‘As We Like it’ : Junior Win

‘A Visit to Mandalay’

At Mandalay, we spent a day for mounting Mandalay Hill. We ascended by the long and soared up stairs and I was happy counting the stairs with my brother. We brought bananas, foods, a jug of water, rice and curry for lunch together. We had to spend our whole day at the top of the hill. My grandparents pointed the small figures far from us and explained everything what we asked. The view we saw far from us were very beautiful and picturesque. When we looked back the stairs that we had treaded behind from the opening, we saw the stairs covered with curving roof which were seen like a big snake that tailed us poetically. After going back from Mandalay Hill, we were resting for another 2 days at the residence. We had to rest because we would have to visit SitKaing Hill next day. After visiting these hills, we never forgot what we had seen and what we caught a glimpse of. We never forget these sights easily, because we spent many hours to visit there. We also went shopping and we visited other pagodas in our free time. We never fixed the date for returning Rangoon. We were going back Rangoon if we were boring there or if we had completed our visits.


I now occasionally took a holiday to visit Mandalay, Sitkaing or Bagan with my friends. We firstly hired a car for us. Then we fixed the time and date for our visit. If we paid for 3 days visit to Bagan, the first and last night of 3 days was slept at the car. Only middle day we spent at the hotel. So, let’s start. I was very tired on the car along the high-way road to Bagan. It took about more than 10 hours sitting in the car. I was not very familiar with sitting many hours on the chair. But I had to enjoy it with my friends. When we reached the hotel at Bagan, the leader of our group demanded not to waste many hours to rest. We would have to start to visit the pagodas in a minute! So, it gave us only one hour for bathing, clothing and did other affairs. We had to do everything very quickly. If we were late to join our group, they would leave us at the hotel. So, the long and the short of the matter was we visited 7 or 10 pagodas in one day! We only spent 20 or 30 minutes for one pagoda.

By the same situation, we could visit Mandalay and Sitkaing Hill by car in only one day. We also could visit KyeikHtooYoe pagoda in a day too! Oh! What a rush and hurry visit! We only needed 20 minutes to reach the top of the hill. So, we only needed 2 hours total for ascending and descending to and from the hill and spent on the pagoda platform. We could not have a chance to see any view from the running car. We rashly bowed down at the shrine and recited verses of the Buddha. We hastily put fresh flowers in the vases and lighted candles. We did not have much time to shop beautiful wares that were sold at the pagoda platforms. Because time was limited. The driver was waiting. Comparing with spending many days in older days to visit those places were now just a dream. The stairs that we mounted long time ago were now history. Scarcely were used these stairs now. But I saw these stairs far away from top of the hill reminded me our lovely older days.


Long ago, people travelled by foot. It might be because of transport. But now the world is really shrinking? I saw this word ‘shrinking world’ in the Encyclopedia. It said we can travel faster than previously. So the travel times continue to shorten. In older days, there were no car route to mount Mandalay and Sitkaing Hills. Now by the route, we ascended to the top in 20 minutes by car. But I thought on the other hand. People preferred faster way because perhaps, most of the people could not give much time or they could not spend much money to visit many places or they could not take many holidays from their boss or we were too busy? The old stairs are still existent and we can choose the way what we like. If we do not want to use the car, we can walk or ascend by stairs like older days. If we do not like to spend much time to go up the hill, we hire the car and mount to the top in a few minutes as we like.

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(photo – (left) The stairs with the long roof straight to the hill, we spent many  hour during the time. We had many memories never be forgotten,  see how we enjoyed it; chatting, sitting, playing, resting on the ladders,  telling stories,…..

(right) – Form the top of the Sitkaing Hill at my last visit, I saw the roofs (of ladders) far away from me which was among the bushy mountains that we once treaded upon were still seemed like a snake curving among the bushes.)