General Aung San Museum

RANGOON—After parking his car outside the hill-top villa during a leafy neighborhood just a couple of hundred meters from the Shwedagon Pagoda, Zaw Htet Aung tells his son, “this is where General Aung San wont to live.” His wife nods in agreement. The couple chaperoned their boy to the present two-storied colonial-style wooden house, namely the Bogyoke (General) Aung San Museum, for his or her only child’s benefit.

“He has seen Bogyoke in pictures,” said eight-year-old Tet Htut Aung’s father. “That’s why we’ve brought him here to possess some more ideas about Aung San.” After being closed for five years for large-scale maintenance, the previous home of Burma’s national hero and his family has now reopened to the public—providing a singular glimpse into his private life. Thaung Win, the director of the Rangoon National Museum and administrator of the Bogyoke Aung San Museum, told The Irrawaddy that the 91-year-old building reopened to the general public on March 24 after renovations to strengthen the retaining walls also as repairs to the roof, walkways and stairs. “We want it to be one among the most information centers on Bogyoke Aung San also as providing a window for children to know who he was and the way he lived,” he said.

Aung San, the daddy of Burmese democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, remains highly respected because the hero of Burmese independence for his efforts in bringing about the top of British colonial rule.“Bogyoke” and his family lived within the villa on lease from a Chinese couple from 1945 until he was gunned down during a 1947 conspiracy masterminded by his political rival U Saw. Aung San was just 32 years old.After her husband’s assassination, Khin Kyi kept raising their three children—Aung San Oo, Aung San Lin and Aung San Suu Kyi—in the house until 1953 when Aung San Lin drowned within the compound’s pool.Following the death of her second oldest son, Khin Kyi moved her family to an equivalent colonial-era mansion by the shores of Inya Lake on University Avenue where Suu Kyi lives to the present day.

The Burmese government bought the previous residence for 30,000 kyats (US $37.5 at the time) in 1948 and it had been converted into the Bogyoke Aung San Museum in 1962, consistent with a piece of writing published within the Monitor weekly journal.But the museum was temporarily closed between 1999 and 2007 for refurbishment and only reopened annually on July 19, the commemorative day of Aung San’s assassination, during this era .Until last week, consistent with official records, the museum has seen 1,419 visitors including 140 foreigners. “A museum isn’t a profit-making service,” said Thaung Win. “So we’ve fixed the doorway fee at an inexpensive price [300 kyat] hoping to encourage everyone to go to .”The museum boasts a number of Aung San’s personal belongings starting from a British-built black Wolseley automobile to an overcoat given to him by the primary Indian Prime Minister Nehru during a visit to England within the early 1940s.

A collection of 240 books on a spread of subjects—from applied mechanics and defense to economics and selected short stories by D.H. Lawrence—may be a source of interest for literature fans.Downstairs features pictures and paintings of Aung San and his family, while the special meeting room upstairs is decorated with extracts from a number of his speeches—including the explanatory guideline concerning the 1947 constitutional law which states “no constitution within the world is ideal .”This hero’s residence has an aura of simplicity and is barren of any trace of ostentation—the only embellishments are basic requirements for anyone to enjoy a cheerful family life.

Being interested by the independence icon’s private quarters, Wai Zin, 23, visited the museum for the primary time last week. “Now i think the Bogyoke had a really simple lifestyle,” said the business management graduate after touring the museum. The lack of luxuries demonstrates that, despite his power, Aung San never sought to use his position to feather his own nest—adding to the sense of reverence which accompanies his name all throughout Burma. “Some members of the govt today should take him as a role-model,” said May Moe, 24, an English major graduate from Rangoon. Even though Aung San remains highly considered the national hero who founded the fashionable Burmese Army, there was a time when his reputation was stifled by attempts to wipe him from people’s memories.

After the increase of his daughter’s influence within the Burmese pro-democracy movement following the 1988 students’ uprising, everything associated with Aung San was pushed into the background by the then-military dictatorship. His portrait at government schools and offices were replaced with former junta supremo Snr-Gen Than Shwe.The Lion, the insignia of the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Association, took the place of Aung San’s image on Burmese banknotes from the 1990s. July 19, referred to as Martyrs Day within the Burmese calendar, was a muted celebration until last year. grade school text books only provided a quick description of Aung San and a 10-stanza poem as his biography.

“Thanks to the previous military government’s ban, Burma’s younger generation today has little or no idea who Aung San is,” said Zaw Htet Aung. “Thank God there are people that are selling Bogyoke’s pictures. Were it not for them, we wouldn’t have anything to point out our youngsters what Aung San seems like .”Zaw Htet Aung is hopeful that the museum will help promote awareness amongst subsequent generation regarding Aung San and his message. “We need children with ‘Aung San’s spirit’ who are honest, unselfish and exerting for the national interest—especially lately when our country is during a transitional period,” he said.“I don’t want to be a soldier like Bogyoke. I’m scared of guns,” said Tet Htut Aung after visiting the museum. “But i would like to be a doctor, and that i want to be an honest person like Bogyoke too.”

