5 interesting destinations in Mandalay, Myanmar

Kuthodaw Pagoda
Kuthodaw Stupa / Pagoda

So after a short trip to Yangon, we took a bus ride for 7-8 hours. We left at exactly 10 pm in Yangon and arrived at 5 am in Chan Mya Shwe Pyi Highway Station. Good thing the grab app is working, we booked a grab “tuk-tuk” to our hotel and get some rest before heading to these 5 interesting destinations in Mandalay, Myanmar.

Mandalay is one of the economic centers of Myanmar and the second-largest city after Yangon. It is also considered as the center of their local culture. Located in central Burma right next to the Irrawaddy River.

If you’re wondering and want to wander to this amazing city of Mandalay, read along…

5 interesting destinations in Mandalay

1. Shwenandaw Monastery

A photo of the exteriors and roof of Shwenandaw Monastery.
Side entrance to Shwenandaw Monastery

This monastery is known for its wood and teak carvings. Buddhists myths are engraved to its walls and roofs. It’s built by King Thibaw Min in 1878. He used this place for meditation because of its serene surroundings. You can still see the meditation couch inside where he always sat on.

2. Kuthodaw Pagoda / The World’s Largest Book

729 marble slabs "World's Largest Book"
729 marble slabs “World’s Largest Book”
Miniature of the entire Kuthodaw Pagoda.
Miniature of the entire Kuthodaw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda is known as the “World’s Largest Book” for its stone scriptures. It has 729 individual marble slabs and each slab has it’s own small pagoda inside. The entire book of Tipitaka (the traditional term for the Buddhist scriptures) is inscribed on each slab.

Isn’t it stunning and unbelievable? Imagine, how much time it took them to inscribe each part of the book to each slab. So don’t miss to visit this spectacular place.

3. Mahamuni Pagoda

Mahamuni exteriors.
Mahamuni exteriors

This temple is a major pilgrimage site in Mandalay. Mahamuni means “The Great Sage”. There’s a legend about Mahamuni Pagoda, that during the time of Gautama Buddha, the Buddha paid a visit to Dhanyawadi city of Arkan to cast an image of him as the King insisted for the people to worship it.  

We weren’t able to get in as there were a lot of people worshipping at that time. Having said that, I was only able to take a photo of its façade. Though I had a glimpse of the image as I passed by the main entrance of the Pagoda.

4. Mandalay Hill

The golden stupa at the top of the hill during sunset.
The golden stupa at the top of the hill during sunset.
Stunning sunset at the top of the Mandalay hill.
Stunning sunset at the top of the Mandalay hill.

The next stop is the Mandalay Hill or the holy mount. It is 240 meters high (790 ft.) giving the people a stunning view of the Mandalay and the surrounding countryside. To all the visitors out there especially the sunset chasers, this is the perfect spot to catch a photo of the fascinating sunset. A very prime viewpoint.

5. Royal Palace Mandalay

A view of the Royal Mandalay Palace from one of its towers.
The Royal Mandalay Palace.

Lastly, the Mandalay Palace. Well, I thought in the first place I’m in Korea. Because to be honest, it’s like the ancient palaces in Korea I’ve seen on television. Hahaha. But, it’s in Mandalay, Myanmar.

It’s one of the major tourist destinations here in Mandalay and the last royal palace of the Burmese monarchy. Most parts of the whole complex were damaged during the Second World War. It was later on rebuilt in the 1990’s.

Having various and diverse numbers of monasteries, Mandalay became the cultural and religious center of Buddhism in Myanmar. This remarkable city of Mandalay is truly impressive and rich in history. Staying here for 2 days is not enough and I know that it still has a lot to offer and things to discover. I had a fantastic experience here and I will definitely go back in the future.

If you have some other places in mind that I missed in Mandalay and destinations you can recommend, feel free to comment below and share your experiences. Once again, thank you and keep those comments coming! See you! 😊

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