Mandalay Golden Palace
‘This was main palace in Mandalay for the last King, King Thibaw’ U Sandima our monk who is guiding us tells the history of the place we are at.
The Manadaly Golden Palace was the last royal palace of the Burmese monarchy. King Mindon who founded Mandalay as the new capital, shifted the entire palace from Inwa on the backs of elephants. But the Golden Palace was burned to the ground during the Second World War and what stands there now is a teak reconstruction of the palace by the Mandalay Government.
The only original building was dismantled during the reign of King Mindon and rebuilt as the Shwenandaw Monastery just outside the palace moat.
Today U Sandima is showing us round the Palace and we walk through the high ornate doors and the many teak buildings sharing the large grounds. Palace halls, Kings Palace, Queens quarters, dining rooms, servants halls, and concubine areas. There are many many rooms and buildings. As it is the slow season there are few people and it is quiet and peaceful.
We are stopped by a group of school girls sitting on the grass. ‘Can we practice our English’ … ‘Sure’ …
‘Where do you come from?’… ‘How long are you here for?’ …‘What is your name?’
Sharing with them the Palace grounds have come to life, ‘We come from New Zealand, and we love your country.’