Mandalay

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U'Bein's in the rains.  

The only good thing about it was the bridge was deserted and the area devoid of touts and tourists.  I guess the two go together,

Note the turn in the bridge at the far end, designed to withstand the wind and waves.

Along with a solitary monk we sat on a bench a top the worlds longest teak bridge and watched fishermen pulling up their nets and duck herders shepherding their flocks around the lake.  Once they arrived at a grassy area of the lakebed exposed by the low water level, the ducks grazed while their masters chatted amongst themselves or took a nap.

Young monk returning to Kayauk Taw Gyi Pagoda at the far side of the bridge.   He is sporting an umbrella identical to the one Barbara bought at Mingun.  She says hers stinks!  Quite literally -  of resin, but it looks wonderful in photos.   She was told it was only suitable for use as a parasol but as we see the local use them in the rain too.

Neglected pagoda in an area of jungle.  

Our original plan called for an early morning visit to the bridge to see it before the tour buses arrived and to return again at sunset.   As we arrived back at the other side the buses and touts were arriving in droves despite the weather.  

We drove to the ferry dock to catch the boat to Ava but it was deserted, boats were tied up but there was no sign of boatmen.   Time to admit defeat.   We drove back to Mandalay to visit the places described in the previous 3 pages.  We would however manage to find a few hours after our return from Hsipaw and Maymyo to see the bridge and Ava in the sunshine.  Sagaing will have to wait for another visit.

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