Bogyoke Aung San Museum is situated on a 2.5-acre plot of land in Bahan Township, near Kandawgyi Lake. it’s open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm, except on public holidays. Admission costs 300 kyats (US $0.40) for adults—both Burmese and foreigners—and 100 kyats ($0.10) for youngsters under 12, but is free for college kids .

The Golden Rock: Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda

There are many famous pagodas in Myanmar (also referred to as Burma). Among them Kyaikhtiyo is one among the famous pagoda and most scared pilgrimage sites in Myanmar. The pagoda is additionally referred to as “The Golden Rock” which is found at the summit of the Mt. Kyaikhtiyo and it’s at an altitude of 1100 m (3608.92 feet) above the ocean level. it’s situated within the village of the Mon State called Kyaik Hto which is 210 km (130.49 mile) faraway from Yangon. As of the Mon tradition, “Kyaik” means “Pagoda” in Mon language, “Ithi” means “Hermit” in Pali language and “Yo” means “To keep it up the hermit’s head”. That’s why “Kyaikhtiyo” means “the pagoda carried on the hermit’s head”.

When you continue the summit of the Mr. Kyaikhtiyo, you’ll see a huge round boulder at the acute fringe of the cliff with a pagoda on top of it. it’s actually an enormous granite boulder that’s covered with gold leaves applied by the Buddhist devotees and becoming the golden rock. There still have many other pagodas and even have waterfall which isn’t very faraway from the most pagoda. So if you’re interested to travel around and have overtime for this, you’ll enjoy those attractions. the doorway fees for the foreigner are 10,000 Kyats per person (the counter are going to be at the half way from the station to the most entrance).
The boulder is about 7.6 m (24.93 feet) tall and 15 m (49.21 feet) in girth. The pagoda above the boulder is about 7.3 m (23.95 feet) tall . The golden rock is laying balance on the acute fringe of the cliff of the separated natural rock platform from the mountain and there’s a little iron bridge that link between the rock platform and therefore the mountain. The contact area of the boulder and therefore the rock platform is extremely small and it appear to be it’ll fall at any moment. The boulder is enshrining with hair relics of Buddha and it stands against the gravitational pull of the world by rolling faraway from the sting of Capitol Hill .

According to the legend, about 2500 years ago the good Buddha met with the hermit called Taik Tha. The hermit offered the rice box and therefore the Buddha gave two strands of hairs reciprocally . The hermit safely placed the strands of hair he received from Buddha inside the tuft of his own hair. The hermit wished to create a pagoda before he die and he visited see the King to request him to enshrine the hair relic during a boulder which is that the same shape of the hermit’s head. The King possessed the supernatural powers which he inherited from his talented alchemist (known as “Zawgyi” in Myanmar language) and his dragon princess mother (known as “Naga” in Myanmar language). The boulder which is strictly an equivalent shape of the hermit’s head was found at rock bottom of the ocean and located the right spot to put the boulder with the assistance of the Thagyamin (who is that the King of the Nats (Spirits) of Tawadeintha Heaven in traditional Buddhist belief).
Every year from October to March is that the regular pilgrimage season for the pilgrims and therefore the visitors. The pagoda is usually illuminate with candles, incense sticks but it’s overcrowded during the festival season. Many pilgrims also chanting and do the meditations throughout the night and applying the gold leaves to the pagoda. The mountain top area round the pagoda is lighted up with nine thousands candles on the complete moon day of Tazaungmone to pay homage to the Lord Buddha and therefore the pilgrims are offering the foods, fruits, water then on at the very early morning of subsequent day. All women are prohibited to travel near the pagoda at any time but men can go pay respect nearby and apply the gold leaves to the pagoda. there’ll be the pagoda trustees who guard the gate.

You can get there by buses or by trains from Yangon. The bus usually takes approximately around 5 hours and therefore the regular bus departs from early morning till afternoon from Yangon to Kinpun which is that the base camp of the Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda. The bus rates are from 8000 Kyats for foreigners and 4000 for locals for a method . there’s also VIP bus and you’ll choose upon your budget. confirm to shop for the direct bus because there’ll be other bus which transcend to the opposite destination only arrive to Kyaik Hto and you would like to require local bus again to Kinpun. The bus departs from early morning till afternoon from Kinpun to Yangon too.
If you would like to urge there by train, there’ll be only 3 trains depart from Yangon at 07:15, 18:25 and 20:00 respectively and it takes about 4.5 to 5.5 hours to Kyaik Hto. The train offers only 2 sorts of seats: ordinary seat (costs around 1200 Kyats for one way) and upper crust seat (costs around 2500 Kyats for one way). because the train only arrives to Kyaik Hto, you’ve got to require local bus to Kinpun. There are many buses go and forth between Kyaik Hto and Kinpun and costs around 500 Kyats. The train departs from Kyaik Hto at 12:33, 23:55 and 01:30 respectively and it takes around 5 hours to Yangon.

