Today the country’s third largest city, Mandalay, is the last royal capital of Myanmar built by King Mindon 1857. Yadanarbon Nay Pyi Taw (Gem City) is the another name of the city. It is at the scene of incredible splendor and a wealth of religious buildings. It is on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy river in central Myanmar, 688 km north of Yangon. Mandalay is the cultural heart of Myanmar where the most refined arts, traditions of dance, music and drama live on.
Getting to Mandalay
There are (8) domestic airlines operating daily between Yangon and Mandalay International airport. It takes an hour by flight, about 12 hours by Express coached, and about 14 hours by rail from Yangon.
By Air (International)
China Eastern Airlines, Thai Air Asia, Silk Air, Bangkok Airways, Myanmar National Airline.
By Air (Domestic)
Myanmar National Airline, Air Mandalay, Air Bagan, Air KBZ, Asian Wings, Yangon Airways, Golden Myanmar Airways, Mann Yadanarbon Airways.
From Bagan to Mandalay By Cruise
Road to Mandalay, Inland Water transport shop (Govt), Randabo, Shwekeinyee
Ma Li Kha ship, N Min Kha ship, Pandaw, Royal Green River (Charter Basic)
Ks 10,000 per person ( Zone fees + 1,000 kyats for Mandalay Hill)
Ks 3000 per person (Sagaing & Mingun)
Atumashi Monastery near at the north eastern part of the royal Palace. It is only about 10 minute drive from Royal Palace. It was originally built in 1857 by King Mindon (1853-1879).
Kyauktawgyi pagoda(the pagoda of the Great Marble Image), also built by King Mindon, stands at the foot of Mandalay hill. Built in 1865, the pagoda is so called because it houses a large image of the Buddha sculpted from a single block of beautiful Sagyin marble. Other attractions are Sandamuni pagoda, Eindawya pagoda and Shwe In Bin Monastery.
Maha Myat Muni Pagoda
Maha Myat Muni Pagoda is on the southwest side of the city. The 4m high seated Maha Myat Muni pagoda image, cast in bronze and weighing 6.5 tons has a crown which is decorated with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. The early morning ritual of washing the face of Buddha’s image draw a daily crowd of devotees.
To the north of downtown area is the well-known Mandalay hill with a height of 230 m above sea level. The panoramic view of the whole city and the experience of sunrise or sunset are the greatest attractions for visitors to climb up the hill.
The Royal Mandalay palace is in the heart of the city area, between 12th street and 26th street. The palace was the first palace to be built in Mandalay, by King Mindon when he shifted his capital from Amarapura in 1861, which was to fulfill an old prophecy.
Kuthodaw Pagoda (World’s biggest book)
Kuthodaw Pagoda lies at the foot of Mandalay hill. King Mindon built this pagoda in 1868, surrounding it with 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Tipitaka text (the Three Baskets of the Buddhist Pali cannon).
Zegyo, the central market, where visitors can get practically everything made in Myanmar here, from everyday consumer good to jewelry and fine fabrics. It is a perfect shopping place for souvenirs and local products.
Arts & Crafts
Stone Carving Workshops
The marble carving workshops are near Mahamuni pagoda. Marbles are from the Sagin quarry about 35 miles (56 km) north of Mandalay. Many religious items mainly Buddha images and stone slabs for inscription are produced.
Wood Carving Workshops
In Mandalay area, wood carving workshops produce many different figures from wood; they are religious items such as figures and curving or ornamental and decorative flowers. The workshops are near the Mahamuni pagoda in Tampawaddy ward.
Bronze Casting Workshops
Bronze casting workshops is near the place, Tampawaddy ward between Mandalay and Amarapura. Buddha images, bells, gongs, tri gongs and other figures such as images of the nats (spirits) and of famous persons are cast here.
Yandabo Pot Making Village
Yandabo is a beautiful village on the bank of the Ayeyarwaddy river in Myingyan township, Mandalay division. It is also a well-known place for making pots. One person can make 30 to 50 pots per day which use for water or food storage.
Weaving industry is one of the main professions of the Amarapura people. Over one hundred looms are used to obtain beautiful and intricate design and patterns are silk are worn in very special and ceremonial occasion. As being a famous and interesting cottage industry, this is another place for visitors to have a look.
Located about 11 km upriver from Mandalay is Mingun on the western bank of the Ayeyarwaddy river. Mingun is well-known for its huge 90-ton Mingun bell, the world’s largest cracked and ringing bell. Its main attraction include the Pahtodawgyi pagoda and Mya Thein Tan Pagoda.
Situated about 10 km south of Mandalay Amarapura, an ancient city of Konbaung dynasty It is accessible by car from Mandalay. The training center of Saung Dar weaving is one of tourist attractions and are also U Bein bridge and the silk weaving cottage industry. The famous U Bein bridge, 1208 meter long teak bridge, spans the Taungthaman lake.
On the western bank of the Ayeyarwaddy river, 21 km southwest of Mandalay. The Sagaing hills are best-known as a religious retreat and a centre for Buddhist studies and meditation. Kaungmudaw, an enormous dome shaped pagoda, Soon Oo Ponnya Shin pagoda, Umin Thonzeh (thirty caves) pagoda and Ywahtaung village, home o the silversmith’s guilds are also places of interest.
Pyin Oo Lwin
Pyin Oo Lwin is about 69 km uphill from Mandalay. It is over 1000 meters above sea level and has a delightfully cool and pleasant weather all year round. Well known for its colonial style houses and famous for its colonial style houses and famous as a summer resort or a hill station. Pyin oo Lwin attracts large numbers of visitors from all over the country during summer. The other places of interest in the vicinity of the town are Pwekauk waterfalls, Dattawgyaint water falls, National Kandawgyi park, Butterfly museum and Peik Chin Myaung cave.