Mandalay - Bagan...From imagination to reality....A journey to Myanmar, the land of faith.

Forzanu

Turning back years ago, I remembered that I have received a picture from a close friend of mine which is the photo of a vast area that covers with hundreds of pagodas situated in the area that looking magnificent. In my life, I have never seen such things that are quaint and astonishing. Therefore, the picture is collected and illustrious in my mind. When time passes, those pictures are gradually faded away a little.

However, in the present day those pictures reappear into my mind once again when I have an opportunity to work with Bangkok Airways to travel to the place I once have seen in those old pictures. Hence, the picture of sea of pagodas that fading away from my mind turn out to be the destination of this trip. By all the important attractions and the charm of this land will make this trip more complement, “Mandalay – Bagan, Myanmar".

The set of this album consists many important attractions in Mandalay such as Mandalay Palace, Shwenandaw Monastery, U Bein Bridge, Mahamuni Buddha Image Worship Ritual, Mahagandayon Monastery and then continue travelling to Bagan city with Shwedagon Pagoda, Ananda Temple, Boat riding along Irrawaddy River and end the trip with a sea of ancient pagodas in Bagan city.

Then, we should not waste any more time. Let's travel together.


PS. For those who would like to watch and read more information and pictures of my previous travelling reviews, you could follow to the below link:

https://www.facebook.com/ForzanuFoto

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Before travelling, we without doubt will visit the Lounge of Bangkok Airways to fill up some more energy.

Our favorite Roasted Duck Noodles and the most important dessert that you shouldn't miss out is Khao Tom Mad (Steamed sticky rice with banana filling wrapped in banana leaves).


After we are done with our meal, then it is time for our journey. Having a seat next to the window is my first happiness for this trip as I am able to take some photos apart from having a half sleep during travelling on the plane.

It takes approximately one hour and a half from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Mandalay City and including other processes at the airport that will be around two hours and we are ready to start our journey.

The time we travel is during the middle of March; therefore, the weather is fairly hot. Nevertheless, one thing that disappoints me is the cloudy sky with no bright blue sky,


After landed, we find our vehicle to get to our first attraction in Mandalay city which is “Mandalay Palace".

Mandalay city located near Irrawaddy River; it is the important capital city of Myanmar in the past and founded by King Mindon in 1857. Though, after Myanmar was colonized by the British Empire in 1885, the city has been gradually reduced the important role and become the last capital city of Burmese monarchy.


The atmosphere of the road that lead to “Mandalay Palace"

As I have mentioned above that the weather is not quite great during the time; the sky is not bright and it is not suitable for taking photos. Nevertheless, this kind of weather is decent for taking a walk as the weather now is similar to our country.


“Mandalay Palace" is the palace that built with teak wood. There is the moat that surrounded the palace. The palace has a vast area for tourists to take a walk and watch the amazing and exquisite sites in many areas.

There is also the observatory tower that many tourists like to watch the scenery view from above. Besides when you watch the view from above, you will see the scenery like above picture.


From the above picture, you will see the brownish red observatory tower and that is the place where the tourist could walk up to the view point.

As for the behind area, there will be the beauty of various architectures that we gradually walk to take some photos.

“Mandalay Palace" nowadays become one of the significant attraction that foreigner as well as Myanmar people prefer to travel to watch the astonishing architecture of this teak palace.

The palace is also called a “Golden Palace". We visit Mandalay Palace for just awhile, and then we have to head to our next destination which is the “Shwenandaw Monastery"


There is an uncle selling local art work in front of the temple, his works look astonishing. He draws pictures of various stories such as local people's way of life and the charming of Myanmar. After observing him for a while, I decide to buy 2 pieces of his art work for souvenir as well.


“Shwenandaw Monastery" (Golden Palace Monastery)

At the time that I walk into the monastery area, I could feel the splendor and supernatural power of the place right away. Although the monastery does not have such a wide area as Mandalay Palace, from the far distance, I could see the carving works entirely all parts of the temple as well as the blackish brown color of the temple making the place more fascinating and captivating.


The elegance that makes me feel stunt of Shwenandaw Monastery must be the carvings that cover all the sides of the wall of the temple.

This reminds me of the amazing carving of “The Sanctuary of Truth" in Thailand. Each place has their unique aspects, our Sanctuary of Truth is the tourist attraction but this monastery is the ancient temple that saves from the bomb during World War II.


