Top things to do in and around Mandalay
The second largest city and a former capital of Myanmar. The tourists spend their time to visit many temples, monasteries and markets, as well as great street food and panoramic views from Mandalay Hill. Besides visiting pagodas or Mandalay Hill, there are many other options for the travelers to experience as King Galon Gold Factory, U Bein Bridge, Sculpture Workshop, Jade Market, Mintha Theater, etc. You can also enjoy Burmese life in every corner of the streets.
Most visited Pagodas in Mandalay
Maha-muni Pagoda is the second famous pagoda after Shwedagon Pagoda. You will be impressed and and feel the spiritual environment when you see the large seated Buddha with 4 meters high and covered with gold. This Buddha statue was also ancient and it was seized from Mrauk Oo, Rakhine State by the Burmese army of King Bodawpaya in 1784 according to the history. There are also some pagodas around Mandalay like Kaungmudaw Pagoda, Kuthodaw Pagoda and Sandamuni Pagoda. Each of the pagodas has their own history and interesting points. If you have more time, you should go and visit all these pagodas.
Beautiful Sunset view from Mandalay Hill
Mandalay Hill is not only the landmark of Mandalay but also the watchtower of Mandalay as you can see both sunrise and sunset views over the city. Moreover, the legend said that the Lord buddha visited there and made a prophecy that a great city would be established.
Just 11 km south of Mandaly lies Amarapura famous for its traditional fabric making workshops, Mahagandhayon Monastery with thousands of young monks studying Buddhist literature and the famous U Bein Bridge stunningly built in the beautiful Taungthaman Lake. U Bein Bridge is the longest teak bridge in the world. You may enjoy trying Myanmar traditional snacks called A-kyaw-sone and plus with fresh toddy if you are visiting there to enjoy the sunset.
Ferrying across the Myitnge river is where the ancient capital of nearly four hundred years last Burmese kingdom Ava rest. Exploring the city on horse cart is the most highlight of a visit. The interesting places to visit in Ava are the beautiful teakwood Bagaya Monastery, Me Nu sagaingOkkyaung Monastery, Nanmyint watch tower and the ruins of Ancient temples in the picturesque landscape of toddy palms and rice fields.
Sagaing was the capital of Sagaing Kingdom rose up after the fall of Pagan dynasty which located 20 km southwest of Mandalay on the opposite bank of the river with numerous Buddhist Monasteries and is an important religious and monastic center. Numerous pagodas and monasteries scattered along the Sagaing Hill provides a charming view.
An hour boat ride across the Ayeyarwaddy River, about 12 km upriver from Mandalay, proudly rest the world largest Mingun bell. River life along the boat trip is the interesting and gives a pleasant scene. A huge unfinished Mingun Pagoda and Myatheinda Pagoda are also the high lights of this place.
Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo)
This charming town located 80Km north east of Myandalay, is the former British hill station of Maymyo also named Pyin Oo Lwin. The town is famous for its cool weather, eclectic architecture of colonial buildings, natural parks, waterfalls and caves. Exploring the town on antiquated horse-cart is the most pleasant in its cool and clean atmosphere. Major tourist interests are Peik Chin Myaung cave, which houses many Buddha images and National Kandawgyi Botanical Garden founded in 1915.
A lovely town Monywa situated on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River is a major trade centre for agricultural products from the surrounding Chindwin Valley. It is the gateway to the magnificent Thanboddhay pagoda complex with 7.350 statues and almost 600.000 sacred images of the Buddha, as well as the world`s highest standing Buddha. This colossal figure measures approximately 130 metres in height. The impressive sandstone caves of Phowintaung decorated with mural paintings and wood carvings from ancient time and Buddha images can be visited after about two hour drive from Monywa.