed and was full of smiling ladies, one of whom gave me her seat while Darren stood with the cool boys on the back step all of the way back.