It is situated about 600 kilometers north of Yangon on the Ayeyarwaddy river. It is Myanmar's second largest city and was the royal capital of the last monarchy of Myanmar ( Burma ). It enjoys the splendor of the golden age and still has great importance as a cultural center. The palace was constructed in 1857 in Myanmar traditional architectural styled.
The city was completely damaged in the fierce fighting of World War II, including the royal palace, which has been reconstructed.
Mandalay is best known not only for it’s rich traditional, cultural and spiritual splendor but also exquisite handicraft such as hand-woven embroidery in silk and cotton, the incredible process of making gold leaves, wood and stone carving and bronze casting etc. the river jetties at Mandalay are beehive of activity with small boats going up and down the river, bamboo rafts and cargo boats with huge logs from the teak forests upriver. The water buffaloes are the along the riverbank. Mandalay is now Myanmar’s second largest city, with a population of approximately one million. There are several ancient capitals around Mandalay such as Amapura, Sagaing, Ava, Mingun where Kongboung dynasty kings established their capitals respectively.
How to get there
Mandalay International Airport is the gateway. Mandalay is only over an hour's flight from Yangon. Yangon Airways, Air Mandalay and Air Bagan operate daily flights. By road, it takes about 12 hours by Express coaches; and about 14 hours by train from Yangon. Air Mandalay also directly flight from Chaing Mai to Mandalay.
Another highlight of Myanmar – all itineraries should include a minimum stay of one night in Mandalay. If possible, we prefer to include at least 2 nights in Mandalay, as this allows time to visit the ancient capital cities of Amarapura, Sagain, Innwa ( Ava ) and Mingun.
The hill has for long been a holy mount and the legend says that the Buddha on his visit had prophesied that a great city would be founded at its foot. Mandalay Hill, 230 metres in elevation, commands a magnificent view of the city and the surrounding countryside.
The grand palace complex was reduced to ashes during Worsld War II. Majestic palace walls, city gates superimposed by pavilions and the surrounding moat are standing evidences showing how grand was the former palace. Myanansankyaw Golden Palace, a replica of the old palace, Nanmyint-saung, Cultural Museum and Pyigyimon Floating Restaurant in the moat can be seen within the perimeter of the palace. Admission fee is US $ 5.00.
This monastery is famous for its intricate woodcarvings and is reminiscent of old Mandalay Palace. In reality, the monastery was first located within the precinct of Mandalay palace. It was reconstructed at the present site in 1880 under the orders of King Thibaw.
Mahamuni Pagoda is revered as the holiest shrine in Mandalay. King Bodawpaya built it in 1784. The Mahamuni Image brought from Rakhine State is being housed there. The devotes crowd there to watch early morning ritual of washing the face of the Buddha Image.
Kuthodaw Pagoda was built by King Mindon in 1857. The shrine is surrounded by 729 upright stone slabs bearing the entire Buddhist scriptures. It is popularly known as " The world's Biggest Book " for its stone scriptures.
Arts And Crafts
The largest repository of Myanmar arts and crafts can be found in Mandalay. Lovers of arts and crafts will certainly enjoy them. It is here that visitors can observe skilled craftsmen make beautiful articles of ivory, wood, marble and stone, silverware and bronze statues, world famous tapestry, silk weaving and gold-leaf making according to the time-honored traditions of their fore-fathers.