Posts Tagged With: Mandalay

Shinpyu

In Buddhist cultures,  men are expected to enter the monastery at least once in their lifetimes. For young boys, this is accompanied with a party and finally a procession around the main temples. Called, shinpyu, it is a feast for the eyes as the young boys are dressed in beautiful costumes snd wear make-up. For girls, it’s also the time for them to get ear piercings.

I caught a shinpyu twice on separate occasions  at the Mahamuni Paya in Mandalay.

The festivities began even on the way to the temple as the convoy of pick-ups loaded with the boys and girls and their families are accompanied by much music and even dancing.

Upon arriving  at Mahamuni Paya, a processinal line was formed.

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Behind the girls and boys are their proud families.

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Also in the procession are young women holding symbolic objects. There are strict requirements to be one of these women. Their parents, for example, should still be alive and married.

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At the rear of the procession are women bearing gifts such as blankets to the monks.

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The children go to the buddha inside the temple to bow in devotion.

It takes a lot of money to host a ceremony this grand. Less financially  capable families simply bring gifts to the monks.

It was fascinating to watch as the children were so cute.

A formal picture.

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Boys are heavily made-up.

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They are dressed to look like the princes of old.

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The little  girls are in white.

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Colorful umbrellas  shield the children from the sun.

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Leaving Inle and Back to Mandalay

Skipped the egg and toast breakfast at the hotel and headed to Minglar Market for some good local and cheap breakfast of Shan noodle soup and tofu. I really like toe tofu. It’s pillowy soft and tastes like egg.

Walking back to the hotel, I couldn’t resist havinffreshly fried dough  sticks and a cup of coffee. I’m gonna miss all these.

Spent the rest of the day just walking around the town. Like other towns and villages I’ve been in Myanmar, there are always beautiful, if not run down, houses.

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Lunch stop was at Thanaka Garden which had very good reviews at Trip Advisor. The tranquil  setting on a side street coupled with the few people lunching there made me stay a while. Service is very good and the food portions are huge.

Appetizer was a plate of fried cracklings.

I had a tomato salad which was dressed in a light vinaigrette. I’ve never eaten so many tomatoes in my whole life. These tomatoes, by the way, are brown by the Intha in their floating gardens.

My main course was a huge Inle steamed fish which is actually stuffed with some herbs then fried and smothered with vegetables and covered in a sweet-sour sauce.

Dessert was a plate of watermelon with some jaggery.
It was a good meal though the fish was a bit of a letdown as it wasn’t tasty as I expected it to be.

For dinner, I just had two chickpeas crepe I buy from a corner stall. I was taking the night bus so i didn’t want to be too full.

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On the Road to Mandalay

Seeing Mandalay’s lovely temples, I understand how taken Rudyard Kipling was with this place. As the plane slowly  descends to the runway, one sees a vast dry plain. The landscape remains that way as you drive towards the city center. Soon plains turn to concrete and roads turn to streets.

The shuttle finally discharges me at AD.1 Hotel located in a small side street near the market. It’s a simple place and surprise! surprise has goid wiring wifi.

I spend the rest of the afternoon at Mandalay’s top sites which include the Royal Palace which is truly fit for royalty with its immense and spacious compound. The buildings are mostly reconstructions, though.

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Unlike Bangkok’s royal place, it wasn’t teeming with too many people. Maybe because it was late in the afternoon  already. Yeah, I know some refuse to pay the $10 combo ticket which includes the other sights but hey might as well see Mandalay’s  sights (more on the political-ethical issue in another post).

Hired a motorbike taxi (MKK 15,000) to bring me to the pagodas and to Mandalay  Hill for sunset.

The Shwenandaw Kyaung is a lovely richly carved monastery.

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Feminists will be up in arms on this, though.

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If your library looked like this, it would be such a pleasure to read. Just some of the rows of “pages” in the  “book” in Kuthodaw Paya. You not only get to read but you get to exercise as you walk from row to row.

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It also houses a 127-year old tree. Like a lot of elderly things,  this one c also needs propping-up.

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However, Sandamuni Paya has more “books.”

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It also has a lovely stuppa.

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Up to Mandalay Hill for the obligatory sunset and view of the sprawling  and flat city.

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Here’s the temple.

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But what I really like is the circle of clay water containers for thirsty people.

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I ended the day with dinner at the Green Elephant. The Mushrooms with Burmese Shrimp Paste and Coconut Ricebwas tasty and delicious.

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Dessert was Green Sago with Coconut Cream.

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Then on to the Mandalay Marionettes Theater for a show.

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