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The towels and juice were ice cold but the welcome was warm and friendly at the Emerald Land Inn.   

Our first jaunt was up Mandalay Hill, the hotel laid on a vehicle, unfortunately not the rather fine Austin  in the photo.

The Shweyattaw Buddha 

Pre dates the city of Mandalay. His outstretched hand points to the spot where King Mindon would build his new capital city, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Gautama Buddha that a center of Buddhist learning would be built there.

If you are climbing the hill as we did in 2005 it is a relief to see this gold plated statue , it means you are 2/3rds of the way up.

Like these young monks and many visitors we had ascended Mandalay Hill to admire the view from the summit.   Our driver dropped us off half way up and we were presented with three choices, walk, elevator or escalators.  

We choose the latter and were soon standing on the  hillside overlooking the city that King Mindon built.  In 1861 he moved the capital from Amarapura to the foot of Mandalay Hill. 

The view is awe-inspiring.  Truly a panorama.

To the South lies the city of Mandalay with it's walled fort.  To the West lies the river and beyond that the hill of Sagaing and Mingun.  To the North rice fields stretch as far as the eye can see and to the East the Shan hills.


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