After arrive to the Kinpun, there’ll be the truck station to the Kyaikhtiyo Hill. The truck costs 3000 Kyats for the comfortable front seat and 2500 Kyats for the rear seat per way and you’ll arrive to the Kyaikhtiyo Truck Station within 25 minutes. The front seat is restricted (only have 5 seats) and you’ve got to book at the counter. For the rear seat, you’ll sit anywhere and therefore the truck departs as soon because it is full. The truck ride are going to be a touch adventure but the breathtaking view is waiting up there. there’s an alternative choice to go: you’ll take the car to the highest but you’ve got to require the truck first from Kinpun Truck Station to the Yathae Taung Truck Station. the value of the truck to Yathae Taung Truck Station are going to be a touch cheaper than the direct ride to the Kyaikhtiyo Truck Station.
The car costs 3000 Kyats per way for the local people and 5 USD per way for the foreigners but it’s free for monks and nuns. The operating hours for the truck and therefore the car are from 5:00 to 18:00 a day . it’ll take around 10 to fifteen minutes to the most entrance of the pagoda from the Truck Station or the car station. Nowadays, the transportation systems are much easier and convenient.

Complete Guide To Ngwe Saung Beach

Ngwe Saung may be a five-hour journey from Yangon, assuming there’s no traffic (which there inevitably will be).There are three buses that run everyday, departing from the Hlaing Thar Yar bus terminal (or more commonly mentioned as Dagon Ayar) in Yangon, leaving at 6:30AM, 7:30AM, and 9:00PM. The bus costs between $10 and $20 USD, takes approximately eight hours, and drops passengers off right in Ngwe Saung village, where most hotels are located. However, it’s important to stay in mind that bus company could also be reduced during season thanks to lack of demand. It’s also worth noting that taking a bus around Myanmar are often a touch uncomfortable because the roads are often in poor condition. Plus, the bus could also be lacking air con , plush seats and a toilet on board, but it’ll all pay off once you find yourself during a beachy paradise.

The alternative to taking a bus is to rent a personal driver to require you all the thanks to Ngwe Saung. this may greatly cut your time period if coming from Yangon, but will run up a steep tag of between $200 – $300 a method . Whatever you are doing , make certain you’re hiring from a reputable service that features a diary of safety and reliability!So you’ve finally arrived in Ngwe Saung and are trying to find things to try to to . While this village is certainly a sleepy and quieter beach town, there’s still plenty to stay you occupied during your stay.First thing’s first: take a while to relax on the beach. Bury your feet within the soft, white sand, take a dip within the ocean, and catch abreast of that novel you’ve been aiming to read. this is often a tremendous place to take in some sun and spend the day lounging around.Plus, since it’s a quieter place, you ought to be ready to find a spot to possess all to yourself! Since you’re right the ocean, you’ll have many opportunities to gorge yourself on some local seafood.

There are plenty of restaurants with beachfront views serving up steaming plates of fish, shrimp, crab and lobster. So whether you’re eating it for breakfast, lunch or dinner, make certain to urge your fill because this is often nearly as good as seafood gets!For some unreal sunset views or simply to stretch your legs after an extended day of relaxing, make your over to nearby Lovers Island for a touch taste of nature during your beach stay.Lovers Island is true next to Ngwe Saung Beach and is accessible by boat or foot. You’re easily ready to hire a speedboat for the fast trip over, or if you’re feeling extra adventurous and therefore the tide is low enough, gander over through the water. Just make certain to observe out for the sharp rocks as you approach the island!As this is often a well-liked spot, you’ll likely encounter many others trying to snap photos of the landscape. But it’s still well worth the walk to the highest to look at a panorama of beach, ocean, and other nearby surroundings.
If you wish the thought of hitting an island while at Ngwe Saung, you’ll head over to Bird Island for more panoramic views. It’s another short trip away but it’s worthwhile once you reach this rocky land.

You can find many locals along the beach to require you over on their boat for a coffee price, otherwise you can book a full tour that has snorkeling from one among the various operators available! Whichever method you select , getting there shouldn’t cost quite a couple of bucks.There’s alittle hike that leads you to the very top to offer you a bird’s eye view of the Bay of Bengal’s turquoise waters as far because the eye can see. On your way down, stop for a fresh coconut and find a quiet place to relax before returning to Ngwe Saung!Another good way to enjoy the environment of Ngwe Saung is by taking a ship tour. Jetting round the open waters is an awesome thanks to explore the world and spend each day with a knowledgeable local guide!You’ll be ready to stop at different nearby islands, hop within the water for a swim, and even snorkel in pristine areas to explore what lives below the surface of the ocean!Some Ngwe Saung boat tours also offer more adventurous activities like banana boating also as fishing, swimming and more. to not mention, most accompany a delicious local lunch included.

