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Saturday, 14 February 2015

Memories of Mandalay cruise....

Still moored in Mandalay, we started the day by visiting a craft silver shop. They offered quite a few items for sale, including jewelry.   Some on the tour bought some items - as with the other craft shops visited yesterday, the prices did not seem to be high.

Then to the city of Ava and the Mae Nu Oak Kyaung Temple.  We used small boats for a short ride across a lake to get to Ava.  This was where we had our first encounter with hawkers - locals trying to sell us trinkets and souvenirs.  The hawkers used bicycles to follow us.

We were taken in horse-drawn carts to the temple.  The hawkers usually pick out specific tourists, and stick with them until they sell something, or the tourists leave.   One girl pictured above followed me both to and from the temple.   She was nice, but returning, she was joined by another girl who was nasty and tried to push the nice one out of the way.   I bought a necklace from the nice one without bargaining, and this set off the other one, who pouted and cried.

It is amazing how many pagodas, many of them gilded ones, there are in Myanmar.  Eventually, I asked the Viking tour guide why - her explanation in a nutshell was fear of the next world.   The people hope that such good works as building pagodas and temples would ensure that they return in the next life as a superior life form.   She also said that people chose to live near where they are built - people followed pagodas and temples, not the other way around. 

Then back to the ship for lunch.  Lunches were buffets, but the main dish was served by a waiter.  The waiter would ask at breakfast what main course we wanted - we had three selections -  a meat, fish, or vegetarian dish.   The rest of the lunch was buffet, and included soup, various salads, fresh breads, cold cuts, cheeses, multiple desserts and fresh fruits.  For lunch, I had vegetable soup, curried chicken, and a flan. 


Next blog - continuation of day....

Photos belong to Phil Bianco.

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