The road to Mandalay

Trip Start Aug 10, 2007
Trip End Ongoing

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Friday, February 8, 2008

I'm going to be terribly controversial here, and I'm very sorry about this, but I'll refrain from recommending a visit to the nightly performance of the Moustache Brothers. Their claim to fame is that Par Par Lay, one of the brothers, is mentioned in the Hugh Grant film "About a Boy", as being jailed after making a number of anti-government jokes during their vaudeville performance. Now it's not just because that their name these days only applies to 33% of the three brothers (and they're not brohers either), but also because I think the performance doesn't live up to the guys' reputation and that the requested donation of 8000 kyat is fairly steep. Shouting that one of the blokes is a jailbird for half the evening, and filling the remainder with 'Don't tell the wife"-jokes (but also - admittedly - some good dance presentations by the wife), doesn't constitute the evening of entertainment I'd expected. So, I'm sorry, a thumbs down from me. The act still needs quite a bit of work.

The Royal Palace in Mandalay is a replica, so you should wonder who would be interested in forking out the required $10 to get in. Obviously, the entry ticket also covers the surrounding sites in Amarapura, Inwa and Sagaing, but if you're with a tuk tuk or taxi driver, you should be able to circumvent the checkposts. And when D and I cycled to Amarapura, to see U Bein's 1.2 km teak bridge, we weren't checked at all (and we weren't even trying to avoid any check points). But again, jogging around the palace is fun, but a bit longer than I had expected. Should anyone want to do the same, I'd estimate that the full circuit is 9.6 km.

Saw D off from here, last seen bouncing up and down on the side of a trishaw (the Myanmari version of the rickshaw, where two passengers can sit back to back beside the cyclist). She would be bussing down to Yangon, and will be meeting me again in Ngapali Beach, preferring not to go back to Bagan for a second time.
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