Inle Lake

At 22km long from north to south, Inle lake is that the main life source for communities during this a part of Myanmar’s rural Shan plateau region. For residents of the 200 villages within the lake’s watershed, the bulk of whom belong to the Intha ethnos , it provides fish to eat and sell. Its renowned hydroponic floating gardens – tomatoes, squash and aubergine plants growing on beds of soil interwoven with water orchid tubers – known locally as ye-chan, meet thousands of acres of the lake’s fringes.

At an altitude of 900m and surrounded by the famed Shan hills, Inle Lake’s ecosystem is isolated from neighboring aquatic areas, an element that contributes to its individual importance (remarkably, almost nothing is understood about the lake’s indigenous species). It appears a serene setting for fishermen like Soe to quietly set about their work. But today, the lake is threatened like never before. A growing population, upwards of 200,000 people, and therefore the use of chemicals and fertilizers within the floating gardens, also as silt accumulations and global climate change events have put huge pressure on its ecosystem.

Myint Soe says some concerns have temporarily eased: “People wont to use battery and shock methods (to catch fish) but have stopped; the water level may be a bit better, above before.” Serious problems are, however, emerging. “The floating garden agriculture wont to be better before. The weather wont to be more suitable,” he says, “Before, winter wont to be longer. But now (in February) we are already in summer.”
As a destination to flee the oppressive heat and crowds of cities like Yangon and Mandalay, Inle Lake has attracted tourists since the 1970s, and pilgrims to its monasteries for hundreds of years . But it wasn’t until Myanmar’s military government began democratic political reforms over the past decade that real change engulfed the lake and its hinterland.
“In 2012, the town was asleep,” says Mike Haynes, a heritage management and tourism consultant based in Nyaungshwe, a dusty town connected to Inle Lake by a traffic-busy canal. “Then, there have been 17 hotels and overnighting facilities in Nyaungshwe; now, there’s around 100.” International chains like Novotel and Best Western have descended on the lake region, with a five-star Sofitel resort opening on the eastern lakeshore this month. The violence unleashed by government forces on Rohingya Muslims 475km to the west in Rakhine state is believed to possess led to a 20 per cent fall in foreigners visiting Inle Lake last year, though local tourist numbers rose.

The past 20 years have seen Myanmar slammed by climate-related events on an almost unparalleled scale. A cyclone in 2008 that swept in from the Bay of Bengal within the south killed a minimum of 138,000 people and caused €8 billion worth of injury . From the north, major waterways like the Irrawaddy and Salween rivers are battling many tonnes of silt build-up caused, in part, by increasing glacier melt within the Tibetan Plateau. Germanwatch, a Bonn-based NGO, ranked Myanmar among the three countries worst-affected by weather events (along with Haiti and Honduras) between 1997 and 2016.

During the season , which runs from November to May, Inle Lake is, at just 10 feet deep, already shallow, making it extremely vulnerable to high temperatures. Record temperatures caused parts of the lake to disappear in 2010. An 18-month drought in 2016, exacerbated by the El Niño climate event, caused several canals to dry up, leaving villages reachable only by boat stranded.
Research conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has found that: “The resulting fall in water levels and a number of other years of poor rainfall, believed to stem from global climate change , has shrunk the originally 100sq mile lake by a 3rd . Fears are voiced that at some point it’s going to simply vanish.” This, experts suggest, could also be a reality by the top of the century. Such is that the perceived threat to the lake’s future that both the EU and UNDP are involved in separate multiyear, multidisciplined projects to assess the consequences global climate change has on the lake.

Local activities are having a harmful effect, too. Deforestation and vegetation burning within the hills surrounding Inle Lake has left soil exposed to wind and rain that sees it draining into the lake.

“A fivefold increase of floating gardens over the last 30 years (to 7,200 acres) and subsequent overuse of chemical fertiliser and pesticides has had a deteriorating impact on water quality and fish stocks,” says Joern Kristensen, founding father of the Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development, a non-profit body. He says the harvesting of aquatic plants used as mulch on floating gardens has changed the lake’s ecosystem.

However, a more troubling precedent is that the “dramatic increase” within the use of imported and unregulated chemical fertiliser and pesticides, a number of which are extremely poisonous to human and animal life. “According to our survey in 2012, Cypermethrin, a particularly poisonous chemical (insecticide) was applied at 1,500 per cent of the recommended rate while Metalaxyl (a fungicide) was applied at 5,900 per cent of the recommended rate,” says Kristensen.
New efforts and research meant to guard the lake include its addition to the list of Unesco’s international biosphere reserves, the primary in Myanmar, in 2015. A conservation fund was established in 2013 while a tourism management plan developed by Kristensen’s Myanmar Institute for Integrated Development and therefore the government is hoped to guide sustainable development within the region.
The government has committed €34 million to the conservation and development of the lake, while research and training efforts part-funded by the ecu Union, the govt of Norway et al. are launched. Recent months have seen politicians working to draw up a replacement conservation law for the lake. On the bottom , local experts say a €7.50 fee charged to foreigners upon entering the lake area is put towards embanking and dredging silt from surrounding canals.

