Mandalay & Vicinity

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Mandalay, the last royal capital of the Burmese Kingdom, was founded by King Mindon in 1857 and first called Yadanabone. Mandalay is also the second largest city in Myanmar. It is a cultural centre, and you can observe enchanting architecture, wood and stone carvings, silk weaving, ancient tapestry and gold & silver crafts. The main sightseeing highlights are Mandalay Palace, surrounded by a beautiful moat; Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the world’s biggest book of 1774 slabs; Golden Palace Monastery, a superb traditional wooden building; Kyauktawgyi Pagoda and the colorful Zegyo Market; full of shopping variety. Panoramic views of Mandalay Hill and Maha Muni Buddha Image show the significance of Buddhism.


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Shwenandaw Monastery

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This is one of the important attractions in the town of Mandalay. The monastery is prominent for a building, which has been moved from the ancient royal palace area in 1880, after King Mindon had died inside it, which was taken as a bad omen. In 1880, the building was turned into a monastery. It was reconstructed at the present site in 1880 under the orders of King Thibaw. This monastery is famous for its incredible woodcarvings (consists mostly of teak wood, is richly ornamented with carvings and hints at the grandeur of the ancient royal palace) and is reminiscent of old Mandalay Palace.


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Mandalay Hill

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Mandalay hill is 230 meters in elevation and can enjoy a spectacular sight at sunset. The legend says that Buddha on his visit had prophesied that a great city would be founded at its foot. A magnificent view of the city and the surrounding countryside would be seen from Mandalay Hill. And also, small stupas and monasteries half hidden under the thickly-clustered trees can be seen down the hillside.


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Other interesting places of Mandalay

Arts and crafts
Kuthodaw Pagoda
Atu mashi
Kyaut Taw Gyi
Mandalay Zeygyo Market
Wood and marble sone carving
Silk thread weaving
Ancient tapestry


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Sagaing & Vicinity

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Sagaing lies 21 km southwest of Mandalay, on the west bank of Ayeyarwaddy River. It is also an ancient capital of Myanmar and famous as a religious retreat and centre of Buddhist studies and meditation. The Sagaing Hills are dotted with many of ancient pagodas and over 500 Monasteries and meditation centres where monks and nuns are live for Buddhist studies and meditation. Kaung Hmu Daw Pagoda, Soon U Ponnya Shin Pagoda, U Min Thoneze Pagoda and near by Ywahtaung Village (home of the silversmith’s craftsmen) are all worth a visit.


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Amarapura

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Amarapura is an ancient capital of the Konbaung Dynasty, located on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River and situated about 11 km south of Mandalay. King Bodawpaya founded this city in 1783 and it was also the site for the first British Embassy in Myanmar in 1795. Phatodawgyi Pagoda, Mahagandayone Monastery, a famous for Buddhist monastery where more than thousand of monks are live and study Buddhist literature, silk weaving workshops and wonderful 200 years old U Bein Teak Bridge which cross Taungthaman Lake are highlights in Amarapura.


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Mingun

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Mingun is situated about 11 km upriver from Mandalay on the western bank of the majestic Ayeyarwaddy River. The 45 mintue boat trip to Mingun is a very pleasant way to observe the rural ways of life of people who live along the Ayeyarwaddy River. It is noted for the Mingun Paya, a huge unfinished Pagoda, Myatheindan pagoda, Settawya Pagoda, Sinbyume Pagoda and a gigantic 90-ton bell, famous for being the largest ringing bell in the world.


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Ava

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Inwa (Ava), the capital of Myanmar Kingdom for nearly 400 years, lies 20 km south-west of Mandalay. It was founded by King Thadominbya in 1364. The attraction sites are Nanmyint Watchtower, known as “the learning tower of Ava” , Bagaya Teak Wood Monastery, Maha Aungmye Bonzan, Htilaingshin Paya and the workshop making the lacquerware alms bowls of monks. Visitors can do sightseeing in Ava by pony-cart.


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Monywa

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Monywa, lies 136 km north-west of Mandalay and is situated on the eastern bank of the Chindwin River in Mandalay division. This city is also a major trade centre for agricultural produce from the surrounding Chindwin Valley. On the way to Monywa, there is a magnificient and impressive Thaboddhay Pagoda complex with over 500,000 Buddha Images. Other sightseeing places are Amazing Bohi-ta-taung Pagoda (1000 Bo trees), Kyaukka Shweguni Pagoda, the Kyaukka lacquerware village and Pho Win Taung Cave, which can be reached by crossing the Chindwin River by ferry boat. You will be able to see Buddha statues, interesting mural paintings and woodcarvings there.


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Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin)

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Pyin Oo Lwin (formerly called May Myo) is one of the most famous Hill Station of Myanmar. Its fine, pleasant weather and fresh cool air makes it a popular summer resort. It enjoys another name given affectionately by the local-Pan Myo Daw, or Royal Flower City due to its variety of colorful flowers growing in abundance all over the town. This beautiful resort is situated only some70 km away from Mandalay. Some of the highlights are enormous waterfalls-Pwe-kauk, Dat-taw-gyaik, the famous Botanical Garden and the Chinese Temple. Being rich in natural scenic spots, Pyin Oo Lwin is the favourite place for nature lovers, photographers, artists, and movie makers. Besides, it is also on the way to the border towns of Lashio and Muse.


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Other interesting places

The Botanical Garden
The Chinese Temple
Pwekauk Waterfall
Peik-Chin-Hmyaung Cave
Buildings from British colonial time



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