Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems is dubbed as the cultural center of Myanmar. Visiting this places, there are plenty of exciting things to do and explore the beauty, life, and culture. Let’s take a look at 10 things to do when coming here!
I/ Things to know about Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems
Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems (coordinates 21 ° 58’B, 96 ° 04’D) is the second largest city in Myanmar (Burma), after Yangon. It has the population of 927,000 in 2005, the metropolitan area covering around 2.5 million people. It is the capital of Burma’s last royal court and the capital of the Mandalay Region. With its long history, stunning landscapes and unique culture, Mandalay is one of the cities that you should not miss while traveling in Myanmar.
- Best time to visit Mandalay: In Mandalay, there are 2 seasons for you to come here:
- The rainy season (from July to September): Although this is the rainy season in Myanmar, in the Mandalay city, it has very little rain. During this time, there are very few visitors travel to Myanmar so the city is quieter, the price is so cheaper.
- The autumn (from October to February next year): At that time, visitors to Myanmar are very crowded because of less rainfall, mild climate, suitable for Mandalay tourism.
The autumn is the best time to visit Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems
2. How to get to Mandalay and moving in this city
- You can go by car or fly directly to Mandalay from Yangon city. Or if you come from other cities, you can take a train or bus. But the bus will save time because the train will go very slowly.
- There are quite many ways to move around the city. If you travel with a group, you should hire a taxi all day to save money, it costs about 60k-70k Kyats for a 4-seat car. If you travel alone, you can rent a motorbike for the whole day with the cost of 20,000Kyats, it’s quite cheap.
II/ Top 10 things to do when visiting Mandalay
Here are 10 exciting experiences you should not miss when you have the opportunity of traveling to Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems:
1. Rent a bike and explore the city
Bicycles are available everywhere in Mandalay with very cheap rents. Before hiring, you need to be sure that your bike is still good so that you can be assured of no damage along the way. There are many interesting attractions of Mandalay that you can easily visit by bike. The traffic in the city is also convenient. More importantly, in the process of traveling by bike, you will feel relax and have an opportunity to explore all the little things in this city.
2. Visit a gold leaf production workshop
What is most impressed in Myanmar, maybe that’s… Gold. People often use gold to decorate the statues of Buddha, outside the temples. Moreover, many of Myanmar’s rich families use gold to put on ceiling or furniture. Moreover, Burmans rarely send money to the bank, instead of that, they often buy gold to donate to the temple. Therefore, it’s easy to understand why gold leaf production is growing here.
King Galon is one of the oldest and the most famous gold factory in Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems. When visiting here, you can watch the process of making gold leaf. Everyone in King Galon is very cheerful and enthusiastic. So you can try to hammer the hammer into the golden package below. This experience is completely free and memorable.
3. Visit the famous jade market Mahar Aung Myay
When traveling to Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems, The Mahar Aung Myay jade market here is an interesting gem shopping spot that travelers should not miss. Gems is an extremely popular item of Myanmar and attract a lot of tourists. Visiting Mahar Aung Myay market in Mandalay – the largest jade market in the world, you can go around among the neatly-stocked pavilions, admire the variety of jade jewelry in the glass cabinets. You can find here from raw pearls to elaborate jade figurines and can buy jewelry at very low prices.
4. Visit the stone sculpture workshop
Mandalay is home to many traditional craft workshops, but the most prominent of these is stone sculpture. You can visit the Sagaing area to visit these sculptures. The whole area seems to be covered with fine dust from the marble, and you’ll see the skilled craftsmen polishing their sculptures in the streets. Surprisingly, you will see very skilled workers, no one seems to use a sketch form.
5. Visit Maha Muni Temple
Maha Muni is the most sacred temple of Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems. In Myanmar, it is only inferior to temple Shwedagon in terms of popularity. Maha Muni temple is located in the southwest of Mandalay. This is a famous Buddhist site and the most important pilgrimage place for Buddhists in Myanmar. The temple is very large and beautiful, with many doors and corridors that lead to the main area. You will be impressed with the large gold-plated statue of Buddha inside, which is especially the area that only allows men to enter, all women only see the statue from the outside. Get inside and you will feel the sacred atmosphere, as well as the cult of the people with their faith.
