Shopping in Mandalay - Main Hub for Handicrafts

Shopping in Mandalay - Main Hub for Handicrafts

By Wendy Updated Sep. 24, 2021

Despite impressive recent advances, Mandalay remains less developed than the nearby Yangon. It therefore offers a less commercial shopping experience than travelers might find in the old capital city, as visitors won’t encounter many large plazas or super malls.

Shopping here is still a treat, however, as Mandalay is considered by many to be the nation’s main hub for handicrafts.

The shops and buzzing markets of local artisans serve as the main appeal for visitors in Mandalay looking to explore the city’s shopping scene. Elegant gems, unique gold-leaf articles and an array of Buddhist icons are some of the products available to shoppers in Mandalay.

Asia Highlights promises our guests a hassle-free travel experience, and we provide customized, high-quality shopping tours for those looking to explore this aspect of Myanmar culture.

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Gems & Precious Stones

Mandalay was once nicknamed the city of gems. True to this name, a plethora of precious stones and jewelry items are among the most exciting products available for purchase here. The following locations have been hand-picked by our team to offer you the best in stonework while traveling in Mandalay.

Travelers should never buy precious stones or jewelry when shop owners are unable to offer certificates of verification. Moreover, we remind our guests that diamonds are generally scarce in Myanmar, so please be wary of merchants offering diamonds at low prices. And remember, don’t forget to bargain hard!

Jade Market

The Jade Market is one incredible opportunity for travelers to experience the vibrant gemstone scene in Mandalay. Although foreigners are required to pay a small fee in order to enter, visitors will be able to view merchants trading, haggling, and carving stones throughout the hundreds of small shops inside.

Those who visit this market will not only be able to find incredible bargains on many gorgeous stone products, but will also come away with more knowledge about jade, a sacred material in Myanmar and in many other Asian cultures.

Gem Palace, Gem Dealers’ Market & MOE Gems

The Gem Palace is one of the best places to find unique gems in Mandalay. Visitors won’t want to miss the opportunity to search through the variety of jewelry, eyewear and other elegant products available here.

Mahar Aung Myay Gems Dealers' Market offers an extensive array of precious stones. Many merchants here sell their wares wholesale, so shoppers will be able to find a variety of goods at reasonable prices.

MOE Gems and Jewelry is another quaint gem shop worth checking out if you are on the lookout for precious stones and jewelry while in Myanmar.

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Local Markets

Zegyo Market

It is often said that if you have visited Mandalay but not stopped by the Zegyo Market, then you have not been to Mandalay at all. This fascinating, colorful shopping destination, located in an historic, 25-story building, is home to hundreds of stalls with vendors selling many types of wares.

Visitors who come here will experience local culture and get a feel for the city, and no doubt find some bargains along the way. Offering a variety of local and imported souvenirs, food items, handicrafts and more, the Zegyo Market should be top on any shopper’s list while visiting Mandalay.

Yadanarbon, Kai Tan & Thiri Mandalar Markets

Another large market is the Yadanarbon Market located in the Skywalk Shopping Mall. With over 1,500 shops on the ground floor alone, shoppers will be able to find fabrics, home items and clothes at bargain prices.

The Kai Tan Market, open since 1997, is home to over 300 stores spread across five levels. This shopping destination is ideal for travelers looking to purchase fresh produce, fish products, and other local snacks.

The Thiri Mandalar Market sprawls throughout 10 buildings and is a center for trading items produced in rural areas. Here shoppers will enjoy browsing through a variety of authentic regional products.

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Souvenirs

Gold-Leaf Workshops

King Galon Gold-Leaf Workshop is a refined gold-leaf workshop where travelers will be able to learn about the unique process of gold-pounding. Visitors will enjoy witnessing how gold pieces are pressed into thin sheets and used for a variety of decorative purposes.

Golden Rose Shop Workshop is another destination for shoppers wishing to learn more about gold leaf production, while browsing through interesting hand-made articles.

More Local Handicrafts

Buddhist sculptures and paintings are among some of the most popular souvenirs for travelers in Myanmar. Amar Waddy is the place to go for those looking to take home any type of Buddhist artwork to commemorate their trip.

Another destination for those looking to purchase locally-made crafts is Aung Nan Myanmar Handicrafts workshop, which boasts a variety of woodcarvings, traditional puppets, and home-decor items.

A small, delightful gallery in which to view traditional artwork, Sein Myint also has a number of embroidered pictures and paintings for shoppers to browse.

Last but not least, Rocky, one of Mandalay’s top handicraft shops, has an array of tapestries, precious stones and woodcarvings for sale.

Further Shopping

The Rural Development Society Shop is the retail branch of the Rural Development Society, which aims to improve quality of life of individuals living in the Shan and Pa-O tribal regions around Inle Lake.

Visitors to the RDS can purchase goods such as hand-made paper, clothing and fabric produced by local people, all the while supporting growth in the surrounding community.

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The Asia Highlights Experience

Responsible Travel

Asia Highlights is dedicated to responsible travel so as to ensure positive experiences for our clients. We customize your travel plans to best suit your requirements. Additionally, we promise that our guests will never be taken on unexpected shopping detours. Our organization also works to foster positive development in the regions we tour.

We work closely with liaisons in our target areas to make sure that our trips are led by knowledgeable local guides and young staff members looking to develop their careers. Asia Highlights tours also visit many welfare projects and restaurants during our trips so that guests have the opportunity to engage with the local community.

For Travelers

We remind guests to research the political situation of their destination countries in order to be sensitive travelers. Our guides will also gently remind you of any customs that need to be observed when traveling through Myanmar, such as taking off your shoes before visiting religious sites. For more information about Asia Highlights’ dedication to responsible travel, see

We provide tailor-made tours to Myanmar. Tours typically start or end in Yangon or Mandalay and last approximately 9 days; visiting Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake.

Visit Myanmar with Asia Highlights

We provide tailor-made tours to Myanmar. Tours typically start or end in Yangon or Mandalay and last approximately 9 days; visiting Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake.

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