Myanmar is famous for its richness of culture, beautiful landscape and local people: their heart-warmed welcoming, authentic smile and exciting way of life. When you think to visit Myanmar, Mandalay should be in your top lists since this is the place where you can explore about Myanmar’s culture, it’s ancient history and adventure activities such as biking, soft-adventure hike to Mt. Mandalay, food tours, etc.
Most of the people took two to three days around Mandalay like one day around Mandalay: one day around the three ancient cities such as Amarapura, Sagaing, and Innwa, one more day visiting Mingun by boat.
What about taking train-ride around Mandalay? Sound awesome, right? I would like to introduce you this time, Madaya, the charming town which is located just 30 miles away from Mandalay.
You can reach to Madaya by car and train basically, I would recommend you to take the train since that would be one of the most remarkable experiences and memories for you during your trip to Myanmar. There is a Thu Ye Zay ( သူရဲေစ်း) station, which is located at 77 street x Aung Mingalar Street. There is two-time departure a day from Thu Ye Zay to Madaya, 0715 AM and 1400 PM.
You better get up early and takes 0715 AM departure train would be great. Here one of the most exciting things comes in. Thu Ye Zay, the colorful local market is located on the train tracks. Awesome, right? Let me share you my experience. Early morning around 0530 AM, I get up and make myself ready to go to Thu Ye Zay station. The weather is so cold and perfect. Fresh-air in the early morning makes me awakes and so fresh. And, of course, I am ready to explore this fantastic market on the train track. This market is a fantastic market with full of local products, vegetables, flowers, meats and fish, the list goes on. One should reach there around 0645 AM to explore the market before taking the train to Madaya.
It will cost only 150 MMKs for train tickets and easy to buy. Sometimes, you can get the seat, while sometime you may have to stand at some spots. When you arrive on the train and take a position, make your camera ready to take photos of the interesting daily routine of local people and most importantly, you should consider window seat to take the photo of the market on the train track when it starts leaving to Madaya.
It will take only one and half hour to Madaya. The scenic view along the way to Madaya from Mandalay is breathtaking. Get the help of your guide to chit-chat with local people on the train would be one of the great experience. I heard that sometimes, there is a card-playing on the train and you can participate which is fun to do with locals. There are some stops on the way and taking pictures and exploring how things work here is exceptional. When you arrive at Madaya, you can explore this small charming city by trishaw or by car (if you arranged). You can visit the local market, local-cottages in this small town and try tea at the tea shop, too.
You can come back by bus. But, be careful with that since this is a basic one and a bit small. It also stops again and again on the way. However, it is an excellent experience to be on this little local bus with local, too.
Myanmar is an amazing destination to explore. I would recommend taking this journey for unforgettable train-ride experience over the market to the small charming town, Madaya.
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