Mandalay Guide & Tours

Mandalay is located in North area of Myanmar and is the best places for cultural tours in Myanmar. The bustling life and the rich in history as well as culture, Mandalay can offers various, wonderful excurions.

History of Mandalay

Mandalay, the very name evokes the splendors of the old Burma. But, most people will be surprised to learn that Mandalay is not an old city, not even a medieval one, but rather a new city that was created by King Mingdon Min of Burma in 1857 as the new capital of the kingdom of Ava. Only two Burmese kings ruled from there, King Mingdon and King Thibaw, before the British conquest of Upper Burma in 1885. The city, neatly planned with its lettered roads and numbered streets, is a British creation. The once magnificent Royal Palace and the great Atumashi (incomparable) pagoda, King Mingdon Min's finest creations, are modern reconstructions supervised by the ruling Military junta with the help of forced labour. Today, Mandalay lies at the end of the Lashio Road and it is, by Burmese standards, relatively prosperous as a centre for trade with China and as a centre for the growing trade with India. Despite the capital having been moved to Naypyidaw, Mandalay remains by far the main commercial centre of Upper Myanmar.

Climate of Mandalay

Mandalay has a semi-tropical climate. Winter (which is dry and cold) lasts from November to February, and summer lasts from March to May. Because Mandalay is in the central dry zone, it receives far less rain than the more tropical south.

How to get in

Get in by plane - Mandalay International Airport, a gleaming modern facility, serves the area with flights to most places in Myanmar and some international flights. 
Air Asia has direct flights from Don Muang Airport Bangkok 7 flights per week, Bankok Airways has 4 flights per week from Suwanabhumi Airport Bangkok.
And the city airport serves serveral domestic flights per days from main other cities of Myanmar
Get in by train - From Yangon, there are several trains daily from Yangon. The tracks are old and, in some cases, the carriages may be old, and the fifteen hour journey is extremely bumpy (see's experience here). There are sleepers in the last train leaving Yangon to Mandalay, but note that it is all but impossible to sleep on the train as most of the journey is made on extremely bumpy rails. Also note that the price for foreigners is significantly higher than the one for local people.

Get around Mandalay

Taxis are relatively inexpensive and are excellent for travelling around Mandalay, though they do not have air-con. They can be difficult to flag down so expect quite a bit of walking to be necessary (the city layout is very simple and easy to navigate).
Motorcycle taxis are a cheap alternative, and will usually give you a cheap helmet to wear as well.
Many sights are centered around Mandalay Hill, which makes foot-walking feasible in that area.
It is almost impossible to ride a bike in Mandalay, the traffic is far too heavy. Renting a motorcycle it is a great way to see the city or near villages if you are an experienced rider. Riding is similar to the rest of south-east Asia's countries. Some hotels on 25th street rent bicycles and motorbikes. They are usually not really new, and semi-automatic, so you better check it twice before you go. Petrol is available from locals. Petrol stations are uncommon.

Top Suggested Tours & Activities in Mandalay

Madalay is considered as the second important city of Myanmar. There are a lots of activities for tourists stay and enjoy. The services and accommodation are various from very budget ones to magnificent luxury properties. Some of excursions you should not be missed while in Mandalay are:
  • Royal Palace (Burmese: man-da-lei nan-dau) is a walled city within Mandalay. It was built in 1861 by King Mindon, to fulfill a prophecy
  • Trip to Mandaly Hill
  • Visit to  Moustache Brothers
  • Touring to Waterfall Hill (Yaedagon Taung) is located on the east side of Mandalay plus with Mahamuni Paya; 
  • A tour to Sagaing is worth for one day as well as 
  • Motorcycle Tour of Mandalay Outskirts. 
  • Watch Puppet Show @ Mandalay Marionettes Theatre, 66th St., Bet. 
  • Watch Classical Dance @ Mintha Theatre, 27th St., Bet. 
  • Full day trip to Mingun. The boat to the village of Mingun departs at 9am and returns at 1pm)
  • Movies at Diamond Palace, 78 street (near 35th street, very large building). 
  • Balloon over Mandalay city
>> Mandalay Cool Retreat 3 days - Discovery the ancient capital of Myanmar and enjoy cool weather of North area 
>> Myanmar Culture Heritages 09 days - Experience two most important historical centers of Myanmar: Bagan and Mandalay
>> Myanmar Golfing and Culture Tour 10 days - Amazing combination of tee time at Mandalay, Bagan, Yangon and cultural days for a different Myanmar


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