|Wednesday Feb 6th. Although Mandalay is only 39 miles away it takes 2 hours by bus so we had to get up early, have breakfast and then leave early to make sure we could still fit in all the activities as per the original itinerary.
The drive into the city itself was a bit disappointing as we were expecting something exotic. Instead, we initially found another very busy and bustling market type town crammed with traders operating on the roadside. It improved however when we reached the other side of town and found wide landscaped roads all set out in a giant grid. It's quite a modern city compared to the rest of Burma.
Visited a couple of workshops - woodcarvings, jewelery, gold leaf factory.
Also visited another of Myanmar's important pilgrimage sites - a six tonne Buddha on which locals come and add gold leaf to the statue. We were not allowed to get too close unless we had gold leaf to attach (withdrawals weren't allowed).
The worlds largest book is represented in over a thousand tablets containing the wisdom of Buddha with each page or tablet in its own individual stone structure. This is a very impressive temple.
Our day finished with a lively cultural concert this evening on the top deck - 3 musicians, a singer and several dancers, all in traditional clothing.