Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Mingun, Myanmar: Cow taxis!!!!

The Myanmar adventure is almost over!  So sad, but very excited to be on the road to the rest of SE Asia.  

Cliffnotes of the Day:
  • Took an hour+ boat ride across the Irrawaddy River to the tiny town of Mingun.  Our group guide Matt had told us that Mingun was a lovely city and was like stepping back in time. To be honest, I couldn't remember anything he said there was to do there, except that the city still has COW-PULLED TAXIS. WHAT.  On a mission to find cow taxis, stat.
  • The boat ride itself was so nice, across impromptu planks onto wooden two-level contraptions. But we each got a bamboo lounger and it was the best.

Getting onto the boat - notice the human handrails 

I'm not boat expert, but does that boat look slightly overcrowded? They were all the cutest though; all the ladies were waving and smiling

  • First stop after arriving in Mingun was the world's largest pile of bricks (GLAM). It was actually supposed to be a temple called Mingun Pahtodawgyi; initially started by a king in 1790. However, he never finished it because an astrologer told him once he finished it, he would die. 
World's largest pile of bricks. It's HUGE. It's all damaged and has these equally huge cracks running down its sides due to an earthquake in the 1800s.

And you can climb to the top
At the top with Stephen, Clare, and Will; bricks everywhere
Looking out on Mingun
Pano of Mingun and the Irrawaddy River

And then we found the cow taxis!!!! 

  • Next on our self-guided tour of Mingun was the world's 2nd largest uncracked bell.  I tell you, this city is a hotspot.  Move over, NYC.
This bell was originally created to go inside the world's largest pile of bricks-temple. But obviously, since that's unfinished, now the bell just lives nearby for people to come see
And you can ring it with big sticks

  • Last stop was the Hsinphyumae Pagoda, or what we dubbed the white pagoda.

The white pagoda - so cool-looking; kind of reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean or something
We are here. Boys are thrilled.
The white temple deets

  • After our half-day adventure, we sailed back to Mandalay.

Bamboo loungers

  • That evening, we started our overnight bus adventure to Yangon, the capital city of Myanmar. It was the nicest bus ever - they served food, had increds A/C (so increds that I thought we were in Antarctica and ended up wearing every single coat in my bag), and each of us got a personal TV that was playing Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (so appropriate!).  In true fashion, I managed to pass out the entire night and miss every stop and the meal.  And woke up in Yangon! Next up, the big city!

Hooray night bus!

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