Myanmar: Mandalay Hill

by - February 01, 2020

Once we arrived in Mandalay, I already knew that this one is a whole lot different than our experience in Bagan. After alighting the minibus that transported us from Bagan to Mandalay, we rode a tuktuk going to our hotel, Royal Pearl Hotel. Our hotel is perfectly situated inside the city and getting a ride to different places in Mandalay is a breeze. Since we arrived at the hotel around the afternoon already, I made it sure that our itinerary for the day is just simple and not so tiring. 

We rested for awhile inside the hotel before we went to our stop, Mandalay Hill.

Prior to this trip, I knew that going to the summit won’t be hard because you can just ride a tuktuk or a car going to the drop off area where you can then ride an elevator going up. But boy, I am not prepared for actually going up on a flight of stairs. Instead of bringing us to the area where we would just ride an elevator, the tuktuk driver actually brought us to the entrance where we need to use the stairs. We were greeted by 2 gigantic lions which are popularly known as Chinthe hnkaung atet in Mandalay.

To be honest, it doesn’t really matter to me if I climb a flight of stairs or not because I don’t mind sweating or getting tired because it’s one of the essences of traveling, what I just didn’t like (and not just here but entire Myanmar), is that I have to climb the stairs barefoot as since the place is kind of sacred, we need to remove our footwear and bring it with us. They provided plastics where visitors can put their slippers if they want to bring their slippers with them. There's also an option of leaving the slippers on the rack but then you need to go back to this exact entrance just to get your slippers. I just don't understand why they require you to remove your footwear. The stairs and pathway are dirty. It's just unhygienic.

Busy Mandalay

One of the lions outside the entrance 

Some PH chips being sold on the way to the top of Mandalay Hill. Yup, jack n jill. haha! 

 One of the buddhas scattered on the hill

The climb on the way up wasn’t that hard because the view is superb while going up, the air also feels so good and we came across different tourists and monks who too are going up. Also, Mandalay hill isn’t just a single temple or something, there are many temples in this hill so even though we aren’t at the top yet, we already encounter a lot of temples along the way. There are locals, even dogs going up and down.

For me, the best part of Mandalay Hill is the view at the top plus the details of Su Taung Pyae Pagoda. This pagoda is the main must-see in Mandalay Hill aside from the view at the top. This pagoda isn’t like the other pagoda in Myanmar where the shape is always triangular and has a gold color. This one resembles a Hindu temple. The view on the top became even more beautiful because of the sunset magnifying the whole city of Mandalay. It’s a 360 degrees view!

Luckily for us too, during our visit, there aren’t many tourists so even though there are many people, we can still enjoy the view. There’s an entrance ticket but I already forgot how much it was, it probably is more expensive now because this trip was way July 2018. They only charge foreign visitors though, and while my father always gets mistaken for being a Burmese, locals would already know I am a foreigner even when I am wearing my longyi. LOL. 

People at the top too, some are even monks, loved to chat and practice their English. Some would just go straight up to you and chat with you telling you stories. hehe. Most of them telling me how much they like the Philippines. :)

After being satisfied with the photos and sunset, instead of going down through the stairs, we rode the elevator going down and from there, rode a car going back to our hotel. As for dinner, I remember we just ordered in the hotel because we are too tired to go out. We just came all the way from Bagan and went all the way to Mandalay Hill after resting a bit. 

That’s it on our 1st day in Mandalay. Cheers! xx :) 

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