We had a whole day train ride to Mandalay.
In Mandalay, we had a morning excursion to Mingun.
The construction of this huge temple started in 1790. It was meant to be 150 meter high, but despite the hard work of thousands of slaves, only one third was completed. The king ordering the construction died in 1819, and two decades later, and earthquake shook the base.
Next day we had free time, then I hired a cab with English driver and visited two old nearby royal cities, Amapura and Ava. But first we stopped by at the Manamuni Paya, where worshippers tag little golden leaves to their sacred Buddha statue.
Amapura is famous for its 1.2 km long teak bridge, the longest in the world.
In the nearby monastery, hundreds of tourists were taking photos about the young monks having their lunch – it was quite awful to disturb them with all those flashlights. By the way, photography. Most people have digital cameras and they shoot like crazy. One girl complained the other day that she saw some monks playing soccer and as she had only a few minutes, she could take "only" 40 photos. She was devastated, although the shots were really good. I wonder why she needs more. People go really mad with these digital cameras about the quantity of pictures they take.
Next we moved onto Ava, where one must take a boat, then a horse-cart, so not many people make the effort, so it is not difficult to make a photo without other tourists. The main sight here is an original wooden temple from 1837. There was even a small school in one corner of the monastery.
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