Mandalay is the last Royal capital of Myanmar. It is a rich source of culture and tradition, and where a generation of artists and handicrafts were born. Mandalay is surrounded by ancient cities like Ava (Inwa) and Amarapura.

Many places remain that bear witness to the power and devotion to the Kings and royal families of previous centuries. Mahamuni Pagoda, Mandalay Hill, Kuthodaw, Kyauktawgyi , Atumasi, Shwe In Bin and Shwenandaw (both are old teakwood monasteries), the old Royal Palace and moat, gold leaf factory, Moustache Brothers show, and marionette show are popular attractions in Mandalay.

Amarapura is the city well known for its cotton and silk weaving factory and silversmiths. Bagaya monastery (a "Monastic College" where the royals were educated, and impressive old wood carvings), and Maha Gandayon Monastery will be the best places to understand the typical monastic life. Afterwards, take a walk on U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world. Enjoy the colourful mix of pedestrians, fisherman, and vendors on the bridge as you gaze over the tranquil Taungthaman Lake.

Tip: Time your visit for mid to late afternoon when the sun is not so hot. Stroll across the bridge and visit the village and pagodas on the other side of the lake. Hire a rowboat for the trip back to the other side, enjoying a glorious sunset with the famous old bridge framed in the background. 

Inwa was also known as Ava in ancient times. Among the remains of the ancient capital, today, we can visit Maha Aung Mye Bon Zan Monastery(Me Nu Oak Kyaung), and Bargaya monastery.

Sagaing is situated on the banks of the Irrawaddy River. It is an important religious place with many niches and monasteries and nunneries. From the top of the Sagaing Hill you can enjoy the panorama views over the surrounding area. Kaungmudaw Pagoda is one of the famous pilgrimage and tourist destinations in the Sagaing area.

Mingun is located downriver from Mandalay. The 45-minute boat trip to Mingun will allow you to see different facets of the Mandalay area, from river life to village life. On arrival in Mingue you can walk or take an ox-cart ride around the village. Then visit the huge, unfinished pagoda and see the famous Mingun Bell. Across the street from the bell is the Mingun Home for the Aged, run by the very friendly Nurse Thwe Thwe Aye, who is always delighted to welcome visitors. 

Paleik is famous for its Snake Pagoda, where three huge Burmese pythons are fed and bathed every morning. Very few tourists visit this spot, so you are assured of seeing mostly locals as they gawk at the snakes and have their photo taken holding one of the very long pythons. Afterwards, visit the atmospheric grove of ancient stupas, located only a 5-minute walk from the pagoda, along the banks of the river. This spot has been called a “Mini Bagan” for the many old stupas packed together. 

Tips:  Allow at least 2 or 3 days to go around the Mandalay area. There is a lot to see and do, so the more days you budget, the more you can see without wearing yourself out. In addition to the main highlights, there are a lot of interesting “unknown” places to visit in and around Mandalay. The southwest corner of the city is packed with monasteries, both big and small. All of them welcome visitors and many monks will enjoy talking with you. Try and make at least one visit to local teashop 


For years now, we have been involved in community projects, starting with the construction of a public library available to all children of Bagan, Our activities have grown over the years and we will continue to offer our time and resources to help those most in need in our country.

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