And yet for a few indigenous species it’s going to already be too late. a minimum of four fish species endemic to Inle Lake are now classified as endangered. The Inle carp, a well-liked fish so intertwined with the local culture that its binomial nomenclature shares the name of the Intha people, is threatened by cross-breeding with non-native common carp. The Inle catfish and Inle prawn haven’t been seen for years. The last scientific verification of the Puntius compressiformes, a kind of barb, was in 1994.

These species could be lost for ever. For fishermen like Myint Soe who use decades- and centuries-old methods to catch fish, change is coming fast. So too for the families who believe the lake to ferry their children to high school or transport household appliances like fridges and washing machines. The extent to which the govt , experts and locals collaborate within the coming years will decide whether Inle Lake survives.

Mandalay Palace: Mya Nan San Kyaw

Mandalay City. the second largest city after the capital Yangon is understood as YA-Da-Na-Bon (cluster of gems) NAY-PYAY-DAW (capital city) in olden days. it’s also called the golden capital Mandalay. Mandalay City came into existence on Sunday 3rd. May within the year AD 1859. At an equivalent time. the cities walls. royal moat. Mahalawka Marazain Pagoda. Tripitaka (Sacred Buddhist Teachings) Royal library. ThuDhamma Zayat (Religious resting place for pilgrims or travelers). MahaAthuLawayan monastery and therefore the Dhamma Myitzu Pathan Zayat or Ordination Hall were also built. By watching these massive city walls and therefore the Hugh royal moat. you’ll imagine the greatness and might of Myanmar’s monarchy which reigns supreme in those olden days. all sides of the royal city wall may be a mile two furlongs long. and every one four walls features a total length of 5 miles 1 furlong and rectangular in shape.

Its height is 27 feet and its width is 10 feet. right along the town walls there are 3800 merlons for musket shooting. thus with this we will contemplate the immense might of the military of our ancient Myanmar monarchies. Each of the musket shooting holes is 2 feet nine inches wide.
The four city walls have 12 large main gates. 4 Hugh tiered roof outlook towers. 32 smaller tiered roof outlook towers. altogether 48 of the tiered roof outlook towers.On each city wall there are 3 gates. So. in the least the four sides of the wall there are 12 gates and every one main gates are connected by bridges crossing the royal moat. The royal moat is 225 feet wide and 11 feet deep. the center gates resulting in the palace are named ” Dat Ta-Gaa ” which suggests doors mandated with special powers and therefore the small gates on the left and right side of the “Dat” gates. 12 gates altogether . are called “Mate” which suggests adjourning gates.The gate facing the south. the Mingalar (or) Kyaw Moe gate means auspicious. luck and glory.

In conclusion. the water within the royal moat. the old reddish bricks retaining the town walls and therefore the musket holes you’ll see within the city walls. reveals to you about our past glory. patriotism. national culture and custom to whoever visit this documented ancient royal city of the last Myanmar Kings.
Mandalay was also the last seat of the Myanmar King. The King who built this city from empty land was Mindon. who reigned from 1853 to 1878. In 1856 he was residing within the capital of Amarapura which he deemed not fortuitous. the complete official name of this old capital was Amarapura Mandalar. and therefore the King decided to require the last word and named the new capital Mandalay. thanks to air strike during British occupation in 1945 of World War-II the golden palace built by King Mindon has burnt to the grounds. Mya Nan San Kyaw golden palace has now been rebuilt in original form consistent with the record of the history. ranging from scratch. the King was ready to design the town to his liking. with wide streets set during a grid pattern. and his palace enclosed within the town walls which stretched one mile long on each of its four sides. surrounded by a moat. Inside these walls. the middle area was enclosed again for the king’s own palaces.

Outside of this Royal Compound and within the town walls are houses of ministers and nobles. several homes for the aged dowager. minor queen’s apartments and barracks. the most great Audience Hall housed the Thiha Thana Lion. Throne and was considered the middle of the world . Now you’re viewing the “Zay Da Won Hall” which is additionally called the ” Hall of Victory”. At the side of the hall. you’ll find the “Hintha Throne”. “Hintha” may be a mythical bird. His throne which is of octagon-shaped. The council Hall is where most of the wed by the king during this Council Hall. The Southern and northern balls of musketeers are where security detachment and riflemen will keep.

