Walking around Mandalay city and Mandalay Hill
After a great night sleep recovering from my 70kms trip in the countryside, I decided to visit Mandalay Hill, skipping Mandalay Palace and its 10$ entrance fee going straight into the government’s pocket.
First step of the day, FOOD!!
I walked to the 87th/26th and found a tea house (those cheap local restaurants) where I got a really good chicken noodle soup with side soup and pickled vegetables for 600K.
I walked to the Mandalay Hill, not imagining it would take me an hour and half in the heat of the day! It didn’t look that far on the map! Luckily 20 minutes before reaching, a taxi driver stops besides me and offers me to take me there for free, it’s on his way!! How nice!!
There is no entrance fee to the hill, but you need to have your shoes looked after at the bottom for 200K, and then you can start climbing the covered stairs leading to the top, walking through different monasteries and pagodas, surrounded by souvenir shops and food stalls. The way up is not too hard, it takes around half an hour and I found it really nice to walk bare foot the whole way, in the shade of the stairs.
The last monastery is the only one where you have to pay; it’s 500K to get in with a camera, 1000K for videos. If you’re broke there is no real need to get to the last one, the one just before is just as nice and the view is the same!
I met a really funny crazy Burmese family who seemed to be here on a holiday, I found it strange that they were walking around the pagodas wearing shorts but well, maybe they weren’t Buddhists!
On my way back, I found myself in a delicate situation… How to get back to the center?? All the pick-ups on the main road refused to take me – maybe they weren’t allowed to take foreigners - I still had 2 hours left before taking my bus to Inle Lake, but I felt very lazy to walk for another hour and half in the sun.
I could hear the 2 devils fighting in my mind:
Greedy Backpacker Devil: “Oh come on,!! Move your bum and walk, it’s not that far!!”
Lazy Backpacker Devil: “it’s 2000K for a motorbike taxi, it’s not that bad! You really want to sweat like crazy again?!?”
A car is parked on the side of the road, I ask the 2 young guys inside if they can take me. They’re going to street 80, which is already halfway for me, but “Sorry, we’re waiting for 4 people to come, the car is full!”. Too bad!!
I keep walking, decided to resist the Lazy Devil. Few minutes later, a car stops next to me. The 2 guys from before tell me to jump in!!
“Your 4 friends not coming?”
“we drop you, after we go get them”
Ohhh!!! Once again I’m facing the incredible generosity of the Burmese people!! I’m so glad! Those 2 lads are super funny, communication is a bit hard with their very limited English, but we managed!
Nice car with A/C, both with their smart phones, I think they were not the poorest ones!!
They dropped me right next to my hotel, I just had to walk across the market and I was back home!! They did a long way for me, so sweet!!!
I was staying in AD1 Hotel, probably not the cheapest one but the cheapest I found that day anyway! 8$ for a single room with fan and bathroom (10$ if you want the breakfast). It’s recommended in the LP so you’ll find it easily. Very clean rooms (they have only double rooms but you’ll pay the price of a single if you’re alone), nice big building with sofas in the lobby where you can make interesting encounters if you hang around there!
From the bus station you can take a motorbike taxi fir 2000K.
To find the hotel when you’re in the market, take the street between the 2 white elephants! (on the picture above)
- Getting around Yangon using public buses
- [video] Bagan by night
- [video] The wonders of Bagan
- [video] The CouchSurfing contest: Get Inspired!!
- Changing money in Myanmar/Burma
- Trekking on your own in the east side of Inle Lake
- A great travel agency in Nyaungshwe (Inle Lake)
- Cycling on the west side of Inle Lake
- A day floating on the beautiful Inle Lake
- The best way to go around Mandalay area: rent a motorbike!