Only have one day in Mandalay and need to build up a perfect plan for your full day trip here? No problem! Let us help you with a list of interesting tourist attractions.
Start the day with a direct drive to Amarapura which once was the capital of Myanmar. With just 20 minute driving from Mandalay to the south and you can reach Amarapura, even the city is now no longer the capital of Myanmar, it is still an attractive location boasting many famous sightseeing, pagodas, bridges, etc.
The first stop of the trip is Mahagandayon Monastery which is the school for young monks. This monastery is one of the most famous and visited places in Myanmar. It was built in 1910 and now is well-known for its monastic college complex. You can visit the monk’s living areas, their schools, small temples, library, lecture hall, computer room, guest rooms and the main dining halls to know more about the life hear.
Mahagandayon Monastery Alms Giving Ceremony
Mahagandayon Monastery is supported and funded by the local and also the tourists. The monks and novices often line up for the lunch at late morning and this is the most crowded time here when the tourists gather around to see this process. You can support the monks, novices and Mahagandayon Monastery by giving them the food, vegetables or some fund for their operation. You can also visit the dining room and the area where they prepare the lunch for the monks and novices and if you want, you can help the local, monks here to prepare or cook the lunch. Some monks and novices here are also very friendly and like to communicate with foreigners to practice their foreign language and communicating skills so don’t be surprised if they come to talk to you directly.
After the first stop, Mahagandayon Monastery, the next place you definitely should visit on full-day Mandalay tour is U Bein Bridge. The bridge is a wooden bridge that connects the two banks of the Taungthamna River. It is 1.2 km long and has been built for nearly 200 years. U Bein Bridge is considered the oldest and longest teak bridge in the world.
Awe-inspiring sunset over U Bein Bridge
Early morning and late afternoon are the most crowded time with visitors and local commuters. It provides a popular atmosphere image for photographers visiting Mandalay. This will be the best time for tourists to come here to take amazing photos of authentic local daily life and the beautiful teakwood bridge with the sunset or sunglow behind. The U Bein Bridge is now one of the most important tourist attractions when come to Mandalay and an important part of the daily life of the local people here in this area.
After the lunch time, you can head back to Mandalay to visit a variety of temples and pagodas here including Mahamuni Pagoda, Mandalay Palace, lastly ending the tour with the sunset at Mandalay Hill before heading back to your hotel.
Starting the afternoon trip with Mahamuni Pagoda, this place is well-known as one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage sites in Myanmar. In the main hall, you will find a giant Buddha statue of 3.8m height and weighs 6.5 tons of gold, decorated with precious stones that only men can approach and cast gold on statues.
Stunning shrines of Mahamuni Pagoda
Visiting pilgrims and devout Buddhists continue to cover the Mahamuni statue with layers of overlapping gold leaves and it is a very interesting experience that tourists can try out. It is estimated that the thickness of gold leaf layer is about 15cm. Mahamuni Buddha temple also houses six bronze statues from the Khmer kingdom, including a three-headed Erawan elephant, two male warriors and the mighty lions. It is rumored that all illnesses will be cured if the pilgrim touches a corresponding area on the bronze statue.
Annually in January, there is a famous festival held at the Mahamuni Buddha Temple to celebrate the history of the temple's formation and development. During the festival, the monks here will chant sutras for many days and there are also many cultural, entertainment and other social events celebrating. It would be a great chance and idea to visit Mahamuni Pagoda on this occasion to witness the local, cultural, spiritual activities and to capture the most vivid photos ever.
Mahamuni Pagoda is opened daily from 06:00 – 20:00. Entrance fee is 6,000 kyats which is about 4 USD per person. The most convenient way to visit Mahamuni is by taxi or a local rickshaw.
The next stop in the afternoon will be a very famous place that attracts a lot of tourists thanks to its unique and magnificent beauty - Mandalay Palace was the primary royal residence of King Mindon and King Thibaw - the last two kings of the country. The design of this palace follows the traditional Burmese palace design with a beautiful moat outside and the palace is surrounded by the citadel. All buildings of the palace are of one floor in height. The number of spires above a building indicated the vital of the area below.
Mandalay Royal Palace
With its exquisite and unique design, Mandalay Royal Palace has been preserved for many years, in order to retain the essence of the architecture that is extremely attractive to visitors. Visiting this Myanmar heritage, tourists will have the opportunity to discover the Royal culture in the most satisfying way. Mandalay Palace is also a spectacular spot to enjoy sunset.
The Royal Mandalay Palace is located between 12th street and 26th street. The opening hours range from 7:30 to 16:30 and the entrance fee is USD 5 per person.
The last place which is also an ideal place to end up a full day city tour with the sunset is Mandalay Hill. The hill is located at the north east of Mandalay central city at the summit of 236.5 meters above sea level. Mandalay Hill is considered as a natural watch tower of Mandalay region.
Near the summit of the hill, on the eastern side, there is a statue featuring ogress San Dha Mukhi offering her breast. There are also two steeper stairs at the north and the west of the hill. Mandalay Hill is famous for its variety of pagodas and monasteries, and has been a major pilgrimage site for Burmese Buddhists for nearly two centuries. At the top of the hill is the Sutaungpyei Pagoda, from this high view point, you will have a panoramic view of Mandalay below. Best time to join the magnificent view here is at the sunset when the sun goes down and the surrounding beautiful landscape. The ideal time to visit this hill is from November to the next February when the weather is dry and nice.
Below are top 5 must-visit destinations for a day trip in Mandalay. You can either plan a Mandalay trip on your own or book an arranged tour at BestPrice Travel.
(Images source: Internet)