Located approximated 600 kilometers north of Yangon, along the Ayeyarwaddy River (meaning ‘mother of water’), Mandalay is Myanmar’s second largest city as well as the main communication and trading center in the northern and central part of the country. This capital city of Mandalay region is accessible through road, airway and railway.


  • Location: 600 kilometers north of Yangon
  • Status: capital city of Mandalay Region
  • Population: approximately 1.6 million
  • Area: 915.1 square kilometers
  • Religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam
  • Myanmar’s second largest city and also its last royal capital

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Along the roadsides from the airport to the city, there are stretching wheat fields alternating sunflower fields. However, the bright yellow color of sunflowers is not as bright as the warm smiles and enthusiasm of local people. Formerly known as Ratanapunja, Mandalay towards Burma is much like Kyoto towards Japan, or Hue towards Vietnam – it is the royal capital of the final independent Burmese Kingdom before being conquered by British colony in 1886. Later on, the city was named after Mandalay Hill, a charming hill of 236 meter high.



Descriptions: Amarapura lies on the left bank of the Ayarwaddy River. A suburb of Mandalay. it is also...

Cultural Museum Mandalay

Cultural Museum Mandalay

Cultural Museum Mandalay.Like other cities in Myanmar, Mandalay is home to many pagodas. It is to be...

Inwa (Ava)

Inwa (Ava)

Descriptions Inwa was formerly known as Ava and it is located 21km from Mandalay. Inwa was also known...

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Descriptions: Kuthodaw Pagoda is located at the base of the southeast stairways to Mandalay Hill. The...

Maha Myat Muni Pagoda

Maha Myat Muni Pagoda

Descriptions:   The Mahamuni Pagoda or Mahamuni Buddha temple is one of the most important Buddhist...

Mandalay Hill

Mandalay Hill

Descriptions: Just outside the North of downtown, Mandalay Hill which summit is 230 m above the surrounding...

Frequently asked questions

Mandalay is located along the Ayeyarwady River about 716k north of Yangon, Mandalay is a must see city in Myanmar. Currently the population is roughly one million and continues to grow, and the recent influx of Yunnan people has helped the economic growth of the city. Mandalay is Myanmar’s northern economic hub and a vital trade route between China and India. Even though commercialism has penetrated this city it still holds on to its traditional roots and ways of life.

Mandalay is also the center of arts and crafts in Myanmar. There are hundreds of workshops that transform raw material into stunning pieces of art. You can witness the process of gold leaf making, as well as marble and wood carving. It is unbelievable to see how much work goes into this magnificent art work. To really put time into perspective you can visit the tapestry weaving workshops. Here traditional cotton and silk weavers make customary longyis that are so intricate and colorful that only an inch a day can be made.

Mandalay Hill:
Mandalay-HillDon’t be fooled by this impressive hill, it is a lot bigger than it looks. At about 760 feet the hill towers over the flat city of Mandalay. To get to the top you will wind up the small road that leads to the entrance of the hill. From here you can take a set of escalators to the top. From the peak of the hill you can get a panoramic view of the city as well as the river and the Shan hills. The views from up top cannot be had anywhere else in the city, and you can easily consume an hour or so just gazing out into the open land. The Ayerwaddy river runs along side the city and you can see the how important the river is to this wonderful city.

Mahamuni Pagoda:
Mahamuni-PagodaHere within the old metal roofed shed you will find one of the larges reclining Buddha images in all of Southeast Asia. This temple is a must see while touring around Yangon, and it is just a short distance from Shwedagon pagoda. You’re sure to be impressed by its massiveness. If you are into fortune telling then you have come to the right spot. There are quite a few astrological and palm readers within the temple. If you’re impressed by this Buddha and would like to see one a bit bigger we suggest a day trip to Bago. (see day trips around Yangon).

Kuthodaw Pagoda:
Kuthodaw-PagodaDubbed as the largest book in the world this astonishing complex is filled with nearly 800 individual pagodas, each enshrining a page of the Buddhist cannon. As you wander through this vast complex of white stupas lined as though they never end, you get a feel of how important Buddhist religion is to for the people. Also in the complex are a few Buddha images, but the most impressive to see are the hundreds of pagodas shaded by lush green trees. It is said that it would take over 450 days to read each page at the rate of 8 hours a day. This just puts this marvelous complex into perspective for you.

