Road trip going to Mandalay Myanmar, Province
On the 7th day of our family vacation, we chose to rent a taxi that will bring us to Mandalay, passing by one of Mandalay’s tourist spots, the Popa Mountain. The taxi picked us at the Zfreeti Bagan Myanmar. The receptionist helps us booked a cab that will drop us at Mandalay, Myanmar Province, with a cost of USD130.
We used the old road just not so distant from the national highway. During our trip, we saw a lot of local people begging for cars passing the road. If you travel here, please make sure to lock the door cars and don’t stop or get off unless your driver advises you to do so for safety reasons.
The Mount Popa
When we reached the mountain, our driver dropped us just in front of the entrance of Mount Popa. Lying on the top of the hill is a sacred Buddhist temple, so many local people are climbing up the temple to pay respect to the temple. The entrance of mount Popa is surrounded by many vendors selling different kinds of goods such as clothes, slippers, fruits, vegetables, and many more. Many vehicles are parked everywhere like, tricycles, jeepneys, etc. so we had a hard time looking for a place to park the car. People are so crowded, and it seems like it is one of the busy streets of Mandalay Province in Myanmar. We spotted a lot of wild monkeys on the road. The driver said not to feed them or bring any bags outside the car as monkeys tend to chase things from the passers-by. We took a quick photo snap here and continue to our route right after.
The climbed to Mount Popa took us 30 minutes to reached the top. Our children are so game to ascend even some stairs are so steep. They are so fast and excited to see what is waiting for them on the top. When we arrived at the summit of Mount Popa, it gave us a breathtaking and fantastic view, enough for us to forgot the exhaustion we felt from climbing the hill.
It is a challenge for us to climb Mount Popa as a lot of monkeys are sometimes attacking the people as they asked for food. Our children are a bit scared upon walking but we manage to went down the ground unharmed.
After spending some time at the summit and roamed on the temple for quite some time, we went down the mountain, back to the ground using the stairs as the only way to and from Mount Popa
Just like going up, monkeys are trying to get in the railings when we went down. Some local people feed them with decoy food like it was wrapped in the paper, but we don’t know what exactly inside the paper is given to the monkeys. Because of the food decoys, the monkeys tend to fight most of the time, and our children are a little bit scared seeing and hearing them fight with loud sounds.
The viewpoint is the entrance where we stopped to use the comfort room. It was a public toilet so cleanliness is at a low rate.
After the climb, we ride to our taxi and bought oranges from a fruit vendor for quick snacks inside the car and drove continuously to our Mandalay hotel.
Just less than 1 hour of drive we reached Mandalay City and dropped us at the Unity Hotel.
The Unity Hotel has a big room and based on what we saw, customers are mainly Chinese and Indian tourists.
We booked a family room with 1 queen bed and 1 single bed. The space is good for us, not so small, and not too big just enough for a family of four with 2 small children and 2 adults.
The toilet is big as well consisting of the bathroom and the toilet with a sink complete with hygienic accessories.
We arrived at the hotel at around 2 pm in the afternoon and we all felt so hungry. Went to the hotel restaurant urgently to have our late lunch.
We honestly didn’t know what would come out of the menu or what would be the taste because we are not so familiar of the Myanmar food but we are surprised that it came out so delicious.
After our hurried lunch, we wanted to see the sunset of Mandalay so we climbed the Mandalay hill right after.
Our Climbed at Mandalay Hill.
Just near our hotel is the Mandalay Hill, rented tuk-tuk vehicle to drop us in front of the Mandalay Hill and after around 15 minutes ride we were in front of the hill.
It was the same with Mount Popa, where the stairs have a Buddhist station every stairs level. Entering will required tourists to walk in their barefoot. Even our children had walked in their foot only and to be honest, the floor is dirty, and some part of the floor was wet. Sometimes we encountered dogs in the pathway and were afraid that dogs might chase us, but thankfully they just fought with some other dogs and not harming any tourists. We spotted a lot of vendors, too, on the way to the summit of Mandalay Hill. It looks like some living there as they sell their goods.
Take note that slippers will require you to put at a cabinet style keeping safe at the entrance and will ask you to pay so they could keep the shoes for you, but this is not a requirement. We saw some of the tourists carrying their bags of shoes while trekking the hill. Some just used the situation as an advantage for them to gain money from a lot of the incoming guests. In our case, we decided to leave our shoes in their cabinet because it’s hard to bring all shoes with two children with us, plus they threaten us at first that if we cant drop our shoes, we cant enter the temple.
After a few minutes of seeing the sunset, we headed back down the stairs to return to our hotel. We hired the tuk-tuk vehicle to bring us to the hotel. Our feet are so tired as we already walked a lot from Mount Popa on the same day, but it was so rewarding as we followed the itinerary of our trip and, of course, did a great exercise on that day. In addition to it, we enjoyed seeing the historical places of Mandalay. Ate our dinner at the hotel restaurant and went to sleep after the dinner to prepare ourselves for another tour the next day. By the way, we realized that there is another way to go the Mandalay hill, one is via climbing the stairs, and one is via road for a rented or private vehicle that can drop you at the summit of Mandalay Hill, but I’m not sure if tuk-tuk can also go up the mountain.
Our hotel offered breakfast inclusion in our bookings, so we had a buffet-style breakfast the following day. The foods were all delicious, and we started the day with a stomach so full.
We did visit the Mandalay palace but ended up just took a picture outside the court as we had a scheduled flight to catch on the same day.
Feeling like we were running out of time, we decided to cut our tour at the palace; instead, we pick our luggage and head to Mandalay international airport right away. Our hotel staff booked us a taxi to drop us at the airport.
We enjoyed our Mandalay road trip. We anticipate more exciting experiences for the next few days of our trips that will be happening in other different Asian countries. Stay tuned!