"An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly
On the road to Mandalay..." - Rudyard Kipling, Mandalay
Although to most Americans, 'Mandalay' is just another
luxury Las Vegas hotel, yet in Rudyard Kipling's poem, it conjures up
boundless imaginations of an exotic, peaceful place in an oriental kindom,
where palaces and temples fill skyline, stupas and pagodas shine, treasures
and gems abundant.
Even in the twenty-first century, the real
Mandalay isn't too far from such imaginations. Ox carts still
rumble before the cluster of stupas in the Sandamani Paya (above),
and pedestrains can still quench their thirst with water provided
in the road-side jars (below).