Located 716 kilometers north of Yangon, Mandalay is the second-largest city in Myanmar and one of the ancient royal capitals. This city serves as the main communication and trading center in the northern and central parts of the country, thus being easily accessed by road, airway and railway. The charm of Mandalay comes from a pleasant blend of timeless, alluring traditions and a booming vibrant city located on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. The destination is definitely worth including on your itinerary for a Myanmar holiday with the exciting activities and convenient services, while the traditions of music, dance and drama are still alive. 


Unlike Yangon, Mandalay gives off a laidback vibe - of course not the boring type. This cultural heart of Myanmar contains long-standing constructions from different royal periods, providing tourists with breathtaking beauty and a serene vibe that makes you feel like royalty!

Mandalay Palace

One of the most popular spots on a Mandalay tour is Mandalay Palace. The massive size of this royal palace is strong evidence of the heyday of Mandalay as a royal capital. Dominating on a grand scale in the bustling Mandalay city center, the historical site stands like a landmark from any angle. Each side of the palace is measured about 2 kilometers long, altogether forming an area of 413-hectare and up until now, visitors are only allowed to enter the Eastern entrance to visit Mandalay. You can see how rich the culture of Myanmar is when visiting the astounding buildings with the green squares in between. Behind the exquisite reddish timber edifice, the palace also unfolds royal stories. If you want to know more about this tourist attraction, check out some Mandalay city tours, as this is a common stop for guided tours.

Mandalay Hill

Any visitor to Mandalay should not miss a visit to Mandalay Hill, which gave the city its name. You can sense that it is not an ordinary mountain, and indeed, this hill is where the history of Mandalay began. There is a legend that Buhhda once visited Mandalay, and prophesied that a great city could be located at its foothills. You probably know that the prophecy actually came true. You can see a statue built with exactly the same posture of Buddha, pointing fingers toward the Royal Palace, as well as other Buddha images and pagodas worth paying homage to on the way to the top hill. After hiking up to the height of 240 meters above the city, sightseers will be rewarded with a panoramic picture of the hazy blue outline of Shan Hills at the east, the heart of the center Mandalay Palace at the south, and Ayeyarwady River in the west. Besides, a short ride from the hill to the south will take you to Kyauktawgyi Pagoda. This Buddhist site features the Great Marble Image and a huge Buddha statue, which was carved from a single block of marble.

U Bein Bridge

Does the image of this bridge give you any sense of tranquility? Many tourists said they feel that life seems slower as they stand in front of this iconic attraction. U Bein Bridge is recognized as the longest and oldest teak footbridge in the world, with a length of 1.2 kilometers across the shallow Taungthaman Lake. Taking 1,086 woods to finish the construction, U Bein has become a remarkable creation that not only serves as an infrastructure for transport but also a favorite spot for villagers and tourists to visit. Don't rush to think that this bridge is only worth a bit of time to stop by. You can spend time appreciating the beauty of this peaceful lagoon or take a stroll along the bridge to observe the local lifestyle. It is also a nice experience to bike across from one end to the other and watch the monks and fishermen with their nets. 

Kuthodaw Pagoda

You can find another word record in Kuthodaw Pagoda, isn’t that awesome? This place owns the largest book in the world. Besides, the architecture of the pagoda is spectacular with a center surrounded by uncountable small white pagodas. This pattern makes it extremely easy to notice among the places of interest in Myanmar. Apart from the scenery that gives your photos a royal vibe, the pagoda has many more heritages for you to discover. See for yourself!

Besides these popular attractions in Mandalay, you can experience more excursions to more locations in this region such as Hsinbyume Pagoda with some interesting behind stories,  Shwenandaw Monastery, Mahamuni Pagoda, craft workshops,...


Cuisine can be a crucial part that makes up a culture, and that is absolutely true in the case of Mandalay. We have picked out some of the must-try dishes and beverages in this city, and promise that they are nothing like any other area.

Mont Di (Noodle salad)

Mandalay is known for its simple but unique culinary culture, and Mont Di is an example. With the thick rice noodles mixed with chicken, fish balls, onion and some additional ingredients, the dish is full of color and can be enjoyed by any gourmet. When you visit Mandalay, you should definitely choose Mont Di for a breakfast, as the flavors are easy to eat and ensure enough nutrition for a long day.

Fried Cricket

To people having no experience eating insects, this dish may seem to be strange, or even frightening. However, the taste is delicious and it is actually the favorite seasonal food in Mandalay. So if you want to give it a try, travel to Mandalay in October or November.

Wat Thar Dote Htoe

This street food is really popular in Burmese cuisine, especially in the city of Mandalay. The pork is skewered on the long sticks and grilled before you can enjoy it with the garlic and chilli sauce. By the end, the servers will count the number of sticks and charge money.

Mandalay Htoe Moat and La Mote

MaHtoe moat is a glutinous rice cake topped with raisins, cashew nuts and cream butter. Its looks can resemble Vietnam’s Banh Trang for some people. The dish can be quite sweet, so if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you can reduce the sweetness by asking for the version without cream butter and some fruit topping. Meanwhile, La Mote originates from traditional Chinese moon cakes. Burmese has adapted its taste and style to fit their culture over 100 years. The soft outer dough covers sweet bean paste or sugar mixed with margarine, all the ingredients are combined into a famous food in Mandalay. 


