15 Best Things To Do in Mandalay

Mandalay is the second largest cultural city and also the last royal capital of Myanmar. This city is considered the heart of Burmese culture. Dotted with plenty of places to visit, it is also considered to be Burma’s commercial, health and educational centre. It is a very busy city with buildings reaching the sky and streets jam-packed with cars. A riverside city, Mandalay tourist attractions include beautiful monasteries and pagodas, a marketplace full of people from around the world and the busy alleys. The prime Mandalay points of interest include Manadalay Hill, Mandalay Palace and a bunch of Pagodas. If you’re on your way to Myanmar, you should definitely stop at Mandalay and explore this fantastic city with a modest charm.

Here's a list of 15 best things to do in Madalay: 

1. Rent a Motorcycle

The streets are so congested with traffic that it’s better to rent a motorcycle to explore the city. These are pretty cheap and very affordable. It is convenient for you to rent this than get stuck in the traffic for hours.

2. Mandalay Hill

This hill is at a 10-minute drive distance from the main city, and you will have to climb the staircase to get a bird’s eye view of the whole city from the top. You will have to climb up using the staircase, barefooted, which takes about half an hour or so. If that’s not your cup of tea, then you can take a taxi or use the elevator. But do not miss this because it is one of the main points of attractions.

3. U Bein Bridge

Things to do in Mandalay - imageImage Source: pixabay.com

It was built in the year 1850. This bridge is considered to be the longest teakwood bridge in the world. How cool is that? The view it offers is stunning. You can get the best view either at sunrise or sunset. If you come here early in the morning, you will see people exercising on it and fishermen doing their usual job all throughout the day.

4. Sandamuni Pagoda

Oh! I fall short of words every time I mention something about this place. You will find here the largest statue of Buddha, which is made up of 41,000 pounds of iron. Can you believe that? The entire region is covered with over 1700 small shrines with marble slabs on which the teachings of Buddha are inscribed.

5. Kuthodaw Pagoda

Would you believe if I tell you that this place is home to the world’s largest book?  This book is actually pages made up of stone, on which the teachings of Buddha are inscribed. These pages have their own stupa and are arranged in a row in a very organized manner.  Every page of this book, 729 in number, is a meter wide and two meter tall. This place will captivate your heart. Do visit!

6. Mingun

Must see in Mandalay - imageImage Source: wikimedia.org

This is a three in one trip where you get to visit Mingun Pagoda which is a massive pile of bricks, 492 feet tall. Then comes the Mingun Bell which is one of the heaviest bells in the entire world, weighing around 200,000 pounds!! This is incredible! The last of the lot is the Hsinbyume Pagoda built in the year 1816 and is a painted white structure. Visit this one and you’ve already covered 3 places at once.

7. Mandalay Palace

Much of its area was destroyed during the Second World War but thanks to the restoration process that has been going on since the 90’s. Its beauty is still intact. Make sure you climb the watchtower to get a view of the surrounding moat and while you’re on your way up, you’ll find a few signs relating to the history of the place.

8. Gold Leaf Workshop Show Room and Sale Centre

If you want to get up close and personal with the process of making Gold leaf, visit this place to know more about it from the workers themselves. Each small sheet of leaf costs around 700 rupees. One leaf requires to be beaten for about 5 hours before the process is complete. If you’re interested in buying one, you can visit this any time.

9. A trip to the Jade Market

Places to visit in Mandalay - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Your trip to Mandalay is incomplete if you don’t visit the jade market where 70% of the world’s jade is found here. The products found here are definitely expensive but if you move outside the gates of this market, you can get your hands on some cheap bracelets and necklace from the sellers outside. These are perfect for souvenirs.

10. Shwenandaw Kyaung

Shwenandaw kyaung - ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Even if you’re not interested in art and architecture, this place will change your whole opinion about it. It is a temple made up of teak with intricate wood carvings on it. This whole structure is a modest piece of art and you’ll fall in love with it while you study the detailing. This architecture is quite quintessential.

11. Try out the cheap Burmese food

How can you miss this? Go and visit some street side restaurants and indulge in the tasty Burmese food at a very cheap rate. Do try out the bean paste salad and tea leaf salad. It’s delicious! My taste buds are already craving it.

12. Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery

To simplify it, it is also known as the brick monastery lies in the vicinity to the Teak Temple. It has a multi-tiered roof, and inside the monastery, you will find several images of Buddha guarded by 2 Burmese mythological lions.

It is as beautiful as all the other monasteries, and you shouldn’t skip the chance to visit it.

13. Umin Thonse Pagoda

It is also known as the 30 caves Pagoda because it has 30 cave entrances. Inside this Pagoda, you’ll find 35 images of Buddha in a moon-like structure. It is highly recommended!

14. Inwa

Things to do in Mandalay- ImageImage Source: wikimedia.org

Visit this ancient city which was also known as Awa. It was famously known as Myanmar’s old capital. There is an availability of horse carts to show you around this city in ruins.

15. Yadanabon Zoological Gardens

This small zoo is situated between the Mandalay Palace and the Mandalay hills and is home to around 300 species. If you have some time to spare, then stroll around here too and observe the inhabitants.

All in all, Mandalay is a total delight to be in and is very affordable, so you don’t have to worry about spending some extra bucks here while you’re on your way to Myanmar.

Author
After five years of her teaching career, Shraddhanvita decided to make 'travel' her passion. For her 'a rolling stone does gather moss'. She is a wanderlust driven soul, a poet, a pluviophile, and a humanist. Fascinated by nature's bounty, she finds ...

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Top Mandalay Activities And Tours

Explore the best things to do in Mandalay. These are the most preferred tourist activities.

  • Private Half-Day Mandalay City Tour
    Private Half-Day Mandalay City Tour3 Reviews

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    Visit the last capital of the third Myanmar Empire on this 4-hour private tour. Mandalay is situated in the center of the cou...

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  • Private Full-Day Tour of Mandalay
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  • Mandalay Cultural Heritage Day Tour
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  • Private Transfer: Mandalay to Bagan
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Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Mandalay, Myanmar

Must see places in Mandalay ranked on popularity. Here is the complete list of best attractions in Mandalay and point of interests to visit.

  1. Mandalay Hill

    # 1 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 483 times in trip plans
    Mandalay Hill

    Tags: View Point, Hill

    Address: Mandalay Hill, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

    Being the source of the city’s name, the Mandalay Hill is where the famous Sutaungpyei Pagoda is located. The pagoda is known to fulfill any wishes of visitors. The beauty of the hill is in the ...Read more

  2. Shwenandaw Monastery

    # 2 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 491 times in trip plans
    Shwenandaw Monastery

    Tags: Architecture , Monastery

    Address: Shwenandaw Monastery, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

    Timings: 08:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    The Shwenandaw Monastery is loved for its intricate art work, traditional architecture and exuberant décor that covers ever inch of the structure. The Monastery was built in the late 19th centu...Read more

  3. Kuthodaw Pagoda & The World's Largest Book

    # 3 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 491 times in trip plans
    Kuthodaw Pagoda & The World's Largest Book

    Tags: Historical Site, Architecture

    Address: At the junction of 62nd street and 10th street, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

    Timings: 08:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    The Kuthodaw Pagoda accommodates the largest book in the world. There are more than 700 stone inscriptions kept in individual caves located here that have excerpts from Tipitaka and the entire Pali Ca...Read more

  4. Mahamuni Pagoda

    # 4 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 239 times in trip plans
    Mahamuni Pagoda

    Tags: Religious Site, Temple

    Address: Pedestrian Path, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

    Timings: 06:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Legend says that when Buddha came to Dhanyawadi city in 554 BC, an image of him was made to worship after the King of Arakan was moved by his teachings. The life-like image was made from gold donated ...Read more

  5. Mandalay Palace

    # 5 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 480 times in trip plans
    Mandalay Palace

    Tags: Historical Site, Palace

    Address: Mandalay Palace, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

    Timings: 07:30 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Dating back to the mid 19th century, Mandalay Palace is the last palace built by Burmese Royals. The place was looted in late 19th century and was converted to form a fort for the British army, hence ...Read more

