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Top 5 things to do in Mandalay

As a city that lends a name to one of Kipling’s many famous poems, Mandalay has an awful lot to live adult to. Its name is inextricably related with rose-tinted colonial romance, though how does a complicated city review to a hype?

Those in hunt of ruins of a Raj competence be a tiny unhappy by Mandalay’s initial appearances. But don’t decider a book by a cover! Although it might have mislaid some of a former grandeur, a final stately collateral of Burma still has copiousness to tempt a complicated traveller. Here are a tip 5 ways to make a many of your time in Burma’s many famous city.

1. Combine ancient capitals with U Bein Bridge

The Mandalay area is home to not one though 4 former capitals of Burma: Mandalay, Ava, Sagaing and Amarapura. Whereas Mandalay is a vast and critical city, a other 3 are now small, farming settlements – in fact, it’s tough to trust any of them once played horde to Burmese royalty.


A day outing to take in a corpse of their former excellence – including a longest and oldest teakwood overpass in a world, U Bein Bridge – is a illusory approach to get proficient with Burmese story and try a segment surrounding Mandalay.

2. Climb Mandalay Hill

Looming 240 metres above a city and crowned with Sutaungpyei Pagoda, a outing adult Mandalay Hill is flattering most requisite if you’re staying in a city. Not usually does it exaggerate illusory views opposite a area (especially during sunset) though it’s also a good place to association with a locals – many of whom come here with a demonstrate purpose of practising their English on tourists.


3. Visit Mahamuni Pagoda during dawn

Burma is most awash with temples, so a awaiting of boring yourself out of bed during a moment of emergence to revisit nonetheless another might not accurately fill we with enthusiasm. If we can move yourself to make a trip, however, you’re in for a really surprising knowledge during Mahamuni Pagoda.


The Mahamuni Buddha is pronounced to be a usually flourishing picture of a male himself to have been done during a Buddha’s lifetime, so he is flattering critical to a people of Mandalay. Every morning before dawn, a monks of a church rivet in an hour-long protocol in that they rinse a statue’s golden face and brush a teeth with holy water. Male devotees are also available to supplement bullion root to a statue, that has given a Buddha a rather lumpy hardness over a years!

4. Explore a city’s qualification workshops

As a final stately collateral of Burma, Mandalay is obvious for a high peculiarity of a humanities and crafts, that once ornate a halls and corridors of a stately palace. Many of these crafts are still practised in Mandalay today, and examination a artisans during work is a fascinating approach to pass a time. We suggest starting during a Jade Market, afterwards relocating on to watch a prolongation of kalaga tapestries, perplexing timber carvings, and a difficult hammering-out of bullion leaf.


5. Cruise on a Irrawaddy

Mandalay is a starting indicate for a outrageous accumulation of cruises that manipulate routes along a Irrawaddy River, dubbed “the highway to Mandalay” by Rudyard Kipling. Some of these are brief trips to destinations like Mingun (home of a unprepared nonetheless not unimpressive pagoda of King Bodawpaya), while others are multi-night cruises to Yangon in a south or Bhamo in a north. An overnight journey to a plains of Bagan is a illusory mid-range choice for those who’d like to take to a waters though don’t wish to spend their whole outing on a boat.

Cruise on a Irrawaddy

There are countless companies charity cruises from Mandalay, though a favourite boats are a superb colonial-style RV Paukan, RV Pandaw, and a Road to Mandalay Cruises.

Alastair Donnelly is Director during InsideAsia Tours.

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