The royal crown hall or Baung Daw Sanw hall is where the king keep his treasured head years embedded with precious gems. during this hall the king also changes his royal dress before giving audience. “The Breezy Hall” which is additionally called “Lay Thar Hall” is at the south of the “Hall of Victory”. this is often the place where the kings. relax and received monks and listened to spiritual sermons. The Hall you’re now witnessing called the “Brick Meeting Hall”.
In this hall the king and his ministers meet to debate matters concerning royal declarations. Beside. the above-mentioned Halls. you’ll also witness the “East Entrance Hall”. “South Entrance Hall”. “Left Reception Hall”. “Right Reception Hall”. “The Southern Dedicating Pavilion Hall”. “Treasury” and “Palace Power”. The palace tower is that the prominent structure you’ll see within the royal palace grounds. there have been a complete of 360 teak pillars within the whole palace. signifying the 360 days of the calendar . of these halls are decorated within the traditional Myanmar architectural designs. woodcarvings and paintings. once you run through these hall. are going to be amazed at the palace traditions. and Myanmar cultural heritage which you’ll still longing in these halls. one among the foremost beautiful palace pavilions was the Glass Palace. which had interior walls and pillars completely covered with glass mosaic.
We as Myanmars can pride oneself during this royal palace of ours. which upholds many of our cultures and traditions. and can show vistors to our country that we had an exceptional and authentic grandeur past.Mandalay as a royal capital left wonderful historical accounts. most of which was thanks to the glory and wisdom of its founder. King Mindon.

Explore the Shwe Dagon Pagoda

According to legend, the pagoda (also referred to as the good Dagon Pagoda and therefore the Golden Pagoda) was constructed around 2,600 years ago under the guidance of two brothers who had met the Lord Buddha and received eight of the Buddha’s hairs during a golden casket. Upon returning to Burma (present-day Myanmar), they found Singuttara Hill, where relics of other Buddhas were enshrined. There, consistent with the story, they opened the golden casket that held the Buddha’s hairs and supernatural events immediately started happening — from gems raining to trees bursting with flowers and fruit — and from there, the pagoda sprang. consistent with historians and archaeologists, however, the story is a smaller amount fanciful: the pagoda was built by the Mon people between the 6th and 10th centuries AD.

After initial completion, the pagoda slowly deteriorated until King Binnya U, within the 14th century, rebuilt it to a height of around 60 feet. A century later, Queen Binnya Thau raised its height to around 130 feet and terraced Capitol Hill it stands on (during an illness, she had her bed placed in order that she could check out the stupa’s gilded dome). within the next few centuries, variety of earthquakes damaged the pagoda but, after a very severe earthquake in 1768, King Hsinbyushin raised it to its current height: 325 feet.


When you arrive, the primary thing to note is that the pagoda’s most notable feature – its golden hue. In fact, the gold you see is that the real deal. Genuine gold plates cover the stupa and its base which are riveted to a brick structure underneath. A fun fact is that monarchs and citizens alike have donated gold to the pagoda since its construction.If you gaze slightly higher, above the bottom , there’s a a terraced area only accessible to monks. Above that you’re going to find architectural features within the shapes of these traditionally found in Burmese pagodas: a turban band, inverted alms bowl, lotus petals, and banana bud. Then another level above that’s the umbrella crown and vane, a feature that’s also common to pagodas, but none other is sort of as lavish. The crown is tipped with 5,448 diamonds and a couple of ,317 rubies, and on the very top of the pagoda rests a 76-carat diamond bud.


After admiring the temple itself, you cannot miss on exploring the pagoda’s grounds. The grounds feature statues of the primary four Buddhas (Kakusandha, Konāgamana, Kassapa, and Gautama). Inside, relics from each — the walking staff of Kakusandha, the filter of Konāgamana, a bit of the robe of Kassapa, and eight strands of hair from the top of Gautama — are said to be enshrined. These relics make it the foremost sacred Buddhist pagoda in Myanmar — and one that’s not only visited routinely by tourists, but also by practicing Buddhists within the area, who enter this magnificent building with humble, selfless commitment to be their best selves and practice generosity, kindness, and compassion for all.

Bagan: Trip of A Lifetime

In 1996 Burma nominated eight properties for UNESCO World Heritage Site status. As of yet, none are accepted and remain on UNESCO’s tentative list. Burma is considering UNESCO’s suggested improvements, working towards building heritage sites founded upon stable conservation and preservation strategies. The controversial site Bagan Archaeological Area and Monuments has entered scholarly discourse, provoking strong reactions from archaeological experts.Burma’s tragic political history has seen years of repression, brutal military leadership and tortured civilians. Countries across the world vocalized their disdain for Burma’s appalling human rights and corrupt junta by disassociating themselves politically and economically. Anti-tourism campaigns and laws to discourage investment were firmly implemented until recently.