  6. Pa Hto Taw Gyi

    # 6 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 149 times in trip plans
    Pa Hto Taw Gyi

    Tags: Temple, Architecture

    Address: Min Kun, Myanmar (Burma)

    The Mingun Temple is an incomplete pagoda but was meant to be the largest pagoda in Myanmar. The temple dates back to the 18th century and even though the earthquake in 1839 left the structure with ma...Read more

  7. Bagaya Kyaung

    # 7 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 78 times in trip plans
    Bagaya Kyaung

    Tags: Monastery

    Address: Amarapura, Myanmar (Burma)

    Timings: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    The Bargaya Monastery is dedicated to Shin Dhammabhinanda and is one of the most popular attractions not just in Mandalay but in the whole country.  The monastery dates back to the late 16th cent...Read more

  8. Maha Aungmye Bonzan

    # 8 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 134 times in trip plans
    Maha Aungmye Bonzan

    Tags: Monastery

    Address: Inn Wa, Myanmar (Burma)

    The Maha Aung Mye Bon Zan Monastery dates back to the Konbaung dynasty and is popular for its traditional Burmese architecture.  The stucco pieces that adorn the building, gorgeous wood carvings ...Read more

  9. Sandamuni Pagoda

    # 9 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 237 times in trip plans
    Sandamuni Pagoda

    Tags: Temple, Architecture

    Address: Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

    Timings: 08:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    To see architecture and spirituality merge seamlessly visit the Sandamuni Pagoda- a gorgeous place filled with innumerable white stupas (1774 shrines to be exact) with golden tops. The many small stup...Read more

  10. Mandalay Marionette

    # 10 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 272 times in trip plans
    Mandalay Marionette

    Tags: Performance, Theatre

    Address: 66th St., Between 26th & 27th St,Mandalay, Myanmar.

    Mandalay Marionettes Theater Embraces the culture of Myanmar and celebrates it by keeping the art of Puppetry alive and breathing even today. Puppetry has been a part of Myanmar since the 11th century...Read more

  11. Nan Myint Tower

    # 11 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 42 times in trip plans
    Nan Myint Tower

    Tags: Watch Tower

    Address: Nan Myint Tower, Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar (Burma)

    Timings: 24-hrs Details

    One of the most understated attractions in Mandalay, the Leaning Tower of Inwa or the ‘Nan Myint’ is easily ignorable. But what truly takes the crown is the fantastic view from the watchto...Read more

  12. Jade Market

    # 12 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 102 times in trip plans
    Jade Market

    Tags: Market

    Address: 87th St, 39/40 Mandalay, Myanmar

    Timings: 08:00 am - 04:00 pm Details

    Myanmar is one of the top places to buy authentic Jade and the Jade Market is where you can buy freshly cut pieces. From beautiful jade bangles to Buddha statues, cabochon rocks and beautiful uncut va...Read more

  13. King Galon Gold Leaf Workshop

    # 13 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 149 times in trip plans
    King Galon Gold Leaf Workshop

    Tags: Statue

    Address: No. 143 36th Street between 77th & 78th Street, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

    Timings: 08:00 am - 06:00 pm Details

    Nothing says more about Myanmar than the beautiful Buddha statues covered in gold and if you are looking for beautiful gold leafs to leave on the Buddha statues around the city or simply to carry a fe...Read more

  14. Atumashi Monastery

    # 14 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 367 times in trip plans
    Atumashi Monastery

    Tags: Religious Site, Monastery

    Address: 63rd St, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

    Timings: 08:00 am - 05:00 pm Details

    Reconstructed after the fire in 1890, the Atumashi monastery replaces the original elaborate monastery made completely from Teak. Today, the stunning white building with gold embellishments oozes its ...Read more

  15. Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda

    # 15 of 60 Things To Do in Mandalay | Added 156 times in trip plans
    Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda

    Tags: Statue

    Address: Kyauktawgyi Temple, Mandalay, Myanmar

    Timings: 06:00 am - 08:00 pm Details

    Popular for the huge 37 feet tall Buddha statue made from a single piece of white Marble, the Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda’s rich gold architecture is sure to leave you spellbound. The sheer ethereal de...Read more

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