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Road to Mandalay

29 days of traveling and almost 13000 miles in air, 300km on the Irrawaddy river and another 350km on the Myanmar roads from Bagan to Nyaungshwe. On the other side of the world. Southeast Asia. Myanmar, in the past known as Burma. And now it looks like, it was the last for a while.

Frankly speaking, it was not the No. 1 destination to go for me. But when opportunity came, my common mantra "why not to give it a try" prevailed. Before I went I didn't know anything about the country except former name and position on the map. Short research on web reminded me that I saw several images of Bagan and Inle lake on the social media and realised that this country could have a big photographical potential and this strengthen my morale and give the final "let's go!" call.

It is not a plan to be a travel blogger in this post, so I will upload some images from the travel and write some captions below.

Kuthodaw Pagoda in Mandalay, Myanmar
Kuthodaw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda lays under the famous Mandalay hill which is a nice place to go for sunrise or sunset, but honestly, no foreground to get a nice image. But it is true, I didn't do any research in advance. The Pagoda itself is a huge yard of small temples and in every each of it, there is a page of Pali's canon, the oldest buddhist script writte in the rock. It is the biggest buddhist book in the world. The lines for photography are amazing and I was lucky enough to visit it in the early morning (6.30 am) during the morning golden light and almost no people were here.

Burmese girl is smiling and selling flowers for donation in the Pagoda
Burmese girl

Rudyard Kipling, famous British writer and poet was serving some of his military days in Mandalay, while Burma was a colony under the crown. One of his highlights of his writing is a song, called "Road to Mandalay" which he dedicated to the always smiling Burmese girls. One of those was sitting in the front of the Kuthodaw pagoda and selling blossoming flowers for the buddhists. They believe that donation of flowers in the front of Buddha means good work and recommendation for the afterlife. Myanmar is probably one of the countries, where it is one of the easiest jobs to take portrait photographs. People are extremely friendly and always smiling. You point to your camera and smile, they smile back and allow you to take as many photos as you wish. A lot of people is wearing "thanaka" - creme from the thanaka tree bark which they mix with water and put it on the face. They believe it makes skin younger and it protect you from the sun.