Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar after Yangon, and a former capital of Myanmar. It is located in the center of the country, bordering Sagaing Region and Magway Region to the west, Shan State to the east, and Bago Region and Kayin State to the south. The regional capital is Mandalay. It is easily accessible by airways, railways, motor ways and water transport.
As it was the capital of last Myanmar kings, Mandalay inherits many cultural heritage. The city is religious hub of upper Myanmar and half of Myanmar’s monks reside in Mandalay and the surrounding areas. Mahamuni Buddha temple, one of Myanmar’s most important religious sites, is the magnificent of Mandalay. Mandalay Hill, a natural watch tower, where can enjoy the stunning panoramic landscape of the city is the best place to enjoy the beautiful sunset.
U Bein Bridge, the longest teak wood bridge in the world, is in Amarapura ancient city near Mandalay. Singaing Hills which has numerous pagodas, monasteries and meditation centers is known as a peaceful place for Buddhist studies. It is also the place where is able to enjoy the beauty of majestic Irrewady River and Sagaing Hills itself.
PyinOoLwin and Monywa are the famous tourist destinations close to Mandalay. PyinOoLwin, a beautiful hill station town, is well known for its botanical garden, huge colonial houses, waterfalls & beautiful scenery of natural environment. Monywa is home to the huge Buddha images and limestone caves which has the beautiful mural paintings.
This gorgeously carved teak monastery is beloved by tourists and locals. Commissioned in 1895 by a pair of wealthy Chinese jade merchants, the central building stands on tree-trunk poles and the interior has a soaring dark majesty. Balustrades and roof cornices are covered in detailed engravings, a few of them mildly humorous.
The pagoda is believed to be some 2000 years old. It is one of the three most scared religious sites in Myanmar, along with Shwedagon Pagoda and Golden Rock. Centuries of votary gold leaf applied by male devotees has left the figure knobby with a 6in layer of pure gold. The face washing ceremony to Pagoda is hold every early morning at 4AM.
The 1990s reconstruction of Mandalay's royal palace features more than 40 timber buildings built to resemble the 1850s originals. Climb the curious spiral, timber-walled watchtower for a good general view. The palace's most striking structure is a soaring multilayered pyramid of gilt filigree above the main throne room.
This enormous temple complex is one of the finest archaeological sites in Myanmar. It is a fascinating spot, anchored by a two-story temple marked by sturdy brickwork and magnificent stucco reliefs. Some of the latter include scenes from the life of the Buddha, as well as depictions of animals, plants and mythological beings.
Lavished in carved panels, this fine teak monastery-temple is noted for its carvings, particularly the interior gilded Jataka scenes (past-life stories of the Buddha). The building once stood within the Mandalay Palace complex as the royal apartment of King Mindon, who died inside it in 1878.
This unusually shaped temple is a series of diminishing stupa-dotted terraces over an arched base decorated with peacock motifs. When built in 1857, it housed a famous Buddha Image with a huge diamond set on its forehead. However, the image was stolen following the 1885 British takeover, and the monastery was gutted by fire five years later.
The world’s longest teak footbridge gently curves 1300yd across shallow Taungthaman Lake, creating one of Myanmar’s most photographed sites. In dry season it feels surreally high and mostly crosses seasonal vegetable gardens. But after the summer rains, the area becomes a big lake and water laps just below the floor planks.
It is one of the few places where can learn about the Buddhist monks' lifestyle. The monastery is very famous for its restricted disciplines and systematic manner of the monks. Although more than a thousand young monks have their meals together, it is totally silence and systematically in accordance with Buddha's teaching.
This 1822 royal monastery temple is a rare survivor from the Ava era. The faded, sturdy structure looks very attractive in cleverly taken photographs, but in the harsh midday sun the main attraction is the cool afforded by its ultra-thick walls and the bats flitting through its empty undercroft.
All that remains of King Bagyidaw’s palace complex is this 90ft ‘leaning tower of Inwa’, shattered but patched up and still standing after the 1838 earthquake. The watchtower is neither beautiful nor especially high, but wide views from the top are great for bearings amid the widely scattered sights.
The Mingun Pagoda is a massive unfinished pagoda built at the end of the 18th century. Although it was built to be the largest pagoda in the country, the project was stopped when King Bodawpaya died in 1819. But the result is still a huge structure and often described as the world’s largest pile of bricks. There's a steep staircase to the top to enjoy amazing views of the countryside.
Located on the western banks of the Irrawaddy, Sagaing is another ancient capital of Myanmar. It is famous for its many hundreds of white, silver and gold pagodas and monasteries that dot its hilly landscape. Sonooponenyashin Pagoda is on the top of the hill where is the best place to enjoy the beautiful panoramic landscape of majestic Issawaddy River and Sagaing Hills itself.
This huge dome shaped pagoda stands out among more traditional-style, pyramid-shaped Myanmar pagodas. At the base of the pagoda there are 812 stone pillars, each one with a hollow and an image of a Nat in it. The pagoda is an important pilgrimage and tourist destination in the Sagaing area.
This colorful, modern temple is famed for its staggering number of buddha images as well as its carnivalesque exterior, with a unique roof layered with rows of gilt mini-stupas. The multi-arched temple interior is plastered with so many Buddha images (5,823,631 according to temple guardians), large and small, that it feels like you're walking through a Buddha house of mirrors.
The pagoda gets it names from its 1000 Bodhi trees with sitting Buddha images. It is home to the 424ft standing Buddha Image which has 31 stories that represent the 31 planes of existence. It is the second tallest standing Buddha Image in the world after Spring Temple Buddha in China and it utterly dominates the landscape for miles around.
It is one of the most famous religious sites in the country, located in the center of the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park which is the largest national park in Myanmar. In the middle of the forest is a pilgrimage place, a pagoda erected over a cave tomb shrine for a monk. Trekking through the beautiful jungle is a worthwhile visit for natural lovers.
It is truly a pleasure for stepping down among the calm expanse of green mountain ranges in cool climate. The waterfall has three levels and the view of the lowest level becomes increasingly delightful. Winter is the best time to take photos when the water amount is less and it doesn’t splash too much.