Saturday, April 13

Scenes from around the Mandalay area

Here is another video from Burma (Myanmar). 
Mandalay itself was a short-lived capital of Burma but the surrounding area hosts several former capitals. 
Sagaing was capital of an independent Shan kingdom in the 1300s. (Mandalay is in Shan State). 
Innwa (or Inwa, or Ava - take your pick) was a capital for almost 400 years from 1365 until 1841 with a couple of brief interludes. 
 In 1841 the capital moved to Amarapura but this was another short term event as the penultimate Burmese king Mindon Min moved to Mandalay in 1861. 
Nothing much remains of any palaces in these towns because the kings used to dismantle then rebuild them on the new site. Recycling to the max! The palaces were built of wood, teak, and intricately carved so it was worth doing. There were, and still are, plenty of monasteries, pagodas and stupas. 
Sagaing is sometimes called the Vatican of Burma because it has hundreds of stupas, monasteries and nunneries and thousands of monks and nuns. 
Amarapura is now a modern town. Its most popular tourist site (and possibly Burma's most photographed) is U Bein's bridge - the world's longest teak span. 
The Mahaganayon monastery is near the bridge. Here, every lunchtime, hundreds of tourists watch thousands of monks line up for their last meal of the day. 
It's a fascinating area.