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« Myanmar Itinerary

Day 6 – Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin



 
« PREVIOUS – Day 5
Mandalay, Mingun
Visiting Mingun & U-Bein bridge.
 
Day 6
Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin
Sights of Mandalay & travel to Pyin Oo Lwin.

« Twelve days in Myanmar

 
Day 7 – NEXT »
Pyin Oo Lwin, Hsipaw
Travel from Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw by train.

 

All the sights in Mandalay are spread across this second largest city and walking to all of them is not possible. Considering the traffic of Mandalay, the best and cheapest way to see all the sights is to hire a motorcycle-taxi. Prices vary largely depending on whom you ask, and most hotels will arrange a motorcycle-taxi for you. A day of sightseeing in the city itself (north and south sights) should cost around MMK 10,000, but a three-city tour (Sagaing, Amarapura, Inwa) costs about MMK 15,000-20,000 for the day.

Similar to previous day, I hired the same motorcycle-bike taxi to show me around Mandalay.

After breakfast at the hotel, we started at 8:30am and first stop was Mahamuni Buddha Temple (Maha Muni Paya). One can visit the temple for the 4am face-washing ceremony, but I visited later in the morning. About 45 minutes drive from the downtown, this particularly holy site among Myanmar Buddhists and others, contains an ancient Buddha statue (the Maha Muni Buddha), which was transported to Mandalay from Mrauk U in the kingdom of Rakhine (which borders modern Bangladesh), when that kingdom was defeated by the Burmese in 1784. But the statue is much, much older. Some believe that the statue was cast in 554BC, one of only five statues of the Buddha made during his lifetime; that it was breathed upon by him; and that it therefore became an exact likeness.

The weird part is that men, who are allowed to touch the Buddha image, constantly apply gold leaf to it. This is considered an act of virtue. Women are not allowed inside the temple close to the statue.

Maha Muni Paya temple

Maha Muni Paya temple

Maha Muni Paya temple

Maha Muni Paya temple
 

A short ride on the motorcycle and we were at another Buddhist temple that has four huge standing statues of Buddha. And from here we visited Sri Krishna Temple, a Hindu temple of Lord Krishna.

Last stop on the south side of the city was Shwenandaw Monastery, before heading north.


[Four statue Buddha temple]


[Four statue Buddha temple]


[A Buddhist Monastery]


[A Buddhist Temple]


[Shwenandaw Monastery]


[Shwenandaw Monastery]


[Sri Krishna Hindu Temple]


[Sri Krishna Hindu Temple]


[Sri Krishna Hindu Temple]

 
It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to reach the northern side of Mandalay from the south, considering the terrible traffic. First stop on the north side was Kyauktawgyi Pagoda. Having seen many pagodas in Myanmar, I didn’t visit this from inside as it costs MMK 5,000.


[Kyauktawgyi Pagoda]

 
Right across from Kyauktawgyi Pagoda is the stunning and huge Kuthodaw Pagoda. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site that contains the world’s largest book. It was built during the reign of King Mindon. The stupa itself, which is gilded above its terraces, is 188 feet (57 m) high, and is modeled after the Shwezigon Pagoda at Nyaung-U near Bagan. In the grounds of the pagoda are 729 kyauksa-gu or stone-inscription caves, each containing a marble slab inscribed on both sides with a page of text from the Tripitaka, the entire Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism.

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda
 

Another 20 minutes ride up the hill brought me to the top of Mandalay Hill, where the stunning Su Taung Pyai Pagoda stands with its ornately decorated walls.

Mandalay Hill
[View from Mandalay Hill]


[View from Mandalay Hill]


[Su Taung Pyai Pagoda]


[Su Taung Pyai Pagoda]


[Su Taung Pyai Pagoda]
 

It was past 2 pm when I got back to the hotel. And I had a taxi pickup at 4pm to go to Pyin Oo Lwin, so decided to relax a bit and grab some lunch at ‘Diamond Ring’ restaurant.

 
Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin

  • There are a lot of shared taxis going to Pyin Oo Lwin, as well as some mini-vans. Hotels will give you different timings and rates for either option.
  • When asked about the buses or pickups as mentioned on WikiTravel site from 27th/82nd street, I was told that those buses are not frequent and unreliable. I, however, decided to check it out and after reaching the place, I did not find anything and was told that those services are no longer available.
  • A shared taxi or mini-van costs MMK 7,000 or 8,000 depending on your hotel or with whom you reserve. It’s best to reserve at least a day in advance.
  • The roads are winding and everyone drives like a maniac, so be prepared for a bumpy ride!!

I opted for a shared taxi for MMK 7,000 one way, starting at 4pm (from hotel in Mandalay), taking about 3 hours (because of road construction & traffic) and reaching Pyin Oo Lwin at around 7pm.


[Taxi ride from Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin in a foggy evening]


[Taxi ride from Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin in a foggy evening]
 
I was dropped at my hotel in Pyin Oo Lwin; and after checking in I headed out for dinner at “Krishna Hotel” serving home-cooked delicious Indian food! Returned back to hotel and called it a night as it was raining quite heavily that evening.

 

Costs

Note: All values in USD, unless otherwise mentioned, are approximate and based on the exchange rate of USD 1 = MMK 1,350 at the time of publishing. Each cost is for one adult.
 

What Cost Notes
Motorcycle taxi $9.63 MMK 13,000 for the day.
Breakfast at Mandalay hotel $2.22 MMK 3,000 for one person at Golden City Light hotel.
Taxi to Pyin Oo Lwin $3.70 MMK 7,000 for one way, per person.
Coffee $0.31 MMK 425.
Lunch $3.70 MMK 5,000 at ‘Diamond Ring’ restaurant.
Snacks & water $3.33 MMK 4,500. Water, Lychee juice, snacks.
Dinner $2.60 MMK 3,500. At Krishna hotel.
Total Daily Costs $25.49 Per person
Overall Costs $1,249.28 Per person

 

 
« PREVIOUS – Day 5
Mandalay, Mingun
Visiting Mingun & U-Bein bridge.
 
Day 6
Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin
Sights of Mandalay & travel to Pyin Oo Lwin.

« Twelve days in Myanmar

 
Day 7 – NEXT »
Pyin Oo Lwin, Hsipaw
Travel from Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw by train.

TWELVE DAYS IN MYANMAR

 
Planning
Planning & Information
Tips, info & details of planning.

 
Day 1
Yangon
Arriving in Yangon & sights of downtown area.

 
Day 2
Yangon, Yangon to Bagan
Shwedagon Pagoda, Bogyoke Park & traveling to Bagan.

 
Day 3
Bagan
Visiting all the temples of Bagan.

 
Day 4
Bagan to Mandalay
Bagan sights & travel to Mandalay.

 
Day 5
Mandalay, Mingun
Visiting Mingun & U-Bein bridge.

 
Day 6
Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin
Sights of Mandalay & travel to Pyin Oo Lwin.

 
Day 7
Pyin Oo Lwin, Hsipaw
Travel from Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw by train.

 
Day 8
Hsipaw
Sights of Hsipaw.

 
Day 9
Hsipaw to Mandalay
Travel from Hsipaw to Mandalay & Mandalay Palace.

 
Day 10
Mandalay to Yangon to Kinpun
Travel from Mandalay to Yangon, onward to Kinpun.

 
Day 11
Kinpun, Golden Pagoda
Visiting the Golden Pagoda in Kinpun.

 
Day 12
Kinpun to Yangon and out
Travel from Kinpun to Yangon & flight out.

Expenses
How much did it cost?
List of all the expenses.

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