6. Visit Shwenandaw Monastery
Shwenandaw is a famous monastery of Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems, that was built entirely of teak. It located in a solemn position in the Mandalay Palace complex. It contains a treasure of 19th century about Burmese architecture and sculpture. Coming here, you will be impressed by the decorations outside the monastery. They describe the stories of the Buddha’s life. And one thing you should know when you go to Myanmar temples: only men are allowed to enter and worship the Buddha in the main room. The journey to discover the monastery will make your trip more interesting. Moreover, this is also a valuable stop for those who want to learn about the history of Mandalay.
7. Explore Amarapura and U Bein Bridge
Amarapura was once the capital of Myanmar for a short time, now, it’s a township of Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems. This place is best known for its silk products, Gandhayon Kyaung Monastery, and U Bein – the longest teakwood bridge in the world.
- At Gandhayon Kyaung Monastery, every morning you will encounter hundreds of young monks who beg for food. This image is very familiar in the daily life of the people of Mandalay – a cultural Buddhism beauty.
- The Ubein bridge is located in Amarapura – the suburb of Mandalay. The longest wooden bridge in the world, U Bien connects the banks of the Taungthamna River and it is a popular spot to watch the sunset. On the banks of the river, there are many temples, the scene is very ancient and peaceful.
Ubein Bride – an unique bridge in Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems
8. Enjoy the scenery from Sagaing Hill
Sagaing is the area outside of Mandalay, to get there, you have to cross the Ayeyarwady River. This place is especially famous for its hill called Sagaing Hill, one of the main Buddhist centers in Myanmar, which is houses of over 600 monasteries and towers, as well as 6,000 monks and nuns. On the way to the top of the hill, you have to pass many small stupas and also take time, however, when coming here, you will have a great view and chance to see the panoramic beauty of Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems. That will be a memorable experience.
9. Take a boat to visit Inwa Village
Innwa is a small village nestled on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River. This ancient village is a popular tourist destination with many valuable heritage sites such as Bagaya Kyaun Monastery, Mahan Aung Mye Mahan or Nanmyin Tower. Innwa has a history of nearly 400 years from 1364 to 1841, the ruins of the ancient capital are no longer on the land of Innwa village, but visitors still come here to enjoy the fresh air of the countryside. You can admire the traditional preserved houses by going around along the ancient streets. In Innwa you should pick up a chariot as a means of transportation to the Bagaya Kyaung Monastery. It has the unique architecture that is protected by 267 giant teak pillars. Nearby, tourists can visit the Mahar Aung Mye Bon San Monastery, also known as the Brick Monastery, built in 1822 by Nanmadaw Me Nu – Queen of the Bagyidaw dynasty. Namyin tower (up to 27m) also makes you feel excited when coming here. To see the whole village, don’t ignore to visit the Nanmyin scene.
10. Visit Mingun ancient village
Myanmar tourism is famous for its magnificent golden pagodas and devout Buddhists. The Mingun Observatory is located on the outskirts of Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems. This is a must-come destination for visitors to the country. Mingun is a village located in the north of Mandalay City, on the other side of the Ayeyawadi river. There are stupas, Mingun bell and famous Chinthe statue that are considered as treasures by local people. Mingun bell is the world’s largest bell that weighs 90 tons. You will also be impressed when standing in front of the gentle elegance of the beautiful Hsinbyume Temple. The architecture of the temple is modeled after Mount Meru, the mountain believed to be the center of the universe, seven layers of curved white corridors symbolize the seven mountains around. You can climb to the top of the temple, enjoy the rare silence in the journey and the panoramic views of the Mingun village along the Ayeyarwady River below. The river is like the people here, slow, gentle, make visitors feel so peaceful and relax.
Visiting Mandalay in Burma – the city of gems, you will never regret of your choice. The old villages, the stately and magnificent temples and the craft workshops will help you better understand the history, culture, and people here and make a wonderful trip in your life!