Essential Mandalay in 3 Days
Mandalay is one of the biggest Buddhist centers in Myanmar, which has never failed visitors on how amazing and beautiful this city is. Read this article to see all the essentials in Mandalay to discover within 3 days.
Mandalay is the busiest commercial center in North Burma and also considered the center of Burmese culture. Many temples and pagodas in Mandalay had suffered so much damage through wartime and a series of earthquakes. Luckily, some of them still remain and thanks to tourism, these places have been restored for tourism purposes besides Buddhist worship. Visiting those remaining constructions will offer tourists a new experience and knowledge about the culture of Asia, especially Burmese’s.
It would be a nice idea for a 3-day trip to enjoy all the best of Mandalay. Here is a classic Mandalay itinerary in 3 days to explore all the outstanding attractions.
Day 1: Mandalay City Tour
Start the trip with a visit to Mahamuni Pagoda, which 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 in height and weighs 6.5 tons of bronze, decorated with precious stones.
The giant Buddha at Mahamuni Pagoda
The next stop is Shwenandaw Monastery, or known as Shwenandaw Kyaung Temple. This temple plays an important role in Mandalay’s historic building system and it is also the last remaining structure of the former wooden Royal Palace built by King Mindon in the mid-19th century. Shwenandaw is a symbol of the-19th-century teak architecture and a masterpiece of complex wood carving art from Buddhist mythology.
The 19th-century teak architecture of Shwenandaw Monastery
Before lunchtime, drop by Kuthodaw Pagoda. The pagoda has 730 marble slabs recording the lessons from Buddha and that is the reason why this place is called the world's biggest book. This pagoda would be one of the most remarkable places you need to pay a visit when coming to Mandalay.
After the lunch break, in the afternoon, Royal Palace or Mandalay Palace will be an interesting place to learn about the history of the last dynasty of the Burma Kingdom. With its unique and exquisite 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 Burmese heritage, tourists will have the chance to learn more about the Royal culture in the most satisfying way.
From here, you can take a short drive to the last place to enjoy the best sunset view from Mandalay Hill. Considered as a natural watchtower of the Mandalay region, Mandalay Hill is an ideal place to end up a full-day city tour with the breathtaking sunset.
End up the city tour with mesmerizing sunset in Mandalay Hill
Day 2: Visit Mingun and Sagaing
Starting the second day with local breakfast, you will be picked up by bus at your hotel if you book a tour. Or else, you can take a taxi from your hotel to the pier to get on a boat to Mingun. You will cross the river with an upstream journey to Mingun in the morning, relax and enjoy the beauty of local life on the Irrawaddy River. It will be a nice experience with views toward local communities and river landscape.
Arriving Mingun and getting off the boat, the first thing you will see right in front of your eyes is the legendary unfinished Pahtodawgyi Pagoda. The pagoda is a massive construction of rocks and bricks which is recorded as the world’s largest pile of bricks. This construction is intended to be 150-meter tall but tourists can only find it one-third of the intended height due to the prophecy at the time that the king would die once the construction was completed. So the temple construction was slowed down and then stopped when the king passed away.
Hsinbyume Pagoda in Mingun, Mandalay
From Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, you can see an eye-catching place – Myatheindann Pagoda or Hsinbyume Pagoda. The pagoda is painted in white and resembles the description of the mythological mountain Mount Meru. The design of the pagoda is significantly different from the Burmese model of pagodas at this time. Thanks to the unique design and color, Hsinbyume Pagoda attracts lots of tourists to Myanmar every year to see its beauty and check in here.
To finish the 2nd day trip in Myanmar, it would be a great idea to see the beautiful sunset at Sagaing Hill, a religious center for Buddhist devotees. From here, you can take a hike up to the peak where Kaunghmudaw Pagoda locates and enjoy the sunset from a high viewpoint.
You may like Ancient Cities Mingun – Sagaing Full Day
Day 3: U Bein Bridge and Inwa
Start the last morning with a drive to Amarapura, which was the previous capital of Myanmar. The first stop will be the famous U Bein Bridge. The bridge is an important connection between the two banks of the Taungthamna River. It is 1.2 km long and built for nearly 200 years since 1850. U Bein Bridge is considered the oldest and longest teak bridge in the world.
Early morning and late afternoon are the most crowded time for local commuters and visitors. This will be the best time for tourists to come here to take amazing photos of true local daily life and the beautiful teakwood bridge with the sunset or sunrise. The U Bein Bridge is now one of the most important tourist attractions when coming to Mandalay and plays an important part in the daily life of the local people here in this area.
Beautiful sunset over U Bein Bridge
Keep going to the next place – Inwa, one of four Burma ancient capitals around Mandalay. Here you can choose to visit the city by getting on an ox-cart ride or horse-cart to see Inwa. Check in the following list of Inwa sightseeing places: Maha Aung Mye Bonsan or Me Nu Oak Kyaung (Brick Monastery), the 30m high masonry watchtower Nan Myint and Bagaya Monastery made of 267 teak pillars.
End of the 3-day trip in Mandalay, you can visit all the landmarks of the city and enjoy the remainder of the day for your leisure. Go on our Mandalay itinerary to make a memorable time in Myanmar.
(Images source: Internet)