As Myanmar has a tropical to sub-tropical monsoon climate with three seasons: hot, dry inter-monsoonal, rainy southwest monsoon and cool relatively dry northeast monsoon, the favorable time to visit is between October and May. For all the famous pagodas and temples in Mandalay, not to mention the mouthwatering dishes, the best time to visit this city should be when the sky is clear and dry, the temperature isn’t too high. All the sites are accessible, the temples shimmer, and the outdoor experiences can be made the best of them.


Biking around Mandalay

Want to enjoy the beautiful side and chill lifestyle in Mandalay? We recommend you join biking tours around the city. With the accompany of a knowledgeable English-speaking guide, you can set out along the back roads and get a glimpse of the unspoiled countryside and striking lanscape. Besides, traveling by bike will enable you to notice more interesting facts about the local daily life: visiting markets, terraced farms, watching craftsmen weave bamboo into intricate shapes or learning about farming.

Mandalay to PyinOo Lwin loop tour

Pyinoolwin is 76 kilometers away from Mandalay and features many unique cultural traditions, making it the common loop tour after tourists visited Mandalay. You can find many remnants of the colonial periods in PyinOo Lwin as the land used to be a hill spot. The tours then lead you to the brick and timber houses with English-style gables, turrets and chimneys which create an interesting back-in-time trip. There is also a beautiful garden named Botanical Gardens, around 432 acres of space and various different plant species from all around the world. 

Mandalay - Sagaing

Located on the other side of the Ayeyarwady River, Sagaing is also a spiritual hub for the huge number of pagodas and monasteries it has - 600 ivory-color constructions. Home to some 3,000 monks and nearly 100 meditation shrines, Sagaing is perfect for the religious experience or those who simply want to know more about this popular religion. If you want to visit a more lively and bustle place, come to Sagaing market where the locals trade eye-catching goods and groceries. If you cross a small river by ferry, you can travel in a traditional house and the extraordinarily elaborate woodcarvings from the wooden Bagaya Monastery.

Mandalay - Bagan Cruise

If you want to travel to Myanmar in a more exciting way, check out some Mandalay - Bagan cruises to enjoy the sightseeing of these two cities from a panoramic viewpoint. While cruising between Mandalay and Bagan on a beautiful river trip that trades overland travel for the Ayeyarwady River, you will treat yourself to a peaceful day with sun decks and climate-controlled cabins. After a day of hopping on and off to the popular temples and riverside villages, an Ayeyarwady River sunset can be a spectacular ending to a memorable day.

Did our travel guide to Mandalay Tourism convince you to include this city in your Asia holiday destinations? Feel free to contact Myanmar Private Tour for bookings and any other questions about this well-renown city or other Myanmar tourist attractions. We are pleased to assist with your private holidays! 


Tours In Mandalay

Find the best Mandalay Tour recommendations from our experts!

Hotels in Mandalay

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Restaurants In Mandalay

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Unique Myanmar
Unique Myanmar
Corner 27 X 65 street, Mandalay, Myanmar

The dining room is equipped with traditional Burmese furniture and decor. The created atmosphere is warm and friendly and goes perfectly with the served dishes.

The Unique Myanmar 27 restaurant offers space for up to 120 guests and with a mix of European, Thai, Chinese and Burmese dishes, the taste of every customer will be satisfied. The location is privileged and leads it to be a perfect restaurant for tourists. 

Royal Mandalay Cafe & Restaurant - Mandalay
32 St., Between 68 St. and 69 St., Pat Kone Pyaw Bwe,Chan Aye Thar Zan,Mandalay Region

The best european Foods in Mandalay Airconditioned Hall with round tables,Free wifi,Skillful staffs, tasty foods.Actually Food Paradize for real eater.Chinese foods here is good too.

Royal Mandalay Cafe & Restaurant - Mandalay
A Little Bite - Mandalay
A Little Bite - Mandalay
No. 1A-3, 28th Street, Between 52nd & 53rd Street, 11221, Myanmar (Burma)

With its large open-air dining area, A Little Bit of Mandalay is a casual place to enjoy a meal. The set menus offer great value for money with options for Myanmar, Chinese or Thai dishes and the a la carte menu also features stand-out local items. With the heat of Mandalay, the extensive drinks list is a welcomed site at A Little Bit of Mandalay with fresh juices and fruit shakes being the most popular items. 

Mingalabar restaurant
71st St, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

Mingalabar is a word of welcome and a wish for fortune.This single word signifies the inherent nature of the people of Myanmar, offering warm hospitality and always wishing others well, both strangers and friends alike. This is the meaning of our restaurant name and this is what we do exactly day by day.

Mingalabar restaurant
Golden Duck
Golden Duck
80 Street, Corner Of 16 Street, Aungmyaytharzan Tsp, Mandalay, Myanmar (Burma)

It's very popular with the locals and perhaps you could find better options on the menu but our food was largely inedible (the roast duck was fatty and lukeware, the crispy might be better and other dishes greasy and/or boney), but staff are very friendly and eager

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