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Mingun - Mandalay - Amarapura - Thursday, 26 January 2017

Australia Day!

sunny 33 °C

I had a dreadful night's sleep. Hardly slept at all with a raging sore throat and coughing and a temperature. So as we are going to the Teak Bridge at Amarapura this afternoon, I decided to forego the morning's walking tour of Mingun and rest in the cabin. It was a good decision but I missed out on a stunning white pagoda. Also, the group visited King Bodawpaya's monumental, uncompleted stupa. During construction, an astrologer to the King argued that the King would die upon completion of the temple and work was immediately halted. Had it been completed, it would have been the largest in the world. It has huge cracks in it as a result of the 23rd of March 1839 earthquake. By the way, the King died anyway!

They also visited the Mingun Bell, which was the heaviest working bell in the world until 2000 when the Bell of Good Luck was unveiled in Henan, China.

When Phil got back to the ship, we went to lunch and this was waiting for us.

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On the bus at 3.00 pm for an excursion to Amarapura, the penultimate Burmese royal capital. We stopped off at a silk workshop and were fascinated to watch the girls weaving the silk. It is such time consuming and intricate work. Susan says they make good money. I hope so. Then the shopping frenzy began! We haven't had many "shopping opportunities" along the way, which has been good, but the shops we have been to have had good quality merchandise.

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Then we drove to U Bein Bridge which is the world's longest and oldest teak wood bridge. There are no sides to the bridge but there are hundreds of people strolling across it. It is a very famous bridge and is always photographed at sunset. About half way across, we climbed down some stairs to our waiting sampans which took us out onto the lake for sundowners and sunset. The Scenic boats were the only ones with life jackets, but we didn't put them on, which really defeats the purpose. However, if the boat capsized, we would die from getting a mouthfull of the revolting water.

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Susan, our guide, came saling by from time to time to fill up our champagne glasses. It was very lovely sitting on the lake, waiting for the sunset.

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Tonight is our last night on board and it is longyi dress up night. Now that is fine, except we don't know how to tie it on us, so I went down to reception and Susan did mine.

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Phil came down and Mr Than, the Chef, tied Phil's for him. It was so funny. Mr Than could hardly get his arms around Phil to tie it up.

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Susan also painted some of the stuff on my face that all Burmese ladies and children wear (but I've forgotten its name).

After dinner, we packed our bags, ready to leave the Scenic Aura at 8.00am!!!! My throat is sore and I'm losing my voice and not feeling very happy.

Posted by gaddingabout 07:01 Archived in Myanmar

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