I left Mandalay on the 4 o’clock a.m. train heading north to go and see the Gokteik viaduct. The viaduct was the largest trestle bridge built in the world upon its completion in 1901 and still one of the biggest. It measures over a hundred meters high and covers a span of nearly 700 meters.
Climbing up through the hillside, the photograph is slightly misleading as we were probably travelling at about 10 mph !!
View of the Goktiek Viaduct –
Waiting at the train station for the southbound train to cross the viaduct –
Local school next to the train station –
Here we go, train tracks still changed the old fashion way –
Southbound train arriving on the viaduct –
On the way across the viaduct –
Starting to go over the viaduct
View from the train as we go over –
Looking back after we had crossed, i wonder how many tablets, phones and cameras are at the bottom of the gorge ?!-
I caught the train up to Mandalay, an early start at 7 a.m. saw us travelling across the plains at dawn on the bumpy railway line. Although the rail track had only been built in 1996 it was still as bumpy as the other older railway lines i had been on. I still enjoyed the journey as there is always different things to see and different things happening when you pull into the stations. Traffic is stopped the old fashioned way by men with red and green flags and tracks are changed by pulling old fashioned levers.
During my stay in Bagan i started to get a sore throat probably due to the amount of dust and sand i was breathing in, this worsened and by the time i got to Mandalay i seemed to have the flu. I really didn’t feel like any temple visits so I just holed up in my hotel for 3 days watching TV until i felt better. I only really got out on the 4th day to see a couple of things, the walls of the Royal Palace, the Kuthadow Pagoda and a trip up Mandalay Hill.
The walls and moat around the Royal Palace –
The stupas of the Kuthadow Pagoda, in the grounds of the pagoda are 729 kyauksa gu or stone-inscription caves, each containing a marble slab inscribed on both sides with a page of text from the Tipitaka the entire Pali Canon of Thereavada Buddhism
View from Mandalay Hill over the Kuthadow Pagoda –
Kuthadow Pagoda with the moat around the Royal Palace –