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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Memories of Mandalay cruise....

We visited the Mahagandayon Monastery, which is the biggest active monastery in Myanmar.   People seem to hold the monks in high esteem - they go out daily to beg for food, or people will visit the pagodas and monasteries and donate food.

Then we went to the famous U Bein Bridge, which spans Lake Taungthaman.  The lake is a seasonal body of water which dries up in the winter and leaves fertile, arable land.   As the weather was threatening, we did not walk the bridge, instead going in small boats.  Viking added a nice touch and arranged for champagne to be served in flutes on the boats. As we finished the boat ride and were going back to the bus, a very heavy downpour let loose - it was one of the few occurrences of rain on the trip.

The courses at dinner were served by waiters - the appetizer was either a ginger salad or radish sour soup (my choice).  The main course selection was chicken curry or braised beef with mashed potatoes and vegetables or fried chayote and egg, with fried shrimp and rice.   I also had red wine. For dessert, there was Myanmar semolina pudding cut into slices (like cake) with an apple gel served in a shot glass.  A very good meal...

We cast off from Mandalay for Yandabo early the next morning.  In the afternoon, we went from Yandabo to Bagan.  We did not do a lot on this day - most of the time was spent cruising on the river.

We did not cruise very far before we saw another pagoda, then another and another.  It is amazing - the pagodas are everywhere.

Photos belong to Phil Bianco.

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