Mandalay Palace & Fort:
Mandalay-PalaceWhile roaming the city of Mandalay you may have noticed the giant 26 foot high wall that is nearly 2 miles long. Complete with a moat and 4 entrances is the palace compound. Within these walls lies the rebuild Mandalay Palace. The original was destroyed in WWII, but the site has been rebuilt to give you a representation of how the last two kings lived. Once inside you will see multiple rebuilt buildings that give a good illustration of how the compound was laid out. There is also a 7 tiered central palace where the kings used to live. For an excellent view you can climb the 110ft spiral watchtower and gaze out over this sprawling palace. Among the palace buildings there is a cultural museum that will give you some history of what this site was originally, and it will provide some insight on the previous kings and cabinet members.

AmarapuraAmarapura situated about 11 km south of Mandalay, Amarapura is one of the capitals of the third Myanmar Empire. A 1,208-metre long wooden bridge built totally with teak planks two centuries ago by Alderman U Pein, is the longest wooden bridge in Myanmar. It spans Taungthaman Lake, situated near Amarapura, with its farther end at Kyauktawgyi Pagoda. Bagaya Monastery and silk-weaving industries are other places of interest to visit.

MingunMingun is located about 11 km upriver from Mandalay, on the west bank of the Ayeyawaddy River, Mingun has a gigantic unfinished pagoda, 50 meters high, overlooking the river, and the 90-ton Mingun Bell, the largest ringing bell in the world cast in 1170 by King Bodawpaya. A 45-minute boat trip to Mingun is very pleasant with plenty of life on the river to see

InwaInnwa, is one of the memoriable cities as well as Royal capital city. The name of the palace is Yadanapura meaning treasures land. It is built by King Tadominphya in 726 AD and it is located at the confluence of Ayeyarwaddy river and Myitnge river and 11 miles from Mandalay.

SagaingSagaing is the capital of Sagaing Division in Myanmar. It is located on the Ayeyarwady River, 20 km to the southwest of Mandalay on the opposite bank of the river.
Sagaing is a religious and monastic center, with numerous Buddhist monasteries. It briefly regained is position as a royal capital of Burma from 1760-1764.
The British-built a 16 span Innwa Bridge connects Sagaing with Mandalay, crossing the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River. It was built in 1934.

Day 1:
In the morning, explore the city by bike, visiting Mahamuni Buddha Temple and Shwe In Bin Kyaung.

Mandalay-HillIn the afternoon, go to the Mandalay Palace area and visit Shwenandaw Monastery, Atumashi Kyaung (another monastery in front of Shwenandaw), and, located few meters away at the foot of Mandalay Hill, Kuthodaw Pagoda and Sandamuni Paya.
In the evening, head to Mandalay Hill to watch the sunset.

Day 2:
In the morning, visit the stone carving district on your way to Amarapura to see the monks at lunch time. You can also visit a silk-weaving factory close to U Bein Bridge.

buddhist-monksIn the afternoon, visit Mandalay Palace, constructed by King Mindon between 1857 and 1859 but heavily bombed and devastated during the Second World War. As a result, the huge and magnificent complex, which contains crowning wood pavilions and looks tremendously imposing from outside, is basically empty inside, with only very few furniture, mausoleums, and towers. It can leave visitors a bit disappointed, therefore.
End your day by watching the Moustache Brother’s show.

Day 3:
InwaFinish your 3 days in Mandalay with a day-trip to the three ancient capitals (Inwa, Sagaing and Amarapura) and Mingun (the attraction that I mentioned above).
Inwa and Sagaing are very close to Mandalay and have interesting places to visit, such as pagodas, monasteries and historical sites.

Most of the tours start around 8 – 9:00 AM and we’d suggest visiting Mingun first, followed by Sagaing Hill and Inwa and finish by watching the sunset over U Bein Bridge in Amarapura.

Generally, the food in Mandalay if much oily if we were to compare to those in Malaysia. It is also much creamy and an extensive of meat are being used. If you are looking for sources of fibre, just go for the salad as the noodles seldom come with vegetables. The best foods to eat in Mandalay.

1. Shwe Shan Buffet
shwe-shan-buffetThis is like a must go if you are looking for Shan food in Mandalay. For only 4000 kyat, you get access to eat all you can buffet, featured basically almost varieties of Shan dishes and well appease your hunger.

