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Where are you going next?

 Africa86 votes
76.11%
 South America3 votes
2.65%
 Europe3 votes
2.65%
 Eastern Asia5 votes
4.42%
 Carribean9 votes
7.96%
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4.42%
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1.77%
total votes: 113
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"Let me listen to me and not to them." -- Gertrude Stein

363--Myanmar: Do you know the way to Mandalay?
@ CherieSpotting     Jul 25 2006 - 19:03 PST
Cherie writes: A few thousand years ago, the Buddha climbed Mandalay Hill, looked down, and proclaimed that a great and religious city would be born below. The Buddha was right about a lot of things. Today, tourists and believers alike climb the 1,729 steps to the top.

At the summit rests the Su Taung Pyi Pagoda (or “wish granting” pagoda) that was built by King Anawratha in the year 414 (by the Myanmar Calendar.) At 790-ft above the city, you can gaze down at the old Royal Palace and the Ayeryarwaddy River.

Mandalay Hill is the perfect place to watch a romantic sunset, especially if you have a monk standing next to you. I thought I was cool chatting with the monk, but Jean one-upped me and gave the monk her number! The monk asked me: “Why do westerners always climb this hill to watch the sunset?”
--“Because the sunset is beautiful,” I answered.
--“Why do westerners think the sunset is more beautiful than the daylight?” the monk questioned further. I didn’t have an answer. Maybe I like the sunset because the sky is more colorful and therefore seems special. But isn’t every moment in life colorful and special?

When Jean and I weren’t walking in the Buddha’s footsteps, we visited the local massage parlor and cheroot factory. (I don’t think the Buddha was in either of those locations!)

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Cherie talking to a monk at sunset on Mandalay Hill. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Cherie talking to a monk at sunset on Mandalay Hill. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

The towering Buddha. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

The towering Buddha. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Prepare to pray. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Prepare to pray. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

This is an image of Buddha pointing to the Royal Palace.  Buddha climbed Mandalay Hill, looked down, and proclaimed that a great city would be born below.

This is an image of Buddha pointing to the Royal Palace. Buddha climbed Mandalay Hill, looked down, and proclaimed that a great city would be born below.

One of these guys is having a bad day.

One of these guys is having a bad day.

Cherie and Jean with the friendly monk.

Cherie and Jean with the friendly monk.

I don't mean to be picky...but are monks supposed to chat with women?

I don't mean to be picky...but are monks supposed to chat with women?

The incredible views from the top of Mandalay Hill.

The incredible views from the top of Mandalay Hill.

The monk shows Jean around.

The monk shows Jean around.

Mandalay monk at sunset.

Mandalay monk at sunset.

Who would have guessed?

Who would have guessed?

Jean gets the monk's phone number!

Jean gets the monk's phone number!

Rest in the shade of Mandalay Hill. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Rest in the shade of Mandalay Hill. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Guess who the local is? *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Guess who the local is? *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Taking a break. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Taking a break. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Jean, Cherie and Aunt Lynda explore the pagodas around Mandalay.

Jean, Cherie and Aunt Lynda explore the pagodas around Mandalay.

A door to the past.

A door to the past.

Cherie. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Cherie. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Black and white.

Black and white.

Jean peeks through the door.

Jean peeks through the door.

A wooden pagoda.

A wooden pagoda.

The golden ceiling.

The golden ceiling.

Out of respect, I didn't go in. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Out of respect, I didn't go in. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Myanmar woman and her child.

Myanmar woman and her child.

Welcome to the gong show.

Welcome to the gong show.

Kuthodaw Pagoda is surrounded by 729 slabs that have the entire Buddist scriptures on them--it's the "World's Biggest Book!"

Kuthodaw Pagoda is surrounded by 729 slabs that have the entire Buddist scriptures on them--it's the "World's Biggest Book!"

Cherie surrounded by white pagodas.

Cherie surrounded by white pagodas.

Cherie. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Cherie. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

A welcome smile. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

A welcome smile. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

It's time for lunch!

It's time for lunch!

A menu in Myanmar.

A menu in Myanmar.

After a few beers, the squiggles start to make sense.

After a few beers, the squiggles start to make sense.

For quick service...gong the bell.

For quick service...gong the bell.

What are these fuzzy green things?

What are these fuzzy green things?

Lynda wants a bite.

Lynda wants a bite.

Hanging out with the boys in Myanmar.

Hanging out with the boys in Myanmar.

There's nothing left from this delicious meal!

There's nothing left from this delicious meal!

Who knew there was a "Safeway" in Myanmar? *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Who knew there was a "Safeway" in Myanmar? *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Leave it to the businessmen of Myanmar to name cotton pads after me. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Leave it to the businessmen of Myanmar to name cotton pads after me. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

A stretch break.

A stretch break.

Our driver named Sein Lwin.

Our driver named Sein Lwin.

Jean and Lynda admire the view.

Jean and Lynda admire the view.

Sorting the leaves at the cheroot factory.

Sorting the leaves at the cheroot factory.

The Myanmar people are famous for making cheap and delious cheroot cigars.

The Myanmar people are famous for making cheap and delious cheroot cigars.

Sorting the tabacco leaves at the local cheroot factory.

Sorting the tabacco leaves at the local cheroot factory.

Although Cherie doesn't typcially smoke, she couldn't resist a cheroot. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Although Cherie doesn't typcially smoke, she couldn't resist a cheroot. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

A big smile.

A big smile.

How many stacks do you want?

How many stacks do you want?

Kitten by the stock of cheroot.

Kitten by the stock of cheroot.

She's a non-smoker. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

She's a non-smoker. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

That's a lot of smokes. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

That's a lot of smokes. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

The perfect cheroot starts with the perfect tabacco leaf. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

The perfect cheroot starts with the perfect tabacco leaf. *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Wanna smoke? *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Wanna smoke? *Photo by Jean Leitner.

Cheroots line the walls like some form of tabacco art.

Cheroots line the walls like some form of tabacco art.

Coming over a bridge.

Coming over a bridge.

The Myanmar stick-carriers.

The Myanmar stick-carriers.

Driving the pineapple truck.

Driving the pineapple truck.

It's time for a Myanmar massage.

It's time for a Myanmar massage.

A smile from Cherie.

A smile from Cherie.

Jean lets people walk all over her.

Jean lets people walk all over her.

Are you sure this is legal?

Are you sure this is legal?

Who has the bigger smile?

Who has the bigger smile?

A monk on a walkie-talkie.

A monk on a walkie-talkie.