Myanmar’s second-largest city and its last royal capital, Mandalay is home to the rebuilt Mandalay Palace; the original, destroyed during WWII, was home to then-Burma’s last monarchy. Downtown Mandalay is heavy on the concrete and urban sprawl; unlike Yangon, it looks nothing like it did when it was part British Burma. Mandalay is laid out on a grid, and from 35th Street north to the citadel walls can be easily traversed on foot or by bicycle. Mandalay offers a sharp contrast to Yangon and is interesting taken from both a historical and an urban-planning point of view. A further juxtaposition to the big, dusty city is its nearby hill station Pyin U Lwin (née Maymo). Here is where Upper Burma’s strongest colonial legacy lies, in the form of manicured gardens, horse-drawn carriages, and homes straight out of the English countryside.
When there was every reason in the world to stay away and see the ruins, one woman traveled to Greece to get to work.More