The concept is like an economy rice stall with trays of dishes displayed nicely for your pick. You may load mountain of dishes to your plate, and go back multiple times. The restaurant is very generous in replenishing the dishes. When we were there at 8pm, they were still preparing some dishes in the kitchen!
Shan dishes are cooked with more spice and less oily if compared to Barmese food. This is what I have for my first trip to the food counter. If I were to have this in Malaysia, probably it would have cost me $2.5.

2. Myee Shay
myee-shayThe charming Myee Shay at 16th Street allures people from different strata to sit down at this modest stall, just to enjoy a bowl of rice noodles with pork innards for $1. Though appears to be simple, the rice noodles here pack a bold taste to tantalise the palate of the exotic demanding gourmets. Beware of the sinful pork lards, sprinkled and hidden in between the noodles, which agitate and arouse the taste buds when bits of it was chewed.

The flavourful pork ribs soup is way to good to say no to it. We emptied the whole bowl and had communication hindrance to request for more. The dine-in experience is further made special by sitting on a stool and enjoy this hot soup.

When we first approached the guy for ordering, he showed disinterest and could not understand neither English nor our hand language. We tried to show 2 bowls using our fingers and he seemed confused. Then we heard somebody behind us speaking English to us, confirming our order and helped us to put in the order. Suddenly the feeling was like “thank god you were here!”. We were so grateful that we bumped into our angel of the day!
We had a short conversation with the lady. She used to work in Singapore and is back to Mandalay for good. She was surprised how we get to know this place and shared with us that the noodles are good here. Guess we were lucky!
16th Street Myee Shay
Address: 16th Street (between 81st and 82nd street)
Operation hours: 8.30am to 3pm

3. Shwe Pyi Moe Tea House
Shwe Pyi Moe Tea House is akin like a food court in Malaysia, featuring different dishes at one place. It is a great place for you to stop by when you are onn a short stay in Mandalay so you can have a taste of different dishes. Since we have tasted the popular Mohinga (rice noodle and fish soup) in Yangon, we decided to expand our palate experience.
Burmese love milk tea and we liked the way it is presented in smaller cup. Considered the smaller cup is a blessing in disguise as the milk tea is slightly skewed toward the sweet side.
It cost us total 3850 kyat for all the above at Shwe Pyi Moe Teahouse.

4. Chicken Chapati (flat bread)
chicken-chapatiThis chicken stuffed flat bread or chapati is in deed a healthy dish. Cooked chicken combined with onion and spices is stuffed into wheat dough, rolled into a flat bread and cooked on a tawa or pan. This is a rather dry flat bread, it can be served with raita (yogurt and veggies) or along with a simple curry.

5. Shan Salad
shan-saladThe dish most commonly associated with Shan State is this combination of thin, flat rice noodles in a clear, peppery broth with marinated chicken or pork, garnished with toasted sesame and a drizzle of garlic oil. It’s served with a side of pickled vegetables

Three seasons

The dry season is from November to February. It enjoys pleasant weather with little rainfall and cool temperatures. Therefore, the dry season has become the peak tourist season in Mandalay and is a wonderful time to visit.

Mandalay-HillDrinking lots of water to stay hydrated is necessary. Please also be aware that you should book your hotel ahead of time as the hotels are busy in this season.

The hot season is usually from March to April when the weather is dominated by searing heat and there is less rainfall.

Ultraviolet radiation is strong during the daytime. Remember to protect yourself well against the harmful sun’s rays with sunglasses, a sun hat, long-sleeved shirts, and a high SPF sunscreen.

When the weather is incredibly hot, from midday to 4pm, you should probably arrange indoor activities at your hotel.

The rainy season is from May to October. The southwest monsoon erupts in May, bringing rain showers to the area. Heavy rainfall may have an impact on tourism, such as delaying flights, making roads difficult to travel on, and spoiling some views. So it’s recommended for you to arrange some indoor activities.

However,as it is the low season, costs will be cheaper than in the peak season.

During the months of the rainy season, there is a higher rate of dengue fever. To avoid mosquito bites, try not to expose your skin, especially in the grass. You should prepare a thin long-sleeved shirt for outdoor activities.

Throughout this article, we wish you to have an idea of how to travel to Myanmar for your best experience. In case you are looking for your own travel agent, who can offer a wonderful and hassle-free trip to Myanmar, please feel free to let us know. We always commit our best to make it your once-in-a-lifetime journey.

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