About me
I am Brazilian, piscean and traveller. Working as a yacht stewardess gives me the oportunitty to be close to the ocean, which is where I always wanted to be. This blog is the result of a desire to share my life with people who are seeking for a new adventure and also to help those who cross my path. Welcome to my world!
Touring in Mandalay, Myanmar
Visitamos a principal pagoda de Mandalay, vimos o maior livro do mundo e o Palácio Real de Myanmar
29/06/2017 - Updated on 29/06/2017 00h00
 

Our Myanmar journey started in Mandalay. We realized in the first few minutes how warm and receptive people are.  The country has opened itself to tourism very recently, so you'll notice that curiosity is mutual when you walk through the streets. I watched their daily lives and they watched me taking pictures. From all countries I visited, even though they weren't many, I never felt like I was observed with this level of curiosity.
 
We stayed at a simple hotel, but there was still a very kind bellboy helping us with our bags. The military regime was always a part of the country's history. I believe that, because of that, people feel they have a duty to go beyond and be very supportive.
 
In terms of clothing, both men and woman wear the longyi, a type of sarong. The difference between one and the other are the patterns: womens' longyi are more colorful and vibrant; men's longyi are predominantly checkered. The longyi knot is also different: it's tied to the side for women and to the front in men.
 
For those interested in visiting Myanmar or any country with a different culture compared to the one you're used to, the main tip is to respect local culture. If you have questions on the customs, research. If there are any remaining questions, stop for five minutes and watch people and their habits. Try not to visit sites just for a selfie and don't be lost behind the lens of a camera or smartphone. Absorb traditions, feast in the culture and, if possible, bring something good to your daily lives.

Read more: Reasons to visit Myanmar

 


 
Valuable tip! It is important for women, when visiting the country, to cover their knees and, whenever they visit a temple or sacred area, to cover their shoulders.

Read more: 
Inle Lake: a must-see for tourists in Myanmar

 
At the start of the year, Myanmar is extremely hot. However, that's no excuse to avoid respecting traditions. I saw a man taking his shirt off in Mandalay Palace, one of the most sacred places in the country! Just because it was hot, the guy thought he could undress, in blatant disregard to local culture.
 
I also saw a woman attempting to take pictures of the Buddha figure, without respecting the people around it praying. She was right in front of a lady about to make her prostrations. Surely, it wasn't on purpose. That's why I insist on this: before taking pictures of everything, pay attention to what happens around you.
 
For buddhists, sitting with your feet directed towards Buddha is a sign of disrespect. I learned that the hard way. I sat crosslegged, with my feet towards Buddha, near a few people praying. Suddenly, a little girl looked at me, raised her eyebrow and looked at all the other feet, as if to say something was wrong. I realised everybody sat with their knees to the ground and their feet back. Their culture believes that the foot is the dirtiest part of our bodies, so it must never be directed towards Buddha. That's also why, in every temple we visit, whether it's clean ornot, shoes always stay outside, so that bad energies aren't carried in. Spiritually, the belief is that the feet are the lowest part of the body. This basic rule isn't applied in temples only. Remember this when you're at the house of a local resident or in restaurants and shops.

 
 
We stayed for two days in Mandalay and that was enough time. We didn't do much in the first day. We decided to walk near the hotel in order to get acquainted with the country. At the end of the day, we took a cab to U Bein bridge, where hundreds of people, mostly locals, concentrate to admire the sunset.

 


 
On the next day, we toured the city with a local. He took us to Mandalay's main spots. He spoke English, but he didn't enter the temples or other places with us. It was a shame, because, since few people speak English in the country, I left with many doubts.

 
 
We visited the Mahamuni Paya, the main pagoda in Mandalay; the Kuthodaw Pagoda, where the largest book in the world is located; and Mandalay Palace, the last royal palace of Myanmar.

 


 
We passed by a street where all Buda images are made by hand, without protection, which makes the sculptors inhale all the dust. We visited the factory where gold leaves are mad – also by hand. We saw a public demonstration that, according to our guide, was a means to raise food donations for children in Mandalay orphanages. I read that in this ceremony, also called Shinbyu, the boys celebrate their "Coming of Age", which is the transition into their lives as Monks.

 
 
To end our day, we went to Mandalay Hill, which awarded us a spectacular sunset. A perfect ending for a great day.
 
In order to visit these places, we spent $40 AUD, used with the cost of the driver-guide and a few sites – we paid small fees to be able to leave our shoes in places or to contribute to the maintenance of some sites.
 
On the same day, we took a bus that made the night ride to our next destination, Bagan, the city where temples are a special emphasis. There, they make you wake up at 04:00 AM, even on cold days, just so you can watch the first rays of sun touching the garden of the temples.
 




Thank you for your comment!
Error!
Sign up
to learn more about the adventures
and challenges of the life at the sea!
Sign up to learn more about
the adventures and challenges
of the life at the sea!
Name
E-mail
City
Country
Thank you!
You signed up successfully.
Try again