Mandalay

Duration

: One Day

Trip Overview

: Compared to the many ancient capitals scattered around the country, Mandalay is in fact a relatively new city, having been built in 1857 when King Mindon was trying to re-establish Burmese prestige after the country’s defeat in the Second Anglo-Burmese War. It was therefore constructed on a grand scale, and the size of Mandalay Palace is testament to this.

Explore ornate pagodas, monasteries ,markets, black streets, as well as great street food and panoramic views from Mandalay Hill.

Mandalay Highlights

Your local guide will meet you up at hotel to explore several highlights of Mandalay. We first visit Mandalay Hill for some wonderful views of the city. Then, continue to Shwe Nandaw Kyuang or ‘Golden Palace Monastery’ noted for its intricate wood carvings, Kayuktawgyi Pagoda with its huge marble Buddha and Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to ‘The World’s Largest Book’, a collection of some 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings.

Afternoon continue to Mandalay Royal Palace, where Burma's last two kings lived and take a short drive to the ancient royal capital of Amarapura to see the world's longest teak bridge. The U Bein footbridge stretches almost three-quarters of a mile over Thaungthaman Lake, and is heavily utilized by the local monks in maroon robes who carry alms bowls back and forth to monasteries. Constructed of more than 1,000 teak posts, the U Bein has withstood the elements for over two centuries. We hope to catch a memorable sunset by the bridge before heading back to Mandalay.
Price for private tour - USD 45 per pax for party of 2 [Include : local guide, air conditioning vehicle for touring]

Mandalay local experience

It’s an early morning start today with your guide at hotel at 4am. Take a drive to Maha Muni Pagoda, Mandalay’s most important religious sites. Every morning at 4.30 the monks and locals gather at Mahamuni to wash the statue’s face with scented water and clean his teeth with a soft brush. Next visit to a local neighborhood to witness the daily alms collection of the monks carrying their alms bowls, a solemn line of barefoot monks walks along the streets to collect offerings from the locals. The morning alms collection is an important part of daily life for the monks and for the Burmese people. Then transfer back to your hotel for breakfast before the day’s other sightseeing.

After refreshing up, a visit to the town of Paleik. Most travelers visit Paleik to see its famous snake temple but the real lure is its more than 300 temples. We'll spend time walking amid the ruins, enjoying the blend of nature and man-made buildings as well as learning about the history of the area and local life. After your exploration, return to Mandalay and transfer to hotel.
Price for private tour - USD 45 per pax for party of 2 [Include : local guide, air conditioning vehicle for touring]

Mandalay ancient capitals

Drive towards the former royal capital of Innwa (Ava) located on an island between the Ayeyarwady and the Myitnge Rivers. A local ferry carries you to the island where your horse cartand driver await you – no cars are allowed here. Pass through the ancient city walls to visit the brick and stucco monastery of Maha Aungmye Bonzan (also known as Ok Kyaung) before continuing to the impressive wooden monastery of Bagaya Kyaung. Continue to visit some village homes to see local handicrafts such as silk weaving, cane mats and alms bowls.
In the afternoon, visit picturesque Sagaing.The hills here are dotted with numerous pagodas and monasteries. Return to the third former capital, Amarapura, via the Ava Bridge, built by British engineers. Take a sunset stroll on U Bein Bridge, which at over a kilometre is believed to be the longest teak bridge in the world. Afterwards, visit Shwe Kyin Monastery to observe student monks at their evening prayers. Return to your hotel in Mandalay.
Price for private tour - USD 55 per pax for party of 2 [include: local guide, air conditioning vehicle, ferry boat and horse cart for Ava visit]

Mandalay local experience alternative

Head to the morning fresh market in central Mandalay. Mingle activity in the early morning hours with vendors selling mounds of fresh produce, meats, flowers and other items and shoppers arriving. We’ll then visit a local tea shop- a busy meeting place throughout the day and an integral part of Burmese life. Try a hot cup of local tea, and Mee Shay (noodles with pork or chicken, bean sprouts, toasted chickpea flour, rice flour gel, soy sauce and various herbs) . There are also varieties of dishes from Nan Gyi Thoke (rice Noodle with a chicken curry - the difference is the size of noodles) to Chappati with curries are available.
Afterwards, a visit to lively jade market and venture through the backstreets to see some cottage industries in action.
After lunch, continue your tour of Mandalay with a visit to Mandalay Royal Palace, where Burma's last two kings lived. End the day with with a sunset view from Mandalay Hill.

Price for private tour - USD 45 per pax for party of 2 [Local guide, air conditioned vehicle for touring]

Discovering Mandalay’s Hidden charms

Drive out of downtown to reach Yankin Hill, a more serene, secluded alternative to Mandalay Hill.
Starting from the main entrance, hike to the summit. Walk along the main path to the top feels like being inside a cool, green tunnel and give untouched atmosphere. The peak of Yankin Hill is a complex stretching for many yards over the mercifully flat hilltop.
A walk from one end to the other will take you past golden shrines nestled in large white-stone shrines, stupas painted yellow and green, and a massive Buddha image overlooking the hills of Shan state.

Then take very scenic drive to Ye Kyi Village near Kyauk Mee bridge and in the direction of Pyin Oo Lwin . Visit the village where people are per-occupied with cultivating agricultural produce and dealing with bamboo raw materials. This picturesque retreat gives further insight into the rural life-style outside of Mandalay. Return to the city of Mandalay.
Price for private tour - USD 50 per pax for party of 2 [Local guide, transportation]

City tour and Ayeyarwaddy river trip to Mingun

City tour including Mandalay Hill for some wonderful views of the city, Shwe Nandaw Kyuang or ‘Golden Palace Monastery’ noted for its intricate wood carvings, Kayuktawgyi Pagoda with its huge marble Buddha and Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to ‘The World’s Largest Book’, a collection of some 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings.

In the afternoon, embark on a boat trip up the Irrawaddy river from Mandalay to the village of Mingun. Visit Mingun Bell , the world’s largest uncracked bell. Continue to Hisnbyume Pagoda, a white-washed temple built to resemble Mount Meru, a sacred mountain in Buddhist, Hindu and Jain cosmology. Throughout Mingun there are small neighbourhoods crafting traditional basketry and other artistic items and there is plenty of time to stop and interact with the craftsmen and friendly locals. Return to Mandalay under sunset.

Want a Customised Tour?

Whatever the case is, our team will start crafting a customised trip based on your personal interests and style. Let us know!