Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar, plays an important role in the development of Burmese history and culture. It is named after Mandalay Hill, the sacred mountain which itself is a tourist attraction. The city is famous for the pagodas and temple complexes, Royal Palace and Mandalay Fort, and also the cradle of traditional arts. Here are top 8 places not to be missed in your Myanmar small group tours to Mandalay.
1. Golden Palace Monastery
Golden Palace Monastery, also known as Schwenandaw Kyaung, was built by King Mindon in the 19th century as originally part of the Royal palace complex. It was moved to its current location by his son after his death because he believed that the place was haunted by his father’s spirit. The Golden Palace Monastery deserves to be first visited in your small group tours Myanmar to Mandalay for its unique and magnificent beauty, formed by teak carvings depicting tales from Buddhist mythology on the roof and walls. Today, this wooden structure plays the role of a monastery, and it’s the only remaining wooden building of the ancient Royal palace complex which you can find quite interesting during your Myanmar travel.
2. U Bein Bridge – Amarapura
U Bein Bridge has been well known as the longest teak bridge in the world, spanning Taungthaman Lake in the township of Amarapura, an ancient capital of Myanmar. As one of an ideal destination to admire stunning sunrise and sunset during your Burma tours, the over-200-year-old bridge is usually included in Myanmar small group tours to Mandalay.
4. Mahamuni Pagoda
The pagoda is a famous well-known pilgrimage site, noted for its giant golden Buddha statue, which was a spoil of war, brought to Mandalay from Rakhine state by King Thado Minsaw of the Konbaung Dynasty after he had defeated the Arakan Kingdom. The statue was so large that it had to be divided into small parts and then reassembled.
In addition, you will be able to find inscription stones from all over the country, the sophisticated mosaic ceiling and gilded columns of the main pagoda, and a number of bronzes originally from Cambodia’s Angkor Wat
5. Kuthodaw Pagoda
If you are interested in Buddhism, especially Buddhist philosophy, visiting Kuthodaw Pagoda in your small group tours Myanmar to Mandalay will be certainly a wonderful thing. Situated at the foot of Mandalay, religious complex takes itself pride in possessing the “world’s largest book”. Indeed, the complete text of the Tripitaka (the most sacred text of Theravada Buddhism) is inscribed on 729 marble slabs, each of which is located in a small stupa and arranged in lines around the ground. The pagoda was started to construct in 1860 at the order of King Mindon Min.
6. Mahar Aung Myay Jade and Gem Market
If you are an enthusiast for jewelry and sparkle things, the itinerary of your Myanmar tours should include a visit to the largest jade market in the world. Foreigners need to pay an entrance fee of one dollar to watch the trading, observe the process of creating jewelry and other items from jade blocks, and then you can purchase them to support the local economy.
7. Mandalay Hill
Mandalay Hill brings you a peaceful and tranquil atmosphere of a green leafy space against the bustle and hustle of Mandalay. From the top at 240m above sea level, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city. Sutaungpyei pagoda is an interesting stop in your visit to Mandalay Hill.
8. Sandamuni Pagoda
Also located at the busy foot of Mandalay Hill, this pagoda, which was built in 1874, is well known for housing the largest iron Buddha statue in the work. It’s a little surprising that its architecture resembles the nearby Kuthodaw pagoda with a lot of white stupas. Sandamuni Pagoda is also the resting place of several royal family members who lost their lives during an 1866 coup.
9. Like Theater
Your Myanmar small group tours to Mandalay will not be really perfect if you neglect the distinct arts of the traditional Burmese culture, including music, dance, and costume, displayed at Mintha Theater from 8:30-9:30 every evening. 1000-year-old dances remind of the glorious past of the ancient Bagan Kingdom, which are accompanied by performances of live traditional music.
27th Street between 65th & 66th (Near Sedona Hotel), Mandalay, Myanmar +09 6803607
During your Myanmar tours, a trip to Mandalay will be one of most memorable experience as there are so many wonderful things to explore in the city.