Mandalay is a wonderfully ancient and religious city. It takes time to feel the rhythm of this old capital, and it’s worth staying here for a day or two, just to explore its dusty alleyways, thrumming with stone workers and craft workshops.
Take a slow boat upriver,  to the unfinished pagoda at Mingun, or experience a horse and trap ride around the island of Ava, with its atmospheric teak monasteries and crumbling towers. You can stroll across the U Bein Teak Bridge or visit one of the many monasteries in this richly cultural city.

In the suburbs of Mandalay,  Amarapura is the most historical area, with abundant ruins of the old palaces, teak monasteries and the world famous U Bein Teak Bridge, which is still in use today by the locals. There are quite a few good quality silk shops and factories here as well.The unfinished pagoda of Mingun is reached in an hour by boat along the Irrawaddy. If it had been completed, Mingun would have been the largest Pagoda in the world. It is also famous as having the largest bell, weighing in at 90 tonnes, but the boat ride up and the small artist shops that populate the area are well worth the trip alone.
Ava Island , another highlight of Mandalay, is small island with no cars allowed, which can be explored instead by horse and cart. It is home to the wonderfully old and eerie Bagaya Monastery, still in use today. Not much is left of this old capital, but the Leaning Tower of Ava is one of the major highlights.
Maymyo or Pyin U Lwin is the former British colonial hill station, and a lovely drive out from the city. Once a refuge from the summer heat of Mandalay, Maymyo retains the character of its past, with quaint rose gardens, small cottages and an English church. 
Enjoy the strange spectacle of  asmall part of England in the Burmese countryside, as you ride around in a horse and carriage.

Enlarge Map +

Some of our Favourite Lodges in Burma



Map of Asia

Map of Asia Bhutan Borneo Burma Cambodia China India Indonesia Laos Malaysia Nepal Philippines Thailand Vietnam
Odyssey Travels Tanzania Odyssey Asia Odyssey South America Odyssey