Four days in Mandalay were one more than planned but we were not bored.
Arrival in the dark, we wake up the guard in the hotel who appears from under a bush, apologizing. After a short nap we check out the palace grounds. Restored houses look deserted in the still early morning. The original buildings were burnt down but you get some idea of what it might of looked like. We get an even better idea next day in Shwenandaw monastery that was first moved to the palace area from Amarapura and then away to its present location. The latter move saved it for tourists.
Some chill out on the Mandalay hill and two dinners on Irrawaddy riverfront with sunset.
Second day is devoted to pagodas and monasteries. Kuthodaw , Shwenandaw, Mahamuni, Shwe In Bin and Eindawya. I finally meet a monk eager to practice his English and get to say a well prepared sentence in Burmese: I want to take a picture, is it okay?
On third day we visit the surrounding former capitals Sagaing, Inwa and Amarapura. And of course U Bein bridge which is filled with tourists.
On our last day in the city we do things that have to be done like buying bus tickets, calling our trekking guide and exchanging money. By chance we meet a cycle trishaw guide Myint Shin on the street and he takes us on a tour to some factories. No really my kind of thing but since we meet no other tourists and no attempt is made to sell us anything, it turns out to be a rather pleasant experience. Later we have dinner together. Food is delicious and talking to Myint Shin makes for a good desert.