When you travel through Asia independently, don’t miss Mandalay. It has some very good sights to offer in Mandalay itself and outside of Mandalay. Even the city was nicer than I expected after reading bad comments in guidebooks and on the internet. Here are the top 5.
Why: You’ll have the chance to see a glorious sunset.
Description: After walking up about 1700 steps along several Buddha shrines you reach the top. The building on top is nothing special, but the sight is. To one side you see the city of Mandalay and the Ayarwaddy river, to the other side rural landscape.
Why: The history of this seated Buddha fascinates
Description: This Buddha originally was located in Mrauk U, but was taken to Mandalay by king Bodawpaya in 1784. It has since become a popular pilgrimage place. Men only are allowed to apply gold leafs on it. After more than 100 years this results in a disproportionate Buddha of massive gold except its core.
Why: It contains Buddhist books and is beautifully designed
Description: The central stupa is surrounded by 729 mini stupas each containing a stone-plate. Together all the books of the Tripitaka are written onto these stones here. Impressive! How big would a church be, that does the same with the bible?
Shwe In Bin monastery
Why: It is a lovely teak building nice to look at
Description: If you missed the Inn Wa-monastery, this one is similar to it. It is a calm, impressive teak building, that certainly makes meditation for the monks easier and more joyful task.
Jade market and production
Why: Jade polishing, everything still handmade
Description: It’s impressive to walk through the small alleys and to the left and right people are working on jade pieces. In another corner the finished pieces are traded. It all remains a mystery to me, as I don’t know much about jade, but definitely worth a look.
How to get there for all Mandalay attractions
Rent a motorbike guide for 15’000 Kyat a day. My guide was Mr. Koko. He did quite a good job. Ask for him in front of Royal Guesthouse.
Where to stay
I stayed at the Royal Guesthouse, 25th street, between 82nd/83rd, phone 31 400 or 65 697. The place is well organised and staff can help you with anything.
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