24 hours in Mandalay


At the end of my 10-day trip in Burma, I found myself alone and with only a day to visit Mandalay. What does one do with only 24 hours in Mandalay?

Bike to Mandalay Hill

After checking into to a mediocre room at the Nylon Hotel, I quickly grab a bike for a dollar and head for Mandalay Hill. This means biking around the giant fort walls of the Mandalay Palace in the slow lane, flanking old ladies with their pretty flowered longyis and staying out of the way of dirty city buses.

I figure that I will be able to see the rows of souvenirs stands and then I will know, this is where I go. Instead I pass monasteries, a golf course and then… houses. I had apparently navigated to the road less traveled (shocking, I know) and ended up… lost.

Time for me to get out my map and put on the classic “help me I’m a confused tourist!” face. As if consoling a puppy, a kind woman with an extremely large goiter amassed on the left side of her neck assures me that yes, I’m in the right place. Just a little ways further.

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