The past years have seen Burma making slow yet continuous political progress. Its first election was held in 2010 and, despite reports that the election was shrouded in criminality , it’s a positive signifier for future proceedings. The politician and human rights activist Aung San Suu Kyi was released in 2010, following a combined sentence of fifteen years under confinement . These progressions are noticed by countries on a world wide scale, especially since President Obama visited Burma in 2012, an equivalent year the EU lifted certain sanctions.Bagan is brimming with historic and cultural wealth. With over three thousand Buddhist temples, monasteries, stupas and monuments compacted into one area, it’s home to the very best density of Buddhist architecture anywhere within the world. The temples present a cross-section of Burma’s history, culture and politics as construction has spanned a millennium. especially , Ananda Temple and Sulamani Temple are significant, dating back to 1105 and 1183 AD respectively. They tell an architectural and historical story, presenting a glimpse into the religious and social context during which they were built. Temple arches signify the advanced intelligence of the traditional Burmese kingdom and therefore the unique murals adorning interior walls document their artistic skill. However, not all of those temples have such an upscale historical and visual impact.

thanks to the Buddhist belief that there exists great religious value in building temples, Bagan has been expanding until officials halted building add 2010 to specialise in preserving the prevailing temples. Burmese authorities have themselves constructed numerous temples and pagodas, one especially dedicated to General Than Shwe.
In addition to construction, the military have built on top of old structures, or reconstructed them completely. Scholars, especially Don Stadtner, have disputed the military’s interferences, deeming them to possess damaged Bagan’s archaeological integrity. Stadtner opposes Bagan’s classification for UNESCO World Heritage Site status saying: ‘It would be telling the planet that basic archaeological principles not only don’t mean anything but could also be rewarded by this type of baseless, conjectural restorations.’

Like Stadtner, many oppose the appliance believing Burma doesn’t need to be linked to UNESCO thanks to the detrimental impact it might wear the organization’s respectability. UNESCO wouldn’t simply be lowering its standards, but reinforcing that the irresponsible tampering of such sacred archaeological sites can have positive outcomes.Stadtner’s opinion is counterbalanced by Naing Win, Bagan’s head archeologist, who regards the reports as unfairly exaggerated and detached from the reality . Naing Win claims his team strictly followed the architectural forms and detailing recorded from original temples. Therefore, with the exception aged , there should be no architectural differences between the first and reconstructed Buddhist temples.Despite its abundance of jewel , gas , minerals and oil, Burma remains one among the poorest countries in Asia; a results of the years of military corruption. wanting to increase their tourism economy, Bagan’s classification will inevitably usher in foreign investments. This increased tourism could, however, see the country’s unnervingly tender economical framework vulnerable to commercialization, and lots of worry about the longer term of Burma during this economic context.

Furthermore, experts are concerned that increased tourism might be detrimental to the Buddhist structures themselves, especially if Bagan doesn’t have the resources or knowledge to support growing numbers of tourists . These positive and negative outcomes got to be taken into consideration before the archaeological site are often UNESCO-classified. The country’s plight for Bagan’s recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has continued since their initial application in 1996, being rejected thanks to poor management strategies and legal frameworks. In 2012 UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova paid Bagan a visit to debate how relations between the organization and Burma will progress. within the future, UNESCO experts are going to be working alongside Bagan’s archaeological team to reinforce their conservation and restoration skills, also as establishing a mural conservation training course. These tentative steps are a positive start line within the creation of a viable economic and managerial framework ready to support Bagan’s cultural history.

The Kuthodaw Pagoda

The Kuthodaw Pagoda in Mandalay in upper Myanmar is usually mentioned because the “Worldʼs Biggest Book”(Ludu Daw Ahmar 1980: 5). 2 Consisting of 729 marble stelae3 cover a 5.2 hectare site the Pagoda may be a large, coherent and historically unique inscriptional complex that preserves an authorised mid-nineteenth century Myanmar recension of the Palicanon, the first scriptures of Theravāda Buddhism. Mandalay was founded in pre-colonial upper Myanmar (formerly Burma) in 1857 and therefore the Kuthodaw complex is one among the cityʼs earliest structures. At the centre of this complex is that the monument popularly referred to as the Kuthodaw Pagoda, the“Pagoda of Royal Merit”[Fig. 1].

The 729 stelae are arranged in seven concentric squares round the pagoda. Each of those stelae varies in size̶a typical one being 1.3 metres high, a metre wide, with around 75 lines inscribed on each side̶and is housed during a separate open-sided mini-pagoda around three metres tall (Grönbold 2005: 35) [Figs. 2 & 3]. The version of the Buddhist scriptures on these stelae is that the results of an outsized editing project ̶a recension̶commissioned within the mid-nineteenth century by Myanmarʼs penultimate king Mindon (reigned 1853-1878) who, to fulfil during a ll|one amongst|one in every of”> one among the religious duties of Myanmar kings to preserve Buddhist teachings in a changing world, initiated two ventures regarding the Buddhist scriptures [Fig. 4]. the primary began in 1857 when he commissioned the copying of a replacement set of the canon onto palm leaves (Ludu Daw Ahmar 1980: 15-22).

