The best things to do in Mandalay
Mandalay is the second-largest city in Myanmar and is known for its rich cultural heritage and historical significance. It was the last royal capital of Myanmar before the country was colonized by the British. Today, Mandalay is a bustling city that is home to many temples, monasteries, and palaces that offer a glimpse into the country’s rich past. Whether you’re interested in exploring the city’s religious and cultural sites or simply want to soak in the local atmosphere, there are plenty of things to do in Mandalay.

Explore the temples and monasteries

Mandalay is home to many beautiful temples and monasteries that are worth visiting. Some of the most famous include the Mahamuni Pagoda, which is home to a sacred bronze Buddha statue that is said to be over 2,000 years old, and the Kuthodaw Pagoda, which is known for its 729 marble slabs that are inscribed with the entire Buddhist canon. Other popular temples include the Shwenandaw Monastery, which is made entirely of teak and is a beautiful example of traditional Burmese architecture, and the Sandamuni Pagoda, which is known for its intricate carvings and gilded stupa.

Visit the Royal Palace

The Royal Palace, also known as the Mandalay Palace, is a must-see attraction in the city. It was built in the 19th century by King Mindon and was the last royal palace of Myanmar before the country was colonized by the British. The palace is a beautiful example of traditional Burmese architecture and is surrounded by a moat and walls that are adorned with intricate carvings. Visitors can explore the palace grounds and take a tour of the palace’s main buildings, which include the throne room, the king’s bedroom, and the queen’s quarters.

Climb Mandalay Hill

Mandalay Hill is a popular spot for visitors to the city. The hill is home to many temples and monasteries, including the Sutaungpyei Pagoda, which offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding countryside. Visitors can climb the hill on foot or take a taxi to the top. Once at the top, visitors can explore the temples and monasteries and take in the beautiful views.

Experience the local culture

Mandalay is a great place to experience the local culture of Myanmar. Visitors can attend traditional performances such as puppet shows, music and dance performances, and traditional puppet shows. There are also many traditional markets in the city where visitors can shop for souvenirs, including traditional textiles, lacquerware, and traditional Burmese puppets.

Take a boat trip on the Irrawaddy River

The Irrawaddy River is an important waterway in Myanmar and is a great way to experience the local culture and scenery. Visitors can take a boat trip on the river to explore the surrounding towns and villages, and get a glimpse of the local way of life. Some popular boat trips include a visit to the ancient city of Mingun, which is home to the world’s largest ringing bell, and a visit to the Sagaing Hills, which are known for their beautiful pagodas and monasteries.

Overall, Mandalay is a beautiful and historic city that offers a rich cultural experience to visitors. From temples and monasteries to traditional markets and boat trips on the Irrawaddy River, there is something for everyone in Mandalay.

Visit the U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge is a must-see attraction in Mandalay. It is the longest teakwood bridge in the world and spans over 1.2 kilometers across Taungthaman Lake. The bridge is over 200 years old and is a popular spot for both locals and visitors alike. Visitors can walk across the bridge and take in the beautiful views of the lake and the surrounding countryside. It’s best to visit during sunset when the bridge is illuminated by the setting sun and provides a stunning backdrop for photography.

Visit the handicraft workshops

Mandalay is known for its traditional handicrafts, including lacquerware, woodcarving, and marble stone carving. Visitors can visit the local workshops where artisans work on these crafts and see the process of how they are made. Some popular workshops include the Shwe In Bin monastery where you can see the traditional process of making the lacquerware and the Yandabo village where traditional pottery is made by hand.

Discover Mandalay’s history at the Mandalay War Cemetery

The Mandalay War Cemetery is a peaceful and solemn place that is dedicated to the memory of the soldiers who died during World War II. The cemetery is beautifully maintained and is a sobering reminder of the sacrifices made by so many during the war. Visitors can take a walk around the cemetery and read the inscriptions on the gravestones, paying their respects to the fallen soldiers.

Enjoy the local street food

Mandalay is a great place to experience the local street food. Visitors can find street vendors selling a variety of local dishes such as samosas, fried noodles, and mohinga, a traditional Burmese noodle soup. There are also many local restaurants where visitors can enjoy traditional Burmese dishes such as curries, soups, and salads.

Take a day trip to the ancient city of Amarapura

Amarapura is an ancient city located just a short drive from Mandalay. The city was the capital of Myanmar from 1783 to 1823 and is home to many historical and cultural sites. Visitors can take a day trip to Amarapura and visit the U Bein Bridge, the Mahagandayon Monastery, and the Bagaya Monastery. The city is also famous for its silk and cotton weaving, and visitors can see the traditional process of making these fabrics at local workshops.

In conclusion, Mandalay is a city that offers a rich and diverse cultural experience to visitors. From visiting temples and monasteries to exploring the local street food and handicraft workshops, there are many things to see and do in this historic city. Whether you’re a history buff, a culture enthusiast, or just looking for a new and exciting destination, Mandalay is definitely worth a visit.