Updated: Nov 9, 2019
Say you're going to Myanmar for one day and you choose Mandalay as a destination:
Where would you go? What would you see?
For me, unfortunately living in Hong Kong and travelling quite often means I am often so busy that the last thing I can do is plan things out. So I tried to ask friends, what to do when I visit Mandalay but but no one knew. Now for Mandalay, you have to prepare, as I discovered Mandalay is full of tours from temple tours to strawberry picking, but here is a short guide into what I did and you can do in One Day while backpacking in Mandalay, Myanmar. Grab a map and head to the palace. You may have many nice people, mainly men, approach you for taxi services, but honestly, if you can brave the heat, you can walk through the city around the palace ground's perimeter and head to the East Entrance of the Palace Grounds, pay a tourist fee and leave your ID to enter and to explore. Upon arriving I didn't realize the palace grounds are enormous. Luckily, my new Swedish friend I met at the airport , living in Olso, Norway, accompanied me as I realized I didn’t have much time to explore the huge grounds, as we arrived at 4 PM/16h. So, we approached the scooter stand on the left after entering through the gate, and a local lady offered us one-two hour private scooter drivers for about 2000Ks/2000 Burmese Kyat/1.30 USD/10 HKD. MAKE SURE TO WEAR A HELMET!
2. Later, we walked towards the white pagodas across the street but we didn't know what they were. Amazingly, as we arrived we witnessed the most spectacular moment as young monks in red hues with chaperones posing at this historic site for group pictures. It was so sweet to see all their cheery faces and such a large group of about 30 posing in traditional Buddhist religious wear.
3. Then as the sun set, we climbed the steps past more temples to almost the top of the massive hill with seemingly never ending stairs. Then, as the night descended upon us, with only our cell phone torches/flashlights with us we were so fortunate on the way down, young students engaged us in English conversation, to practice their English. Now, one should always be careful when any stranger approaches, but there were so many people, we felt safe and the students were so curious. My friend was so lucky, one of her new admirers & language buddies offered to give a ride back to our hostel for 3000Ks/Burmese Kyat. Unbelievable, all 3 of us fit as we bounced down a massive hill rivaling the Hollywood sign area in Los Angeles, California, USA, or the Hong Kong Peak. He literally, roared down the never ending stairs, tight forests, through people walking, and after 10 minutes onto pavement, to drive us into the city.
4. Then we we a relaxing night on the hostel's rooftop and enjoyed the breeze with fresh papaya juice and local dinner cuisine. Our hostel offered a movie night for that day, I wish could have watched, but I had an early morning bus right to Bagan, Myanmar, the most famous place in Myanmar besides Yangon and Aung Sung Suu Kyi's prison house. Now the the trip to Bagan, is one I can't wait to share with you "One Day..."
5. Things I Wish I Did Explore another day in the city and surrounding areas.Take the strawberry farm tour.
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