Burmese people usually called this temple “Shwenandaw Monastery" or “Golden Palace Monastery"


From Shwenandaw Monastery, we head to our next destination which is another highlight attraction of our trip. We drive away from Mandalay city for a bit to “Amarapura city" for watch the beauty of the atmosphere of U Bein Bridge, the world's longest teak bridge.


U Bein Bridge

We arrive at U Bein Bridge around 5pm in the evening which is a perfect time for taking photos as we could watch the sunset in the evening and see the atmosphere around the bridge area.


A lot of people come to this place either the tourist or Burmese people. During the day time, the tourist might not be as crowded as in the evening; however, the timing in the day time is not good for taking photos.

During the sun set time is the most perfect time to visit, even there are a lot of people here, and nonetheless, we also could take some more photos of the local's way of life and stories that happen nearby the river.


A small paddle boat, its stern has the unique design that seems like the bird wing which looks quite remarkable. In addition this boat is one activity that most of the tourists like to hire local people to take them to watch the atmosphere of the lake and it is rather reasonable price.

Some tourists hire local people to paddle for them to watch the scenery around the lake. Some tourists like to walk on the bridge to take photos from above aspect. It depends on the period of time and the liking of each person.

As for me, I would love to take a walk on the timber bridge to take some photos and wait until the sun is about to set, then I would take a ride on a boat after that.



Wherever I travel to, I cannot help thinking about our home town.

Standing here on the timber bridge while the local people, monk and novice walk by, makes me think of our famous timber bridge at Sangkhlaburi which has a little different from here in which the length of the bridge has only 2 kilometers long.



The sun which shines a strong sunlight all the day has gradually cooled down a little bit.

The cool wind flows by makes the atmosphere seems to be more pleasant. The surrounding scenery is full of the lake water, paddle boat, people and the charming of this place.


When the sun shines is back, it will be easier to take a silhouette photo.

The pictures of local people or little boats that pass by are pleasant for the tourist to watch all the scenery along the lake with the golden sunlight that shines on the lake water.


Finally, it is time for us to ride on the boat.

The rental boat of the locals waits for us at the shore and turning its prow to the direction along the length of the bridge which is located in the front while the sun is in the back of the boat.


The happiness of today's journey gradually comes to an end alike the sunlight today but the happiness is still always kept in our memory.

Before I end this day trip to prepare for our next day journey, I will leave this picture for today's trip at the golden pagoda which stands eminent beneath the far away big round moon.

In the next day, I wake up early in the morning and it was considered the earliest morning for me in many years. I need to wake up in the middle of the night at 3am for worship “Mahamuni Buddha Image", one of five religious sacred artifacts of Burmese people.

Comparing to Thailand, we have “ Phra Phuttha Maha Mani Rattana Patimakon or the Emerald Buddha at Wat Phra Kaew" which is the Buddha image of Thailand.



By the time that I arrive at the temple, there are a lot of local people come to worship Mahamuni Buddha image as well.

Although, this time is considered a sleeping time for most of people but for the people who have faith, they come all the way to pay respect to the sacred Buddha image. I absolutely think this place is suited for the name “land of faith".


At Myanmar, Mahamuni Buddha image is believed as “the living Buddha". It is because Burmese people believe that Lord Buddha has given his sacred breathing to the body of this Buddha image making Mahamuni Buddha image has been a representative of Lord Buddha.

Before leaving this place, I have seen the picture of the faith of the people that gathered together to apply the gold leaf here in each day. The gold leaf has been repeatedly applied every other day which make it slowly pile up thicker and thicker making the body of Buddha image seems like having a soft plump. And as a result the Buddha image is called "The Buddha Image with the soft body"

Then we back to the hotel again to take a rest for a few hours before heading to the next important place called "Mahagandayon Monastery"

"Mahagandayon Monastery" of Amarapura city is the biggest monastery of Myanmar. Not only is the largest temple but also regarded as a monastic college of preaching and discipline as well. During the lunch, there will be hundreds of Buddhist monks and novices marched to get the food.


Despite it is a routine of this monastery but it somehow is the strange picture that we do not usually see much in everyday, the picture of many monks and novices line-up and practice the routines here.

Tourists traveling to Mahagandayon Monastery to take photos of the monks' line-up for food which the local people prepared the foods for those monks in each day



The atmosphere here is great, quiet and very shaded.

Then not so long after taking photo, we head out to our next destination which is "Shwezigon Pagoda" of Bagan city. We have to travel for several hours to there.


We are now at Bagan city, and the first place that we are visiting is "Shwezigon Pagoda"


The big pagoda is sanctified and one of the oldest in the country. The beauty and splendor of the pagoda is inevitable by the glittering gold of the pagoda which when it reflects the sunlight, the pagoda will look even more magnificent.


