Mandalay Half Day City Tour
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The Kuthodaw pagoda in Mandalay comprises of a gilded pagoda, hundreds of shrines housing inscribed marble slabs and several pavilions. The pagoda is also called 'the world's largest book”, named after the 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. It really is an interesting thing to do at Mandalay.
The Shwenandaw Monastery is one of the finest examples of traditional 19thcentury wooden monastery building in the country. Both exterior and interior of the monastery are decorated with intricate wood carvings. The monastery that is also known as the Shwenandaw Kyaung is a very finely carved teak wooden monastery building just outside the Mandalay Royal Palace, on the same grounds as the Atumashi Monastery. The monastery is also called the Golden Palace Monastery, because it used to be part of the Mandalay Royal Palace and was completely gilded.
The next thing to do at Mandalay is to visit Mandalay Paace. The Mandalay Royal Palace is the last Palace built by Burmese Royals. On the large complex are dozens of buildings including audience halls, throne halls, a monastery, a watch tower, a court building, a tooth relic building and a library where the Buddhist scriptures were kept. The palace itself is at the center of the citadel and faces east. All buildings of the palace are of one story in height. The number of spires above a building indicated the importance of the area below.
The Mahamuni Pagoda or Mahamuni Buddha temple is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Burma. The temple houses the Mahamuni Buddha image, the most highly revered Buddha image in the country. The pagoda was built in 1785 by King Bodawpaya of the Konbaung dynasty after the Mahamuni image was captured during the invasion of the Arakan Kingdom. Several shops around the temple sell offerings for the Mahamuni Buddha image such as incense sticks, candles and flowers.
The next thing to do at Mandalay is to visit Myanmar's Ayeyarwady River, which is both unique and special. It is one of the largest free-flowing rivers in Southeast Asia. It is the country's largest river and most important commercial waterway. Originating from the confluence of the N'mai and Mali rivers, it flows relatively straight North-South before emptying through the Irrawaddy Delta into the Andaman Sea. The Ayeyarwady is the engine of the Myanmar economy. It feeds the country's population with fish and rice, and enables goods to be transported to people up and down the river. Its waters are used to power turbines for electricity, while sand from its basin is a key component for infrastructure like houses, offices and roads.
Built in 2011, this remarkable 75ft-tall seated Buddha is a 'meditation image' that falls stylistically somewhere between manga cartoon and Cubism. This Buddha gets marks for being a fairly unique representation amid Mandalay's thousands of almost identical representations of the Enlightened One.
Mandalay is the second largest city in Burma, and a former capital of Myanmar. The city is the economic and religious hub of upper Myanmar and is centered on the Royal Palace. It has wide lanes filled with bicycles and motorcycles and is known for its cultural diversity. Half of Burma's monks reside in Mandalay and the surrounding areas. There are so many things to do at Mandalay.
How to Get Tickets?
There is a convenient Mandalay Archeological Sites ticket, which costs 10,000 Kyat (10 USD). The ticket is valid for five days, and includes tickets to all sites in Mandalay, Sagaing, Inwa, Amarapura plus some. However, many places will not even ask for the ticket when you enter. A separate fee of 5,000 Kyat is due for visiting Mingun. Some of the temples ask for a Photography Fee of 300 to 1,000 Kyat.
How To Get Around?
Since this is one of the few tourist sites in Myanmar where foreigners are allowed to ride scooters/motorcycles, it's better to rent a motorcycle to explore the city. There are other options such as trains that leave a few times a day and tickets cost a few cents. The main sights are in walking distance from the train stations. Most hotels also offer bicycles to rent.
What Should I Wear?
If you are visiting religious sites then it is important to dress conservatively, covering your shoulder and knees. However, for exploring the city, a pair of comfortable regular shorts and a tee will be perfect for the weather. Always wear comfortable shoes if you plan to sightseeing for one day. Sunscreen is a must in Mandalay's weather.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Burma, therefore, is during the drier winter months of October to March. It's hot during the daytime, and lowland temperatures remain pleasant at night – although bring much warmer layers for the highlands and hill stations as they are chilly in the evenings.
Will I Need a Guide?
No, getting around is easy and you will find everything you need to know on this website. Self-guided tour is also a better way to meet the locals.
How To Get There?
There are domestic and international flights to Mandalay and it takes up to one hour drive to downtown Mandalay from Mandalay International Airport. You can get taxi from the airport to your hotel. There are also several trains from some big cities in Myanmar. There are at least three bus stations in Mandalay, you can take a bus from the big nearest cities to get to Mandalay.