Mandalay to MawlamyineMawlamyine' Mandalay
Mandalay - South Burma
A 13 hour Mandalay Express coach (K15.000) departs at 18:00 from Mawlamyine. A second tavern is much more expensive than the first - K2.400 for a capuccino or K2.100 for the typical K100 for a typical regional one. Taxis from the 79 Leisure Hotel to the 79 Leisure Hotel are K8,000.
Mandalay seems warmer than other Burmese places for some apparent reasons, so take plenty of hot tub with you on a stroll, put on a cap and use a suntan. Make a nice stroll around the Great Palace, but be advised, it is a long stroll, because each of the four sides of the fortress forms a perfectly shaped place, is 2 kilometers long; an 8 kilometer long stroll in all!
It is the last king's castle of the last Burma mynasty. The entrance fee to the castle is USD $10, which only allows entry to the area replicated in 1990 and to a smaller area. So I didn't dare enter the castle area. They are text-labelled plates with 730 sheets and 1,460 pages.
Please note: At the moment of the letter Mandalay is under temporary security lock. It' s difficult to find a meal after 7:00 pm and the roads are deadly silent and very scary as the Mandalay road seems more busy and overloaded than Yangon! Book 2 overnight stays and stay 4, as the resort is very cheap.
It is centrally located, as the guesthouse is opposite the railway and about one kilometer from the beginning of the Grand Palais - not from the palais entry. This lodging we liked so much that we reserved another overnight for our trip back to Mandalay. Although we came by coach at the second stop around 8 p.m. and were informed by the 79 employees that our room was inundated and they were furnishing another room for us; the employees are very apologizing and as you can guess, we did not know which replacement would come as the room would be paid for by the motel.
We are pleased that a room was made available in Hotel A1, which is nearer to the pier and good tidings when the ship departed the next day at 5:30 am. Like the name already says, this place is ideal for cakes (without ice), but also for coffees at sensible costs. It is a series of 4 cafés in Mandalay, so you don't have to run far to get to another one.
A little further up from Unique Myanmar Restuarant (corner 27 by 65 street) is a low-cost restuarant with empty flasks hung everywhere and a Thatch. Unfortunately I don't recall the name of this place and I'm not sure if it had a name. In view of its close vicinity to the palace, this is an ideal stopover for regional delicacies.
Usually I avoid restaurant and hotels as usual, they are overpriced for the land and not of good qualitiy. Seems that once an institution is published in a guidebook or has a rating on Tripadvisor, the price rises, and the level of qualtity and services decreases.
Everything that was ordered for breakfasts was coffe and one ever a night clubsandwich - both tastes quite good and I wasn't sickened. Decision on the 6-hour coach trip (K4.500), which departs from Mandalay to Hsipaw at 06:00 o'clock. There are other ways to get between Mandalay and Hsipaw by the tedious trains, privat- or collective taxis and pick-up.