Shwezigon Pagoda means "The Golden Pagoda of Victory" (Shwe = gold)


From the first day of the travelling, the sky is not so bright but when we come to Bagan city, the sky is bright and clear which makes the photo of the golden pagoda looks even more spectacular. And then we will head to our next stop at "Ananda Temple"


“Ananda Temple" is one of the finest architecture of Mon style in Myanmar which located in the east of the old city wall. The temple is in white color and is praised to be the jewel of Pugam architecture.


The monastery is in a square shape with great elegance looking. The magnificent of pagoda is beyond comparison as during the time that pagoda just newly finishes building; there is a story to be told.

From the old times history, it has been told that King Kyanzittha is afraid that there will be someone replicate or duplicate the architecture style of this temple; therefore, he had the architects executed, to make sure anything like this architecture could never be built again which is according to the Brahmanism ritual.


That is a very short story of Ananda Temple, another splendid temple of Bagan city.


In order to have such a unique and finest pagoda like this, it exchanged with several lives of those skillful architects.


Certainly, our trip is going to an end with our last destination at thousands of pagodas of Bagan city.

Nonetheless, before we went to visit the most highlight destination of this trip, we will go to ride on the boat along Irrawaddy River to watch the scenery of the riverside. Burmese people call this river “ Ayeyarwady" which means “large river". After this, we will head to our last and most remarkable destination for this trip at “Bagan Kingdom"



Whenever we reach new destination, it's the beginning of new experience with the splendid upcoming in the front.

From the picture that I have seen before in a book, television or website has appeared in to my sight with the land that fills with the great history of this kingdom, although those pagodas has dilapidated and declined over the time, however, the image of the pagodas still splendid and they will always been the dream picture that a lot of travelers would love to travel all the way here.


The day light gradually fades away, even though today the sky in the afternoon is bright, but the light in the evening is not that stunning.

Nevertheless, standing beyond in the land that filled with the great history somehow is the beauty and impression of this greatest time.


There are many tourists that come from many nations all over the world such as Asia and Europe. Each tourist has found their own happiness here.

Capture the beautiful photos with the good shot might be the happiness for someone or only stand and watch the scenery and let yourself indulged in the beautiful scenery in front also might be the joyful for each person.


I will end today's trip with the picture of lined pagoda in the front with Irradwaddy River and mountains that stand eminent as the background together with the rounded sun above that will be rise again in the next day.


And below is the picture of the moon that waits to shine its light during the night time.


In the morning of the next day around 5am, I wake up early to do personnel routine and hurry to set out to the sea of pagoda for reserving the location for taking photo of the first light of the new day. The scenery of the golden yellow pagodas that obviously striking to my sight makes me feel full of energy in this early morning time.


Let the time passes by us slowly and slowly. In the cool weather like this with the wind in the morning that flows by help making the happiness and satisfaction fulfill our heart and sight.


The day light gently raises up which makes us more easily to take photo.



And another important time that we are waiting for has come; it is the time for the balloons which the travelers like to ride up to watch the scenery from the above aspect.


For those who do not ride up the balloon, they have to watch from the below like me. The good thing of taking on the balloon is that you could watch the scenery in Bird Eye's View; however, the price to ride up in the balloon is quiet expensive, it is almost ten thousand baht (If I'm not wronged).


Beside the wind that kept blowing during this time, there is also the non-stop shutter sound from the tourists' cameras who take photos nearby.



The atmosphere during morning time in the land of the great history of Bagan city.

This is another place on earth that travelers from over the world would like to travel here once alike today that there are a lot of travelers here.

I will perfectly end our highlight destination of this trip with the picture of balloons, pagodas, the sun and the splendor morning light.

I am not sure whether visiting Myanmar this time will be my last time here or not. However, I certainly have received nothing but all the good experience and the impressive memory from this trip. Many good things like the charming of the people, the story of the sacred places, and the strong faith of Burmese people towards Buddhism as well as the great architecture of many temples. All of these things will definitely always be kept in my travel memory.


The journey starts from a dream and end with the exploration and it will always be like this in every journey.

Thank you Bangkok Airways for giving me the great travelling opportunity and thank you everyone for watching and reading the photos and the story of Myanmar. Please give me comments as you like.


I will end this review with this picture.

Sawasdee Krub.



I just came back from abroad. Thank you everyone for reading this review. For those who never been there, I wish you guys could travel there soon.^^

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