Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Mandalay, Myanmar

Executive summary by Darmansjah

Why Go Now? Join the throngs of international and local visitors at the landmark Irrawady Literary Festival from 14 to 16 February. The groundbreaking event, which was first held in 2013, places the rich tradition of Burmese literature in the spotlight and paves the way for sweeping international exchange. Befittingly, the festival is to be held on the sprawling grounds of the Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to the world’s largest book – a 729-leaved tome carved in marble.

While Mandalay has recently become a thriving commercial city centre, an easy venture outwards reminds us that it is also the cultural heart of Upper Burma. Explore the Mandalay Palace with its regal Glass Palace, or the golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandaw Kyaung), the last vestige of the original royal Palace at a Amarapura, a religious gem and architectural marvel housing an exquisite collection of ancient teak carvings and gilded figures.

How Do I Make It Happen? From Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, it is best to connect through Bangkok Suvanabbhumi Airport (BKK) where you can catch a direct flight to Mandalay via Thai International Airways ( Rights at the heart of the action, the Mandalay Hill Resort Hotel is a tranquil ode to “The Golden Land”, so inspired by the vast array of golden pagodas that embellish the surrounding area (from US$240;

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