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Planet Burma - Mandalay: Travels from the Golden City

MANDALAY: Travels from the Golden City
by Paul Strachan

Mandalay describes life in the old capital that remains the spiritual heart of Burma, and a number of intrepid journeys Paul Strachan made, nearly always staying overnight at local Buddhist monasteries. His informative descriptions of Buddhist life highlight the great variety and richness of traditions found in .
In addition to describing a vibrant Buddhist culture, Mandalay tells of a warm and generous people, as yet untrammelled by Western materialism, as proud of their heritage as they are pious in faith. At times humorous, at others illuminating, Mandalay represents a personal anatomy of this intriguing land. The text is accompanied by evocative colour plates, taken by the author, that do much to capture the essence of Upper Burma.

1994 - 240 pages with 56 colour plates. Map, glossary and notes.
PRICE: 25.00 or US$40.00

After a couple of hours' sleep I raised an eyelid half a millimetre or so to take in a ring of small heads staring at me as it I were some alien jettisoned uninvited into their world. Not feeling up to interviews, I feigned sleep. These were the boys of the monastery, sent to study and earn merit for their families by serving the monks. Whispered conversation ensued. 'His longyi is homespun, he must be a farmer.' 'How can he be, look, there is a hundred kyat note sticking out of his shirt pocket.' 'Maybe he is an Indian from across the border come down to sell betel nuts?' And so on.

It was now dusk and as the sun set over the walled monastery compound the boys clambered like monkeys up sprawling fruit trees to collect unripe mangos and tamarind leaves for cooking with.