Photo: One of the palace's pretty sections.

Mandalay Palace

Our rating:

Built by King Mindon between 1857 and 1859 and inherited by King Thibaw before colonial times, Mandalay Palace was the last Burmese royal citadel to be built in Burma.





The palace follows a traditional model, sitting within a square moated fort. Each of the four walls is two kilometres in length with a wide moat running around the outside. Each wall has a gate, but tourists are only permitted to enter via the eastern gate on 76th Street, where you can also buy your 10,000 Mandalay combo ticket, entitling you to enter.

A popular spot for domestic tourists. Photo taken in or around Mandalay Palace, Mandalay, Burma_myanmar by Mark Ord.

A popular spot for domestic tourists. Photo: Mark Ord

Previously, the royal palace was located at Amarapura, and with the help of elephants was dismantled and moved to Mandalay in 1857. Some 25 years later, during the third Anglo-Burmese war, the Brits arrived, captured the royal family, and, mirroring their approach to the entire country, looted the palace—burning parts of it down in the process.

They renamed it Fort Dufferin and transformed it into a barracks for the British military—complete with a royal-hall gentlemen’s club, though no golf course. The palace took an even greater beating during the occupation by the Japanese during World War II. The Japanese unleashed an incendiary bombing raid in 1942, which burned much of the mostly wooden city that surrounded the palace to the ground. Later, when Allied aircraft bombed the Japanese-occupied palace, they razed much of what remained.

mandalay old and new
Wandering the centre of the palace. Photo taken in or around Mandalay Palace, Mandalay, Burma_myanmar by Christopher Smith.

Wandering the centre of the palace. Photo: Christopher Smith

Under the tutelage of the SLORC junta, a reconstruction commenced in 1989 that saw vast amounts of concrete and corrugated iron used to rebuild what had once been in teak and tile. During the reconstruction, all male residents of Mandalay were forced to work one day a month on the palace without pay. The results of this forced labour are less than ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


Don’t miss the boat!

Please subscribe to Travelfish.org to read the rest of this article, or log in here.


Subscribing to Travelfish costs A$35 per year and it gets you access to more than 200 downloadable guides to specific destinations, fabulous discount coupons and 50% off our personalised travel planning service. Sign up here.


By .





How to get there
The main entrance on 66th Street is within walking distance of all our Mandalay accommodation suggestions but since you will have to cover quite a distance once inside, bicycle’s the best. Combo tickets are always checked and always on sale at this point.

Location map for Mandalay Palace

Start planning your holiday today

Sent every Monday, our newsletter is full of travel advice, news & special deals. Read past issues.

   

Popular attractions in Mandalay

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Mandalay.



Best places to stay in Mandalay

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Mandalay.


What next?

 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Mandalay.
 Check prices, availability & reviews on Agoda or Booking
 Read up on where to eat on Mandalay.
 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Mandalay.
 Read up on how to get to Mandalay.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Mandalay? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.


See below for more sights and activities in Mandalay that are listed on Travelfish.org.


Top of page


Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Mandalay? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Burma_myanmar.


Top of page