The Burmese seem to enjoy changing capital on a regular basis, Rangoon has recently lost its status when all administrations were moved to the new city of Nay Pyi Taw, Mandalay had followed the same principle in the early XXth century.
There is not much left of the old capital really, a reconstructed palace and a beautiful teak monastery which had luckily been dismantled and moved out of the palace enclosure before the bombing of the WWII destroyed everything.
At the foot of Mandaly hill, there are also 2 famous temples containing the world biggest books, made of marble, each contained in a very white pagoda.
Before climbing the hill, we enjoy our best meal in Myanmar! prepared by the man below. It did not inspire lots of confidence when he started cutting tons of ingredients with scissors and mixing them with his bare hands in a bowl but it was really tasty! (anyway, much better than what we had in the rest of the country!)
And finally, just before rushing back to the airport (once again!), here is the fantastic view from Mandalay hill:
But the real interest of visiting Mandaly lies in the 3 ancient capitals which are within 30 km of Mandalay: Inwa, Amarapura and Sagaing.
We hired a taxi for the day and got taken around the area. The driver was like a tour guide, he knew the right time to be at the different spots: 10h15 to see the monks queuing for food, when and where to get a boat and a horse and also how to make the best photos of the famous U Bein's bridge (lonely planet cover :-).
So we really need to thank him for the following shots!
Despite all the negative feedbacks we had heard about Mandalay and the appalling (British) weather, it was a beautiful experience (and a really nice lunch!)