Destination in Mandalay
The last royal capital city of Myanmar kings
located at the foot of the Mandalay Hill is situated on the
eastern banks of Ayeyarwady river in the dry zone of Myanmar. It
is linked by air, rail, road and river with Yangon and other
principal towns of Myanmar.
It was found by King Mindon in 1857. He built a new capital with
palace and monasteries which are masterpiece of traditional
Myanmar architecture. Mandalay is the country's second largest
city and the cultural heart of Myanmar.
Well known for Myanmar traditional arts and crafts, silk
weaving, tapestry, stone and wood carving and rich in historical
memorials and Buddhist buildings. Visitors can make a lot of
short trips to Amarapura, Mingun,Sagaing, Innwa and Pyin Oo lwin.
The Mahamuni Pagoda was built to enshrine the
Mahamuni Buddha image which was brought from Rakhine by King
Bodawpaya in 1784. It exits to the south of Mandalay. The Buddha
image cast in bronze is coated with gold leaves but only the
face is not allowed to be gilded. Being the most venerated
Buddha image, the temple is crowed by the devotees and the
Buddha's face cleansing ritual is done everyday in the early
Standing to the northeast of Mandalay,
covered with pagodas, small temples, Buddha images and religious
structures. The original name of the city was the Yadanabon.
Later the city was renamed Mandalay as it lies near Mandalay
Hill and the name has stuck. While the construction works were
going on Mandalay Hill, two huge snakes were found and they were
released unharmed into the forest. Their concrete figures can
still be seen on the hill. From the hill top one can enjoy a
panoramic view over the city and sunset.
Mandalay Royal Palace
The Royal Palace ' Mya Nan San Kyaw ' was
built by king Mindon at the foot of Mandalay Hill. The Palace
was destroyed by fire during Second World War leaving only the
moat and the city walls to remind Myanmars of their olden golden
days. Now Mandalay Palace has been reconstructed to the original
design in the place of the old one on the palace ground with the
traditional Myanmar wooden architecture.
Kuthodaw Pagoda was built by king Mindon in
1857 and known as ' the World's Largest Book '. King Mindon made
Mandalay a centre of Buddhist teaching, convening the Fifth
Buddhist Synod and the complete Buddhist Scriptures were
inscribed on the 729 marble slabs and housed in small shrines in
the pagoda compound.
The Great Buddha Image stands at the foot of
Mandalay Hill. The huge Seated Buddha Image was carved out of a
huge single block of beautiful marble from the Sagyin quarries
near Mandalay. The figures of eighty great disciples of Buddha
were placed around the shrine, twenty on each of the four sides.
Golden Palace Monastery
The Shwe Nandaw or Golden Palace Monastery is
one of the hundreds of monasteries in Mandalay. The whole part
of monastery is built by teak wood carved all over with motifs
and mythical creatures. It was once the private residence of
king Mindon. After king Mindon passed away, the Shwe Nandaw
Kyaung was donated to the monks as a meditation centre by his
heir king Thibaw. The monastery is of great interest and one of
the fine specimens of typical Myanmar wood carving.
Amarapura lies about 11 km south of Mandalay
and accessible by car from Mandalay. Amarapura means ' the
Immortal City ' and it was founded by King Bodawpaya. It was the
second last capital city of Myanmar kings. The city is famous
for silk and cotton weaving industry and bronze casting is also
can be seen.
There are several interesting sites to attract the tourists in
Amarapura. Places of interest; Taungthaman Lake situated to the
south of Amarapura and the famous U Bein Bridge, 1.2 km long
teak bridge spans the Taungthaman Lake. Kyauktawgyi pagoda made
by a single marble stone and its architecture and fresco murals
are special interest. Mahagandayone monastery, famous for its
teachings and strict disciplines and lunch time is the most
attractive scene for tourists.
Mingun is a town in Sagaing Division Located
on the western bank of Ayeyarwaddy river. It can be accessible
by boat from Mandalay. King Bodawpaya planned to build the
Mingun Pagoda, but it was never completed. One of the famous, a
massive pagoda was left unfinished. The pagoda had suffered from
earthquake and there are huge cracks in the structure. Visitors
can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Ayeyarwaddy from there.
King Bodawpaya had cast a gigantic bell known as Mingun Bell to
donate to the pagoda. The Bell was made of bronze and now it
remains as the largest ringing bell in the world. The Bell
weighs 90 tons and is located next to the Mingun Pagoda. The
Myatheindan Pagoda built by King Bagyidaw in the memory of his
senior wife Sinbyume is one of the interests. The pagoda is
situated next to the Mingun Bell.
Situated on the western bank of Ayeyarwaddy
river, 21 km southwest of Mandalay. Sagaing is known as a
meditation centre and surrounded by hundreds of pagodas,
monasteries and nunneries. It has the second largest number of
pagodas and religious buildings in Myanmar. Sagaing hills are
best-known as a religious retreat and one of the best scenic
spots in Myanmar. Kaung-hmu-daw pagoda, hemispherical in shape,
Soon Oo Ponnya Shin pagoda with the beautiful scenery of Sagaing,
Umin Thonze ( thirty caves ) pagoda with many Buddha images and
Ywahtaung village where one can see silver workshop producing
silver items by traditional methods are places of interest.
Innwa ( Ava )
Innwa is a small town south of Amarapura, 17
km away from Mandalay. It was one of the ancient capital cities
and known as Yadana Pura, ' the City of Gems'. The ruins of the
palace, the massive fort walls and moat can still be seen as the
splendour of the past.
The sites to see in Innwa are Nanmyint Watch Tower, also known
as the Leaning Watch Tower as it was damaged and leaning due to
the earthquarth; Maha Aung Mye Bonzan monastery or Mai Nu Oke
Kyaung, a brick and stucco monastery decorated with flora and
mythical animals donated by Queen Mai Nu; Bagaya monastery built
by all-teak wood, 267 teak pillars holding up the raised floor
and the low ceilings.
Pyin Oo Lwin
Pyin Oo Lwin, formerly known as Maymyo is
situated on the western bank of Ayeyarwaddy river and accessible
by car from Mandalay. The city is over 1000 meters above sea
level and famous as a summer resort attracting large numbers of
visitors during the hot season. The weather is delightfully cool
and pleasant all the year round. The varieties of seasonal
flowers and hundreds of wild orchids collected from all over the
country are grown in the National Gardens, formerly known as the
Botanical Gardens and the flowers are blooming at all times.
Pyin Oo Lwin is also famous for its coffee industry and many
strawberry fields. The favorite picnic spots; Pwe Kauk Waterfall
and Peik Chin Myaung Cave with many beautiful springs.
Hsipaw is an ancient town and has a large
central market in the center of the town. The Shan and other
tribal people from nearby villages come to trade. Hsipaw is also
known as a nice trekking town and one can explore to nearby
villages, waterfall and half day boat trip along the river. The
old wooden traditional Haw of the Sawbwa ( Palace of Shan
Princes ) is still well-preserved at the northern end of the
The capital of northern Shan State near the
Chinese border, Lashio is a busy trade town. It is a hilly
region surrounded by Shan hills with a delightful scene.
Crossing over the magnificent Gokehtaik Bridge by train will be
a fascinating journey and an unforgettable experience.
Muse is a small town situated on the Shweli
river and 190 km from Lashio. The main border gateway between
Myanmar and China, it is a busy trade center and Chinese-made
goods are cheap there.