Located nearly 700km north of Yangon, Mandalay is the second largest city and the most important Buddhist center of Myanmar. If you have a chance to visit Mandalay, don’t miss experiencing 10 exciting activities below.
Discover city by bicycle
Bicycles are available everywhere in Mandalay with a cheap price for hiring. There are many interesting attractions in Mandalay that you can easily visit by bicycle; and the traffic is quite convenient to move around. You will find a lot of exciting things on the way, even they are more valuable than visiting a famous site. Remember to check your bicycle carefully before hiring to assure that it is not damaged on the way.
Visit a gold leaf workshop
The most impressive thing in Mandalay and Myanmar maybe is… gold. Gold is used to decorate Buddha statues, cover the temples, even furniture in home. Burmese often use gold to donate to the temple instead of money; therefore, it is easy to understand why there are many gold leaf workshops in here.
King Galon is one of the oldest and most famous gold leaf workshops in Mandalay. Coming here, you will be watched the process of making gold leaf. People at King Galon are very cheerful and hospitable and especially you don’t have to pay any fee for visiting.
Visit stone carving workshops
Mandalay is home to many traditional craft workshops, but the most prominent must be mentioned is stone carving workshop. You can go to Sagaing area to visit these workshops. Many religious items, Buddha images and stone slabs for inscription are produced. Other figures such as images of other religions, animal figures are also made by order.
Maha Muni Temple
Maha Muni is the most sacred temple in Mandalay. The temple is very large with many gates and corridors leading to the main area. You will be impressive with the 4-meter-high Buddha statue and the special thing is that this area only allows man to enter, women only can see the statue from the outside.
Relax at Shwenandaw Monastery
Shwenandaw is a famous monastery, fully built of teak. This is an ideal stopover after biking and walking through some destinations in Mandalay. The architecture of the monastery is very nice and sophisticated.
Try street foods of Mandalay
The benefit of getting around by bicycle is you can stop wherever you like. Stop at several street vendors and taste Mandalay’s foods is an interesting experience you will never forget during your trip.
Explore Amarapura and U Bein Bridge
Amarapura used to be the capital of Myanmar and now it is known for silk products, Maha Gandhayon Kyaung Monastery and U Bein – the longest teak bridge in the world. If visit the bridge at the lunchtime, you will have an opportunity to admire a very impressive scene when hundreds of monks at Amarapura monastery crossing the bridge. Some people also believe that if a couple holds hands crossing the bridge together, they will love each other forever.
Sagaing is the outer part of Mandalay and to reach there, you have to cross the Ayeyarwady River. Sagaing is famous for Sagaing Hill – one of the important Buddhist centers in Myanmar where houses over 600 monasteries with 6,000 monks. You have to go through many small stupas to reach the hill’s top but the scenery is amazing.
Visit Inwa by boat
Inwa, Amarapura and Sagaing are three oldest cities in Myanmar. You have to take a boat from Ayeyarwady River to get there. Like most of cities in Myanmar, you will be attracted by majestic temples with unique architecture and beautiful scenery in here.
Mingun Ancient Village
About 11km from Mandalay, you can get there by road but most of tourists choose to go by boat. The boat to Mingun departs at 8:30am and returns at 1:00pm with the price about 4,500 kyat/person (2 USD). If you want to be free to travel, you also can hire a private boat costing 30 USD.
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