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Royal Palace or also well-know as Mandalay Palace is a old Burmese palace which was built by King Mindon in 1861 after he moved from his duty in Amarapura to fulfill and old prohecy. The palace was built with teak wood and brick plinth colored in gold and vermillion. The palace itself is a very complete palace as almost all of the things that were used in the old days are still exist until now lik water systems, gardens, roads, the moat, and many other. The identity of the palace cannot be separated with Mandalay Hill, from where the prophecy and the name derived.
A Tour inside Royal Palace
The Royal Palace was invaded by the British army in 1885. British has almost broken down all the buildings inside the Royal Palace. However, one building survived from the British which was Golden Palace Monestary. After its reconstruction, Royal Palace get so many attention from countries outside Myanmar. If you are visiting Royal Palace, you will get the tour around Royal Palace and see all the buildings inside. The palace is mainly dominated with buildings function as shrine or monastery. The buildings were all built with three tiers roof in the color of red.
Atumashi Monastery which is located in the same complex with Golden Palace Monastery was built by King Mindon in 1857. Atumashi Monastery or Myanmar peope called it as Maha Atulawaiyan Kyaungdawgyi has the meaning of incomparable monastery. The reason why the monastery is incomparable is because of it history as it was the last religious place that was built by King Mindon and also because of its big Buddha image inside the monastery. The Buddha image was in height around 9 meters. Not only the big Buddha image, you can also see a large diamond in the Buddha's forehead and the complete set of the Tripitaka.
Golden Palace Monastery is very famous for its wood carving and also the architecture. The monastery was built and equipped with four tiered roof that contains sections. Each section is always smaller than the section below it. The roof line are decorated with carvings of mythological creatures, animals, dancers, and flowers. At the first level of the monastery, there is a veranda which also has carved teak on it. Some of the carved wood got broke by the time and weather and also have been replace with a new one. The tour inside the Golden Palace Monastery main building will bring you to some of the best carved panels showing the scenes from the Jataka tales, the tales about Buddha's previous life. Inside this room, you will also get to see the Buddha image with Nat spirits worshipping upon it. However, only men that can go inside to pray and worship the Buddha image.
How to Get Tickets?
If you are planning to go to Royal Palace, it is recommended to get in the line as early as you can because the line in the ticket booth may be very crowded. The entrance ticket cost around seven thousand kyat or around 5 dollars. You can also buy a Mandalay archeological entrance ticket that will allowed you to enter Atumashi Monastery and other sites in the city of Mandalay. The archeological tickets are cost around fifteen thousand kyat or around 10 dollars.
How To Get Around?
To get around Royal Palace is best to go by foot because you will have a tour outdoor and you will also get to move to another place.
What Should I Wear?
To have some tour around Royal Palace, there is no fixed dress code that you need to follow. Just wear something comfortable for you to have a tour around the building. Also, wear a comfortable shoes so that you can walk around the complex in comfort.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Royal Palace is when the weather is not too hot and perfect to enjoy the sunset, between 3 pm to 6 pm. Royal Palace is open every day from 8 am to 8 pm. If you need to go back from the tour by public transportation, it will be better if you look at the time for availability of it.
Will I Need a Guide?
It is okay to go have a tour on Royal Palace without guide, but if you want to know the history for each exhibition or things that displayed there, it will be very recomended to use a guide. The guided tour is available on every day but make sure you have your tickets on the right tour that you chose.
How To Get There?
If you are planning to visit Royal Palace, it is recommended to go there by car. You can go via 78th St from the center of Mandalay. It will took around 20 minutes of driving from Mandalay. The palace is located just East of the Golden Palace Monastery in the North part of Mandalay, very near the Sandamuni pagoda, Atumashi monastery and Kuthodaw Pagoda.
If you are visiting Royal Palace, there are some dresses of the ancient kings, queens, princes, princesses, and other ministers that are displayed. You can also wear them and take some pictures.