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Chinese tourists in Myanmar (1): Enjoy a tranquil time in Mandalay

Updated:2017-11-26 14:30:44   english.yunnan.cn

Editors’ note:

A presentation titled “Explore Tourism Myanmar” takes place in Kunming, Yunnan Province during the 2017 China International Travel Mart (CITM). Following the CITM, a 2000-km ROAD SHOW of China-Myanmar tourism is organized from November 23 to December 2, taking some Chinese tourists to quite a few Myanmar attractions. Today we offer you their travelogue in Mandalay first.

Mandalay signifies romance, inner tranquility and long history. Right here, our journey begins.

Adjacent to the ancient capital of the Ava Kingdom, Mandalay is cordially called the city of “va” by local Chinese-Myanmar residents. The unique charm of the city lies in its numbered streets and blocks, golden Buddhist temples and pagodas, and the historic buildings.

We first stopped at Kuthodaw Pagoda at the foot of the Mandalay Hill. The pagoda is home to “the world’s largest book”, which means Buddhist scriptures engraved in 729 slabs of marble.

According to historical records, King Mindon Min had the pagoda built after the model of the Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan. Later, he convened the Fifth Buddhist Synod in the new royal city of Mandalay in 1871, and had the scripture collections set in stone. To keep the carvings from weathering, each marble slab is housed in a small stupa.

"Myanmar has a unique charm, and I want my kids to see the beauty of the country here,” said a Chinese lady surnamed Li, who was reading the ancient "book pages” with her family. Her husband believed that under the Belt and Road Initiative, the distance between countries is shortening and international tours will be on the rise.

Knowing about the on-going road show, the coupled hoped the activity could encourage more cross-border tours between the two countries.

 

Around Kuthodaw Pagoda, we caught sight of local folks walking leisurely.

  

Among them was a Myanmar girl with some neem oil on her face, gonging. You know what she wanted to do?

It turned out that many foreign tourists showed interest in her traditional sunscreen. After her workmates showed the use by painting some little patterns on the guests' faces, some foreign tourists began to try the oil on their faces, painting and laughing.

 

Bidding good-bye to the Kuthodaw Pagoda, we came to the Golden Palace Monastery of Shwenandaw Kyaung. We were greatly impressed at the first sight. The three-storey building is built out of teak wood, with exquisite patterns hand-carved on its doors and windows. The palace is gilt with gold, and thus there’s a golden glow inside.

Once the residence of king Mindon Min and his queen, the golden palace is the only royal structure that survived the Anglo-Burmese Wars and the Second World War. 

 

Treading on the teak floor, I felt the cultural air of unique carvings of the palace. Then we came across a would-be couple who were posing in traditional Myanmar dress for their wedding photos. And such public display of affection made me kind of “envious”. 

The Golden Palace has long been favored by foreign tourists, who were painting, or taking pictures, or “sucking” the kitty. At the sight, my heart was filled with bliss, hoping such leisure could linger on and on. 

In front of the Golden Palace Monastery, a Myanmar young man drew tourists’ attention with his delicate pictures. With a hint of shyness, he told his guests the ups and downs of the palace.

 

Not far from the Golden Palace Monastery lies the Mandalay Palace, which seems to be the epic of the city. The palace was constructed under King Mindon in 1857. During the Anglo-Burmese War, the Palace was destroyed by fire. What we can see now is the rebuilt.

While sight-seeing, we chatted with a Myanmar senior who had been to China’s Palace Museum and Summer Palace. “From those beautiful buildings in Beijing, I felt the richness of Chinese culture,” he said. He believed Myanmar tourism will thrive because of the country’s opening up trend. “I hope that more Myanmar people can visit China and introduce the culture there."

After the chat, we stayed for a while at the city moat, admiring the Mandalay Hill in distance. Locals told us in the morning the moat often saw bike riders.

In November, Myanmar as a whole entered the dry season, but we encountered a small storm when getting near to the U Bein Bridge that afternoon.

 

Usually, the teak bridge impresses international visitors with the sunset glow, the lovers or the monks to and fro leisurely. That day, however, we saw passers-by in a hurry and vendors packing up their valuables at the impending rain, leaving us a different sight.

 

 Look! Her hair is deformed in the wind.

Well! That’s all for today. Follow us to see more Myanmar wonders in Inlay, Naypyidaw, Yangon, Magway and Bagan.

Reporting by Cao Yunbo, Shu Wen and Lei Tong Su; trans-editing by Eric Wang

Keywords:   Chinese Tourists Myanmar