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Things to see and do

  • Mandalay Palace
    3 stars

    Built by King Mindon between 1857 and 1859 and inherited by King Thibaw before colonial times, Mandalay Palace was once famous for its jewel encrusted décor, grand meeting halls and the vast number of teak houses built to accommodate the king's many wives. Today, the many wives are long gone, but ... read more

  • Shwenandaw Kyaung Monastery ( Golden Palace Monastery )
    3.5 stars

    The only surviving original building from the Grand Palace is Shwenandaw Monastery (also known as the Golden Palace Monastery). The well-preserved all teak wood structure is covered in intricately carved figures from Buddhist mythology, and has become a valuable stop for those looking to absorb ... read more

  • Mandalay Hill
    3.5 stars

    A 240-metre hill covered in spires and pagodas juts out into the sky northeast of the Grand Palace, offering an all-encompassing 360-degree viewpoint of Mandalay. Monks from all around the city join aspiring photographers and sunset visitors on top of Mandalay Hill every day, to watch the world ... read more

  • Kuthodaw Pagoda and Sandamuni Pagoda
    4 stars

    Kuthodaw Pagoda is known as the world’s largest "book", consisting of 729 standing stone "pages", each with their own private stupa, while Sandamuni Pagoda just down the street contains even more -- but as commentary on the first. When you think about what the world’s largest book may look ... read more

  • Mahamuni Paya
    4.5 stars

    While walking through the humble Mahamuni Paya it's hard to believe that its holy esteem is second only to Shwedagon Pagoda. Buddhist pilgrims from all over Myanmar and Asia travel to see the legendary Maha Muni Image (translated: Sacred Living Image) that is housed within the pagoda, and is said ... read more

  • U Bein Bridge
    4 stars

    Ageing U Bein Bridge stretches 1.2 kilometres across Taungthaman Lake, making it the longest teak bridge in the world. Mandalay and its surrounding ancient cities have an abundance of attractions and sunset views, but if you only had time for one sight while in Mandalay, it would have to be U Bein ... read more

  • Artisan workshops and showrooms
    3.5 stars

    Known as a centre for many of Burma's traditional artisan crafts -- working in marble, stone, gold and teak wood, creating tapestries or making puppets, for instance -- Mandalay’s workshops and showrooms display a huge variety of handmade artefacts. For a day of shopping and seeing how these ... read more

  • Markets
    4 stars

    Mandalay offers an array of diverse (and cheap!) markets, offering everything from gems and jade to local foodstuffs not even found in Yangon. With Mandalay being centrally located in Burma (Myanmar), items from all over the country are trucked in and sold here, giving the city one of the most ... read more

  • Cycling around Mandalay
    4 stars

    For those who enjoy the wind in their hair and don't mind getting a little sweaty, cycling Mandalay and its surrounds is a great way to explore. Several companies offer bicycle tours in the Mandalay area, with Grasshopper Adventures and Bike World two of the more popular ones; they employ local ... read more

  • Great photography spots
    4 stars

    Spending a few days in Mandalay gives you time to explore some of the most iconic photography spots in the country. Here's our selection of the best spots to head for the best snaps. Most travellers rush through Mandalay, and rightfully so for those with a tight schedule. But spending two to three ... read more

  • Amarapura
    4 stars

    The once bustling city of Amarapura is the youngest among the ancient capital cities surrounding Mandalay, but even in its short life, it is home to iconic sights such as the tombs of King Bodawpaya, Shwezaga Paogda and the world's longest teak bridge: U Bein Bridge. Built by King Bodawpaya in ... read more

  • Sagaing
    3.5 stars

    Just southwest of Mandalay and across the Ayarwaddy River, white and gold pagodas decorate the hillsides of the ancient capital of Sagaing. Sometimes referred to as "mini-Bagan", this city has long shed its political identity and is better known as an important religious site in Myanmar. ... read more

  • Inwa (Ava)
    4 stars

    Out of all the ancient capitals of Burma, Inwa (Ava) is the most famous. From the 14th till the 19th century, Inwa was the region's ruling centre. Today it consists of spread out, ancient ruins filled in by quiet, lush agricultural life. The Shan Prince Thadominphya founded Inwa in 1364 and ... read more

  • Mingun
    3.5 stars

    Not on the guided ancient capital day-tours, Mingun has become a very popular half-day excursion from Mandalay via a very enjoyable one-hour boat ride up the Ayarwaddy River. Now more of a riverside village than a bustling capital city, it is best known for Mingun Pantodawgyi - the largest pagoda ... read more

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