Home Myanmar Travel GuideTop 7 Things to Do in Mandalay

Top 7 Things to Do in Mandalay

As a World Cultural Heritage site, Mandalay has numerous monasteries and pagodas, showcasing the history of Buddhism and of feudal dynasties. You will be impressed by its distinctive glamour.

To help you enjoy a memorable trip, here is a list of the top 7 things to do in Mandalay.

Admire the Ancient Treasures of Buddhism

Recommended length of visit: 2 to 3 hours

Shwenandaw Monastery is the main part of the royal palace still remaining today. It was built in 1880 using traditional Burmese architecture. It’s known for the teak engravings on its walls, doors and roofs, illustrating Buddhist legends.

You can take your time here, and admire details of delicate carving and ancient design. You can also observe the lives of monks in the monastery, as they meditate and chant in the Buddhist way.

Read the World’s Largest Book

Recommended length of visit: 2 to 3 hours

Located at the foot of Mandalay Hill, Kuthodaw Pagoda is a landmark of the city. It is renowned for housing the largest book in the world; 729 amazing marble slabs, inscribed with Buddhist teachings.

The pagoda is surrounded by hundreds of shrines, creating their own particular serenity.

Mahamuni Pagoda, another classic pagoda in Mandalay, is also nearby, offering a good chance for you to learn more about Burmese culture.

Overlook the Whole City

Recommended length of visit: 3 to 4 hours in the afternoon

If you want a great view of the city and surrounding areas, or want to enjoy the stunning sunset, Mandalay Hill is a must-visit attraction.

It stands 236 meters tall. There is a big gold-gilded pagoda on top. You can either walk or take a taxi to the top. If you have enough time, walking is strongly recommended. On your way up, you’ll not only enjoy the fun of hiking, but also be able to admire a Buddhist statue and some little pagodas.

Feel the Glory of Myanmar’s Last Dynasty

Recommended length of visit: 1 hour

Mandalay Palace, the last palace of the last monarchy in Myanmar, is surrounded by a moat. The water is so clear and still, it reflects beautifully the surrounding landscape. You may feel that even time is standing still as you observe the palace across the moat.

Behind the ancient city walls, dozens of temples line up in rows. They all are wooden structures, designed in traditional Burmese style, gold and red. You can gain a view over the whole palace by climbing to the top of a tower there.

Cross the World’s Oldest, Longest Teakwood Bridge

Recommended length of visit: half a day

Built in 1851, U Bein Bridge is 1,200 meters long. It’s known as the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world. It was made of 1086 solid teak pillars, spans Taungthaman Lake, and has been a significant passageway for local people ever since it was built.

In the afternoon, you can take a seat and relax at a local shop or stroll along the lakeside, to observe local people’s lives, and enjoy a breathtaking sunset there.

Search for Inner Peace

Recommended length of visit: half a day

Bargaya Monastery has a lot in common with Shwenandaw. Both have the same kind of structure and are home to intricate carvings. Bargaya Monastery, however, is still worth a visit.

Located on Inwa Island, quite far from downtown, the beautiful scenery around Bargaya will leave you with a pleasant impression. Moreover, you can take a horse ride round the island, to see more wonderful sights, such as ancient brickwork temples.

Learn More About the Lives of Monks

Recommended length of visit: 1 hour

You might feel you’ve seen enough pagodas, palaces and temples, but you’ll probably still be amazed and pleased to visit Maha Ganayon Kyaung Monastery.

This is the largest monastery in Myanmar, with about 2,000 novice monks. Every morning, monks line up quietly at 10 o’clock to have their second meal of the day together. Visiting Maha is a great chance for you to learn more about the daily lives of monks and about Buddhist culture generally.

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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9-Day Myanmar Highlights Tour

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