As an outcome of that project the marble stelae at the Kuthodaw were inscribed with a version of the edited text between 1860 and 1868 (Ludu Daw Ahmar 1980: 50-52). Mindonʼs second initiative was to revive the first Theravāda tradition of holding a council (san 4 gīti) for the recitation and verification of the words of Buddha . The“Fifth Buddhist Council”was held in 1871, with 2,400 monks orally reciting the whole canon. Following this, revisions were made to the stelae. The Fifth Council version remained the quality one until the“Sixth Buddhist Council”was held within the mid-twentieth century (1954-1956) in Yangon (however, not all Buddhist traditions accept all of those councils). In 1855, before his first initiative, King Mindon had presented an entire set of the scriptures as then constituted (in fine gilded royal manuscripts) to Arthur Phayre, who visited Myanmar as a British representative (Herbert 1989: 64). That set preserves a preKuthodaw version of the text and has lain within the British Library since 1886 only occasionally used.

King Mindonʼs carving of the whole Pali canon on large marble stelae at the Kuthodaw Pagoda was unprecedented within the Theravāda Buddhist world, and subsequently proved to be highly influential, being the inspiration for the later production of marble stelae editions of the Pali canon, or parts of it, at several sites elsewhere in Myanmar and acting as a model for the carving of non-canonical Buddhist texts at yet other sites within the country (Bollée 1968: 495; Ludu Daw Ahmar 1980: 42-45). 4 the primary example of this was undoubtedly the Sandamuni Pagoda site directly adjacent to the Kuthodaw Pagoda which preserves the Pali commentaries and sub-commentaries carved on 1774 marble stelae at the instigation of U Khanti (1868-1949) in 1913. it’s highly likely that Mindon undertook the above projects as a part of his plan to consolidate Buddhism because the state religion and ensure its centrality to the identity of the Myanmar people within the face of the threat of British territorial ambitions in Myanmar̶the British had annexed lower Myanmar in 1852, some eight years before the start of labor on the Kuthodaw marble stelae and clearly had territorial ambitions over upper Myanmar also .

U Bein Bridge

U Bein is the longest teakwood bridge in the world and is attached to the town’s history.Stretching around 1200m through the Taungthaman Lake in the ancient of Amarapura, Mandalay, U Bein bridge is considered to be the longest teakwood bridge in the world. Additionally, it was erected since the mid-1800s, which also made it the oldest teakwood bridge that still exists.

Amarapura is one of the former capital of Myanmar for 74 years from 1783 to 1857. It now remains to be an ancient city in Mandalay region. After that, King Midon decided to relocate the capital and move it to Mandalay. Interestingly, the materials used to build up the bridge were achieved from the Inwa Palace during the transition time. The bridge was built from 1000 pillars and thousands of pallets. All materials were completely wood.

Another interesting fact about the bridge is its name. It was named after the mayor of Amarapura, U Bein back to that day. When the King Midon moved the capital, U Bein was the person who came up with the idea of making use of the unused wooden sticks of the palace to erect the bridge. At the time, the engineers did not have such modern method to measure but did that by counting their footsteps.When the mayor U Bein constructed the bridge, he wanted this bridge would help his villagers reduce the time commuting between the 2 banks of the river. Since that time, U Bein Bridge has been a best friend with the locals of Amarapura. For around 150 years, it has help children go to school; villagers reach the markets; and fishermen in catching fishes. Undeniable, the bridge plays an integral part and makes their life much easier.

Time after time, as the U Bein Bridge started to gain popularity among travelers all over the world. It also helps a hand in raising the income of local people because it made the villagers get involved in doing tourism. A large number of local people in Amarapura have earned their living by serving the travelers visiting the bridge every day. They are able to sell souvenirs, food and drinks and fishermen do the short boat trips to take travelers to visit the lake.Nowadays, a huge number of travelers come to witness the longest and oldest teakwood in Mandalay. There is no wonder why the bridge has been loved; it looks beautiful from all angles and in its own rustic and elegant way. U Bein bridge looks the most impressive in the sunset. In order to admire the bridge at sunset, you can sit down on the grassland below the bridge; order drinks from local vendors; and wait for the sun coming down slowly. In another way, for photography lovers, you can ask a fisherman to take you on their boat during the sunset to capture the best moments of U Bein bridge during sunset. It will be more appealing.

Surprisingly, sunset on U Bein bridge looks differently by each person and from day to day. Some can catch the fierce color of orange and some can catch the vivid color of red or purple. U Bein bridge at sunset becomes the symbol of not only Mandalay but of Myanmar by this reason. During the dry season, the water level on Taungthaman Lake is low, making the U Bein bridge looks as tall as a thin man. Once the rainy season comes, water level raises up to the planks of the bridge. It is a good idea to avoid the rainy season in Mandalay to visit U Bein bridge because you will be likely to catch a rain in the day.

As the above part has stated, the best time in the day to visit U Bein bridge is at sunset time, when the bridge looks the most striking. However, taking a stroll on U Bein bridge in the early morning is also another brilliant way to enjoy the fullest beauty of it. Coming here at sunrise, you can have the opportunity to watch the town slowly wake up; and local people busily going to work and commuting through the bridge. You will definitely be able to capture plenty of simple and unique moments of the daily life at this time of the day.