We continued to be moored in Mandalay because there were several sites which had to be visited. After breakfast, we left for the first site to be visited - the Kuthodaw Pagoda.
The Kuthodaw Pagoda is significant primarily because of the 729 white-washed pagodas which were erected in 1872 to individually house the marble tablets upon which the entire Tipitake was recorded in Pali script, veneered with gold leaf. These pagodas are often dubbed as "The World’s largest book".
Then to the Shwenandaw Monastery - this is a beautiful wooden building decorated with exquisite carving. The King had used the building for private meditation, but he later gave it to the monks as a monastery. It was dismantled and moved, piece by piece, to it's present site.
Sometimes, parents will send their children to Buddhist orphanages to get an education that they could not afford otherwise. After a while, some of the boys go home, while some stay and become Buddhist monks.
Viking arranged for lunch at a private restaurant, the Royal Mandalay. It was excellent - there were eight people per table with a turntable in the middle. They placed about a dozen different dishes on the turn table - everyone could turn it to the dish which they wanted.
Next blog - continuation of day...
Photos belong to Phil Bianco.