Mandalay is the second city out of two in Myanmar. It's quite dirty place, still not many cars. Opposite to Yangon it's a kind of laidback feeling here. The power supply was probably worse than ever. My everlasting memory is the sound of hundreds of growling generators in the evening. At seven o'clock the city was completely dark. At five in the morning I was waked up by a Muslim prayer with giant loudspeakers just outside the window.
Still Mandalay has its charm. I met some very nice and friendly people and had some interesting chats. Most people seems poor. One guy told me that 'Every one here has got a Chinese boss', another one asked me 'Why is that so?'. Well, how should I know? But the Chinese are clever business men, good organizers, hard working and they stick together in big families. Several times I was told, not just in Mandalay, that everything I saw came from China - cups, tables, chairs, lights, electric wires etcetera. China is the invisible dragon, just sneaking into a firm grip without a sound, and suddenly they are in charge. Mandalay is today probably the main center of Chinese trading and import, and they are doing investments in a new highway southward to Yangon.
I spent some time here buying quality souvenirs, as bronze items and a carved stone Buddha.
|I'll be d*****! A Swedish truck in the streets of Myanmar. How did it get here?
|Young girls making carpets.
|Even though Mandalay is a big city motor traffic is quite sparse. The gasoline is simply to expensive.
|Washing and cleaning at the riverside, close to the ferries.
|A temple in the morning sunlight.
|Farmers selling fruits to bi passing boats.
|Leaving Mandalay in the morning, down the Ayeyarwady River in the sunrise. Next stop - the ruins at Bagan. Half a day trip by waterway.