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    Tropical Heat Tour: Myanmar Part 5

    Tuesday, August 28, 2012
    Mandalay, Myanmar

    Buddha in a dragon at Shwekyimyint in Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Peacocks are the unlikely guards of this small temple at Shwekyimyint in Mandalay, Myanmar.

    For the past few days, my Panasonic Lumix camera battery could only hold a charge for a few hours, so I bought a new one at Singapore Store, a small department store. I was really surprised they even carried it. The only problem was, this supposedly new battery only held a charge for a few hours, too. After a web search, I figured out that it was a bootleg battery, so I returned it to the store and they replaced it. The same thing happened again today, so I took it back and, shockingly, they refunded my money. At a small shop, I also bought a pack of fake Panasonic AA batteries that wouldn’t work at all, even though the expiration date said 2019. I’ll bet most if not all batteries sold in Myanmar are bootlegs. Now, I may have to buy a whole new camera, unless I can find a good, authentic battery in India. Let this be a lesson: always take extra batteries whenever you go on a trip.

    Walking between temples at Shwekyimyint in Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Good and evil show their faces at Shwekyimyint in Mandalay, Myanmar.

    After all of the chaos of the Nat Pwe yesterday, I took a much needed day off to rest. As I was walking back to the Royal Guest House after a late lunch, a trishaw driver hit me up, and I told him I wanted to visit the Shwekyimyint Buddhist temple a few blocks North. After agreeing to a fee of about 500 kyats, I sat down in his trishaw, which was outfitted with a couple of packs of seed for a chair instead of, you know, an actual cushion. As we rounded the corner, I was dismayed to see that the temple was only one block away. Luckily, I talked the driver down to 300 kyats.

    One of many Buddha shrines at Shwekyimyint in Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Buddha in a bell at Shwekyimyint in Mandalay, Myanmar.

    As I shed my shoes and made my way inside, I was delighted by the sheer number of odd sculptures that packed this place, including a Buddha sitting inside a huge coiled up dragon, guardian peacocks instead of the usual dragons at the entrance to one small temple, a soldier displaying twin good and evil faces, a Buddha inside a huge bell, and a few strange, miniature cave-like passageways that only the little brother of a midget could squeeze through. As dusk approached, I made my way out into the hot, dusty streets of Mandalay over to V’s Cafe to finish off the night.

    Fierce dragons guard a temple at Shwekyimyint in Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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