Table of Contents
- Welcome to Mandalay
- 1. Overview
- 2. Interesting spots in Mandalay
- 3. What to do in Mandalay?
- 4. Travel around in Mandalay
- 5. Eating in Mandalay
Welcome to Mandalay
Mandalay is indeed the city of temples. This article will not say anything about religion or history. It simply shares beautiful images of a Buddhist city, personal feelings from an “atheist” perspective when it comes to admiring the most sacred and respectable of these religious architectures.
In fact, many people have not chosen Mandalay as the first priority for Myanmar travel. Often, most will choose the capital Yangon as a “transfer station” to then make a round of Bagan and Inle Lake.
Mandalay is the origin of many fine arts and cultural delights such as traditional dance, music and live theater. The city of 700,000 people is also famous for handicrafts such as fine gold, silverware, wood, carved marble or silk weaving.
Mandalay is a popular Burmese destination known as the last capital of the former Burmese kingdom. This city has magnificent landscape like the peaceful Ayarwady River, ancient palace culture and history. However, Mandalay also has modern colors.
2. Interesting spots in Mandalay
2.1 Mandalay Palace
The Royal Palace is located in the center of Mandalay, so it is easy to visit. From Ostello Bello you walk about 10 minutes to the center. However, only one port is open to foreigners. Entry fee 10,000 kyat. In the middle of the palace there are palaces and monasteries: the Royal Palace, the Shwenandaw Monastery, the Sandamuni Pagoda, the Kuthodaw Pagoda, the Maha Atulawaiyan Monastery and the Kyauktaw Gyi Pagoda.
2.2 Mandalay Hills
The hillside is next to the city, with the Sutaungpyae Paya on top of the hill, where you can watch the entire city from above, especially watching the sunset from the Ayeyarwaddy River. The special feature of this temple is the design of the mandala and the beautiful shapes in cubism.
2.3 Maha Gandhayon Monastery
Maha Gandhayon Kyaung is the largest monastery in the country, providing training and education for thousands of young monks. Monks live in dormitories and study in the monastery.
At 10 am every day, after the chanting, the gathered gong is rang, thousands of young monks from the hostel to the courtyard arrange into two long lines, patiently step foot bare waiting for food. The atmosphere will be peaceful and calm if there are no hundreds of tourists with curious gaze staring at the monks, too many photographers (photographers) ready to rush straight to the camera, even when the monks are sitting eating to hunt for a beautiful picture.
2.5 Sagaing Hill
Sagaing Hill, one of the main Buddhist centers in Myanmar, boasts over 600 monasteries and towers, and over 6,000 monks and nuns. The Sagaing Hill is separated with Mandalay by an iron bridge across the river with a beautiful bridge over the bridge to see the panorama of Sagaing Hill before crossing the other side.
You can go to the hill by motorbike or car, taxis. Do not ride a bike because of high steep and many dangerous bends. You will spend the whole day visiting the temples on the hill: Shwe Mohtaw Temple, Yadanar Zedi Sinmyar Shin Temple, Umin Thonse Pagoda, Soon Oo Ponya Shin Temple …
2.6 Inwa village
Inwa was the capital of Myanmar from 1364 to 1841, then Thado Minbya moved his capital from Sagaing to Inwa. Inwa is an oasis in the middle of the Ayeyarwady River and the Myitnge River. The only way to get here is to cross the river.
3. What to do in Mandalay?
3.1 Visiting U-Bein bridge
As the longest wooden bridge in the world, it is no wonder U-Bein Bridge is one of the places that you should visit in Mandalay. At lunchtime, you will witness an impressive scene as hundreds of monks at Amarapura Monastery cross the bridge. In addition, some people said that if two people love each other, holding hands together bridges, they will forever be together.
3.2 Visit a gold leaf production workshop
The old capital of Myanmar is home to a number of gold leaf workshops, in which King Galon is one of the oldest and most famous goldsmiths in Mandalay. When visiting here, you will be watching the process of making gold leaf, everyone in King Galon is very cheerful and enthusiastic, so it is possible you also have chance to try to hammer into the golden package below. This experience is free but of course this is not a light work.
3.3 Visit Snake temple
The Snake Temple is another name for Yadana Labamuni Hsu-taungpye Paya. The temple dates from the mid-11th and 15th centuries, but until the 1970s snakes began to appear in the temple. It was said that three big snakes from the nearby forest came and slept around the Buddhist statue. Since its appearance, they have never left, but have become the goddesses of honor and respect of the monks and nuns who care every day. Today, visitors can participate in pyrotechnics ceremony at 11 am every day. You can also boldly touch these snakes to pray for.
3.4 Visit Mandalay Hill at dawn
At an altitude of 230m, Mandalay Hill is the perfect spot in the city for the dawn. Although you only come here to watch the dawn, you still should wear a polite outfit, because the corridor to watch the sunset on the campus of a hilltop pagoda.
3.5 Enjoy street food
Mandalay shares the border with Shan – the land has some excellent local food. so Mandalay is a great place to enjoy the food. Along with spices like garlic, chilli, pepper, Shan style rice is becoming the perfect choice for spicy grinders when traveling to Mandalay. The best place for delicious food is called “teahouse” by Burmese.
3.6 Hire a bike and explore the city
Bicycle is available everywhere in Mandalay and the rent is very cheap. There are many interesting attractions of Mandalay that you can easily visit by bike, the traffic of the city is quite convenient and airy. More importantly, in cycling, you will discover many interesting things, even more valuable than visiting a famous place.
4. Travel around in Mandalay
There are many ways to travel around the city. If you go in a group, you should rent a taxi all day from morning to night, which is convenient and cheap, price ranges 60k-70k Kyats for 4 seat car. If you go alone you can rent motorbikes all day, cost 20,000Kyats, 1.500kyats gasoline all day for a total of 11,500kats for renting a motorbike a day.
5. Eating in Mandalay
Like other Burmese cities, Mandalay also has traditional Burmese dishes such as traditional rice, Shan noodles, hot milk tea. You go to the city center next to the Royal Mandalay, wandering the morning market there are many bright shops including bread, roasted hot tea and delicious milk, true characteristics of people Burma. Mandalay also has the famous Golden Duck Grill.