Mandalay, Motorbike and A Starry Lit Sky

Brian Smith

Whenever I used to hear the word ‘Mandalay’, it used to sound too exotic and mysterious to my ears. I am a traveler by soul and whenever I travel, I try to connect with the very soul of people, culture and traditions of the specific place. And when you are an avid traveler, finding people who share the same passion isn’t difficult. And during one such conversation, I came to know about the beautiful city of Mandalay. Now, I have been to Asia numerous times and have visited China, Nepal, India, Laos for that matter, but never set my foot in Myanmar. And as my friend was recounting his travel adventures in Myanmar, I knew that my next destination would be Myanmar and specifically, Mandalay.

And finally, I stepped out of the flight and the hot sun welcomed me in Mandalay, Myanmar. And what greeted me disappointed the traveler a bit, but I decided not to lose hope. While I was travelling towards my adobe for the day, I met two tourists who were backpacking in Myanmar for the last 15 days. When I told them my real motive of visiting Myanmar, they suggested me to Explore Mandalay On A Motorbike And During The Night. Well, I must say that the suggestion definitely left be dazed, but in the end, I thought of giving it a try.

Upon reaching the Homestay, I inquired if any night tours are available to explore Mandalay at night. Well, a few were available and I booked myself with one of them. The tour was scheduled for the same evening and was supposed to be starting at 5 pm. I rested for a few hours and then, got ready for my adventure that brought me here thousands of miles from my home.

The sun started to set and the sky was covered in myriad hues of red, orange and yellow. And here begins my tour of Mandalay under a starlit sky. There were a total of 15 people and we all were given a private motorbike along with an experienced driver. And I love my cute helmet as well. We started off with a cloud of dust rising high in the sky. During the first phase, we cruised along the Palace moat to the ancient pagoda named as Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda. This beautiful and calm pagoda is named after a huge marble statue of Buddha, which was at one time the largest in the world. The complex is now filled with small, multiple building. And if you are a sucker for Christmas, this place is going to give you major holiday vibes with its green and red lights.

After the pagoda, we headed towards to the night market while crossing through the heart of the city. And now my driver was my local guide who was telling me about different, exotic vegetables and fruits and urging me to taste some. Well, he certainly had a great laugh when he saw my face all scrunched up while I was tasting some of sort of fruit. Now, it’s the time for dinner. We drove to the local beer station, where we tasted the freshly brewed local beer and the local Burmese cuisine. I must admit that after a file I was becoming fond of this place.

During the dinner, my driver told me that I am lucky Visiting Myanmar at this time of the year as Mandalay is celebrating one of the much awaited street festivals and it is the best chance to mingle with the locals and know more about their traditions and lifestyle. Moreover, they also offered the choice to select one of the many entertainments to conclude the evening. Well, if you want a wholesome local experience, then find your way to one of the karaoke bars and sing along with the locals. For a more cultural entertainment, you can visit ‘Moustache Brothers’ comedy show for a healthy dose of laughter. The beautiful night came to an end with a ride back to the hotel with my mind still lingering with the locals and singing at the karaoke bar.

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