|Sunrise - Mingun, Myanmar|
|No Bull! There are taxis in Mingun, Myanmar|
|Unfinished Temple - Mingun,Myanmar|
|Unfinished Temple - Mingun, Myanmar|
|World's Largest Functioning Bell|
|The White Pagoda - Mingun, Myanmar|
|Perspective of how large The White Pagoda is|
It was a peaceful walk up the stairs of this totally white structure which, once near the top, provided a beautiful view of the Irrawaddy River and countryside.
|Irrawaddy River, Myanmar as seen from|
The White Pagoda
|The Unfinished Temple as seen from The White Pagoda|
|The Road to (actually in) Mandalay|
|U Bein Bridge|
In stark contrast to the frenetic experience on the bridge, Avalon Waterways arranged for only two people to be in each sampan as we were given a short “cruise” in the lake – which was very very low due to it being the dry season – watching some local boys fish with a seine net – with beer and fruit cocktails being offered from an Avalon Myanmar staffed sampan (nice touch)
|Avalon Myanmar's crew provided cold beer and fruit juice cocktails|
while floating in sampans waiting for a beautiful sunset
After returning to the Avalon Myanmar, Mark, our cruise director, took me out for some street food; an obviously non-touristic respite for me!
|Mandalay, Myanmar Night Market|
|Takoyaki - A suprise in Mandalay, Myanmar...|
until you consider that the Japanese are the No. 3 tourists here
|Our night market "restaurant"|
in Mandalay, Myanmar
followed by a fantastic noodle soup (of course) and then
spicy “pork leg” which was actually pig feet…and the best of the three really delicious dishes.
Our host made sure we were well taken care of, giving us bowls for our crab shells, a finger bowl for our spicy fingers and even stirred our soup to be sure we got all of “the good stuff”.
|Pounding gold wafer thin|
After a shopping opportunity…
It was then a short walk to what I thought would be a truly hokey experience: Visiting the Worlds’ Largest Book. How touristic, right? Nope. I got that totally wrong. This was truly fascinating and probably my first complaint: I wanted to spend more time here!
The Kuthodaw Pagoda, created by King Mindon, covers a massive area with its highlight being 729 stone tablets encased in their own marble monuments. These marble tablets, written on both sides, contain all the tenants and teachings of Theravadan Buddhism (the type practices in Myanmar) in way that they cannot be torn, burned or destroyed by time.
After the group finished guests were brought up to the floor and, eventually, the guests were dancing with the crew as well.
Lots of fun and a great way to end the evening.