PHOTO: Nunnery on Sagaing Hill Near Mandalay, Myanmar

Morning meal at Sagaing Nunnery near Mandalay, Myanmar

Nuns share a mid-morning meal at the Tha Kya Di Thar Nunnery on Sagaing Hill near Mandalay, Myanmar. Each day at 10:45 a.m., the nuns gather in the communal hall to sing songs before sitting down to eat. Their performance is open to the public, and donations are always welcome. After their brief concert, visitors … Read more

PHOTO: View from U Min Thonze Cave Pagoda Near Mandalay, Myanmar

View from U Min Thonze Cave and Pagoda, on Sagaing Hill near Mandalay, Myanmar

View from U Min Thonze Cave Pagoda over Sagaing Hill, located on the opposite side of the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay, Myanmar. Only a handful of monasteries and pagodas existed when this area was the capital of Sagaing Kingdom, from 1315 to 1364. Today Sagaing Hill is part of Mandalay, and the entire area is … Read more

PHOTO: Weirawsana Jade Pagoda Near Mandalay, Myanmar

Jade Temple in Mandalay, Myanmar

Weirawsana Jade Pagoda near Mandalay, Myanmar, is covered in jade worth $15 million. Inside the pagoda, jade Buddha statues occupy niches facing the four cardinal directions. The government of Myanmar represents it as the largest jade pagoda in the world, and the only one in the world built entirely of the precious stone. The 75-foot … Read more

Cooling Off in the Hill Stations of Myanmar

National Kandawgyi Garden in Pyin Oo Lwin, one of the loveliest Hill Stations of Myanmar

By mid-February, the lowlands of Myanmar were sweltering under an unforgiving sun. With temperatures in the mid-90’s and 60% humidity, I fled the crowded streets of Mandalay and headed for the hills. Rather than rely on slow, uncomfortable trains like the Circular Train in Yangon, I splurged a little and hired a “taxi.” Taxis in … Read more

PHOTO: Bridal Couple at Kuthodaw Complex in Mandalay, Myanmar

Bridal couple at Kuthodaw Complex in Mandalay, Myanmar, celebrate their wedding day with a visit to the famous temple where each of 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings are housed in its own individual shrine

Bridal couple celebrate their wedding day with a visit to Kuthodaw Complex in Mandalay, Myanmar. This famous site is often described as containing the largest book in the world. After my first circuit of the site, I was mystified. I saw absolutely no evidence of a giant book. Further inquiry solved the mystery. In 1857 … Read more