Immortalised by Rudyard Kipling’s romantic poem, Burma’s second-largest city Mandalay is filled with exotic temples and pretty pagodas, and is regarded as the traditional and religious heart of the country.

The vast number of monasteries make this former royal city a haven for Buddhism, with Mandalay’s Kuthodaw Pagoda harbouring the complete Buddhist scriptures, the largest book in the world.

Wandering through the bustling streets, amid the orange-robed monks, you can discover the city’s workshops where an impressive arts and crafts scene of marble carving and cotton weaving flourishes; sample local life at lively markets outside the city centre; experience Myanmar‘s history and architecture at sights such as the Shwenandaw Monastery and Mandalay Palace; and visit Mandalay Hill, where the Buddha is said to have prophesied a city, for panoramic views.

When to go

The best time to visit Mandalay is the dry and cooler months of November to February as the summer, March to May, is intensely hot and before the monsoon season from May to October.


What to do

  • Visit the impressive pagoda, Mahamuni Paya
  • Head to Mandalay Hill where Buddha supposedly predicted a great city would be created and enjoy the fantastic views
  • See the masterpiece of traditional Burmese wooden architecture at the Shwenandaw monastery
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