Mandalay, the present day second Capital of Myanmar is located in
the upper Myanmar about 688 Km due north of Yangon. Its' previous
official name was Yadanabon, meaning the city of gems. It was the
last Capital of Myanmar Kingdom and occupied by the British in 1885.
This enchanting city is full of regal identity, famous pagodas,
religious edifices. It can also said that Mandalay is the center of
Myanmar Culture, and it will give all people of arts and crafts
lovers such as wood carving, stone carvings, Bronze casting, gold
beating, and gold embroidery or Kalakar making.
Mandalay (Yadanabon), the last capital of the Myanmar Kingdom, is
in Central Myanmar, 688km due north of Yangon. It is the largest
city after Yangon and is the place where one will come closest to
real Myanmar. The Royal City came into being only in 1859 when "
King Mindon" established it as new center for the teaching of
Buddhism. The King also made Mandalay his capital, moving it from
nearby Amarapura to the newly built Royal Palace at the foot of the
Being rich in monasteries and pagodas, it is still accepted as the
arts and cultural heart-land of Myanmar. For lovers of arts and
crafts, Mandalay offers the largest repository of Myanmar arts and
crafts. Skilled crafts men make world famous genie tapestry called
Shwe Chi Htoe (Gold thread Weaving), beautiful articles of ivory,
wood, and stone, silver-ware and bronze statues according to the
time-honored traditions of their fore-fathers.
How to get there
It takes about one hour and thirty minutes by air from Yangon. There
are daily flights during the tourist season from October to May. The
new International Airport project of Mandalay is completed at
present and under operation in the early of late 2000. Express
trains are running which take about 16 hours. Yangon- Mandalay
highway is over 700 km and overland travelers are advised to break
journey at Taungoo (280 km) or at Meiktila (540 km) where there are
hotels for overnight stay. The government and private express buses
are also running everyday. Visitors are advised to check with
tourist Information Services for flight train schedules.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN MANDALAY AREAS
According to the legend, the Lord Buddhist visited to the top of the Hill and
directed his hand to a spot prophesying his disciple that the famous pious king
would found the Royal City and the King Mindon had to built the present day
remain Place on the said spot. Mandalay Hill, 230 meters in elevation, commands
a magnificent view of the city and surrounding countryside.
Entrance Fee -US$ 4
The fire destroyed the whole magnificent palace complex during the World War ll.
However, the finely built palace walls, the city gays with their crowning wooden
pavilions and the surrounding moat still present an impressive scene of the
Mandalay Palace. Mya-nan-san-kyaw Golden Palace, the model of the Mandalay
Palace, Nanmyint-saung, Cultural Museum and Pyi-gyi-mon Floating Restaurant in
the moat is located inside the Palace grounds.
Entrance Fee - US$ 5 (Palace)
Entrance Fee - US$ 3 (Museum)
Maha- muni Pagoda
The only remaining apartment of Mandalay Palace in which the royal founder of
Palace died after a prolonged illness. Famous for its intricate wood-carvings,
this monastery is a fragile reminder of the old Mandalay Palace. Actually, it
was built inside Mandalay Palace but King Thibaw moved it and turned into
monastery in 1880.
Entrance Fee -US$ 3
Revered as the holiest pagoda in Mandalay, it was built by King Bodawpaya in
1784. This pagoda enshrines the famous Maha-muni Buddha Image brought from
Rakhing State. The early morning ritual ceremony of washing the Face of Buddha
Image draws a large crowed of devotees everyday.
Entrance -US$ 4
It is known as Mahaatula Marrazein, meaning the royal bounty built by King
Mindon in 1857. This pagoda is surrounded by 792 upright stone slabs on which
are inscribed the entire Buddhist Scriptures known as Buddhist Canon. It is
popularly known as " the Worlds Biggest Book" for its stone scriptures.
Entrance - US$ 2
Situated about 11 km south of Mandalay, Amarapura (the city of immortal) is an
ancient capital of the Konbaung Dynasty. Patodawgyi Pagoda, U Pein Bridge ( 1208
meter ) built by Mayor U Pein with teak planks two centuries ago and silk
weaving industries are places of interest to visit.
A historical capital founded by King Thado Minbya in 1364. There is Maha Aungmye
Bonzan monastery built by the wife of king Mindon, is a fine example of Myanmar
masonry and arts and architecture.
Mingon, the small village is situated about 11 km upriver from Mandalay on the
western bank of the Ayeyarwady river. Mingun is noted for its huge unfinished
pagoda and 90-ton bell, the largest ringing bell in the world. A 45 minute boat
trip to Mingun is very pleasant with plenty of life on the river to see.
Entrance -US$ 3
Sagaing lies 21 km south-west of Mandalay on the west bank of the Ayeyarwady
River. It is also an ancient capital of 'Sagaing Dynasty'. Sagaing Hills are
known as a religious retreat where over 400 monasteries for monks and nuns are
located at the foot of the hills who are dedicated for Buddhist studies and
meditation. The hills is dotted with Pagodas and Temples that attracts the
strangers to be visited. About 10 km from Sagaing is the Kaung-hmu-daw, an
enormous dome-shaped pagoda, built by King Thalun in 1636 based on the model of
the Maha-ceti Pagoda of Sri Lanka. There is also a village called Ywahtaung that
well famous for its silver-smiths.
Kaung-hmu-daw & other Pagodas Entrance Fee -US$ 3
Pyin-Oo-Lwin (May Myo)
About 136 km to the west of Mandalay is Monywa, the commercial center of
Chindwin Valley. Places of interest are Than-boke-de pagoda adorned with over
500,000 Buddha images; Bidhi-tahtaung (one thousand Bo trees), Alantaya Buddha
Reclining Image; Ledi Kyaungtaik, a teaching monastery where Buddhist Scriptures
are inscribed on 806 stone slabs; and Kyaukka village, known for its own
distinctive kind of lacquer-ware making.
Over 1,100 meters in elevation, Pyinoolwin is located 69 km to the east of
Mandalay. It enjoys cool and pleasant weather the whole year round. Places to
visit includes Pwe-kauk waterfall Botanical Garden ( 142- hectare), the Chinese
temple, Peik- chin-myaung cave and the local market where the hill-tribals are
flocking there. Pyin-Oo-Lwin is the most favorite and ideal place for visitors
during the summer to escape from the heat.