Are you looking for a spiritual journey full of beauty? Mandalay is the place for you! In the post, tips for visiting unforgettable places in Burma's second city.
Mandalay is the second largest city in Burma, immediately after Yangoon. It is located in the north of the country on the banks of the Ayeyarwady river and is an excellent starting point for discovering various sites of great interest in the surroundings of the city.
Getting around in Mandalay and surroundings
A good way to visit the center is by bicycle. But if you also want to move outside, the scooter is perhaps the best solution.
Do not worry. Although we are in Asia, where chaotic traffic reigns supreme, Mandalay is a fairly neat city. Even outside the city, you can travel well. Road signs - which very often aren't there or are written in Burmese - can be the only problem.
Ready to discover the beauties of Mandalay?
1. Visit to the Royal Palace
Mandalay was the capital of Myanmar for just over twenty years.
The Royal Palace is certainly the main attraction of the city. You can easily visit it by purchasing a cumulative ticket that gives the opportunity to admire other places of great interest.
At the entrance they will ask you for an identification document.
The royal palace is surrounded by high walls and each side is approximately two and a half kilometers long. It can be accessed from a single entrance, the one towards the hill overlooking the city. Also, once you enter, you will be forced to follow the long avenue that will take you to the throne room and other wooden buildings reconstructed to give an idea of what the royal citadel was like. For a complete view, climb the spiral staircase of the watchtower.
2. Mandalay Hill
Exit the Palace and head towards Mandalay Hill. Climb to the top, admiring the various temples that dot this hill.
Admission is free and the climb is to be done strictly barefoot. There are various stairways, we opted for the one with two large statues of half lion and half griffin deities at the entrance.
I recommend that you go up at sunset so as to enjoy a pleasant view of the city and its surroundings. Stop just before the top to avoid paying for photos, the view is practically the same.
3. The small village of Mingun
Let's move out of the city and head towards Mingun. It is a small village reachable by river or by following the road that will make you discover interesting corners and where you can see a bit of daily life in the area.
To visit Mingun you have to pay an entrance ticket.
Mingun's main attraction is the Mingun Paya. This was supposed to become the largest pagoda in the world. This is an impressive project that was never completed.
A little further on is the Mingun Bell. Also in this case, given the delusions of grandeur of the king of time, they wanted to build the largest bell on the planet.
4. Amarapura at sunset
We continue the visit and go towards Amarapura, where we come for walk over the U-Bein Bridge. This represents the longest teak pedestrian bridge in the world.
Certainly one of the most spectacular moments to visit it is at sunset: it is the most crowded hour, but I assure you that it is really worth it.