Mandalay was founded in 1857 by King Mindon, replacing Amarapura as the new royal capital of the Konbaung dynasty. It was Burma’s final royal capital before the kingdom’s annexation by the British Empire in 1885. The city suffered extensive destruction during the Japanese conquest of Burma in the Second World War. After Yangon, Mandalay is Myanmar’s second-largest city and is today the economic centre of Upper Myanmar and considered the centre of Burmese culture.
We now offer exclusive, premium Mandalay tours and photography experiences! Customize your Mandalay tour and enjoy the most spectacular temples and sites of the last of Burma’s royal capitals. Our Mandalay sightseeing tours avoid crowds and bring you closer to the real Myanmar.
In addition to the city of Mandalay itself, Mingun and the three ancient royal capitals of Sagaing, Inwa and Amarapura are must-see sites to visit while in Mandalay. We recommend spending 2-3 days in Mandalay to fully experience all that Myanmar’s cultural capital has to offer. Our Mandalay tours and multi-day packages offer the most authentic and stress-free experience available at a good value.
Mandalay Tour Highlights
Our Mandalay itineraries are built around visiting the most spectacular sites during their most active and colorful periods. Our favorite spots include U Bein Bridge, Mandalay Hill, Kuthodaw Pagoda, the temples of Mingun, and Mandalay Palace. Artisanal crafts to round out your tour include local wood carving, gold leaf making, and stone carving artisans of the city creating traditional crafts, Buddha images, and ritual objects. Enjoy sunset from Mandalay Hill, U Bein Bridge, Sagaing Hill, or simply chill by the riverside drinking tea with the locals on your tour with Three Treasures.
Discover the Ancient Royal Cities of Sagaing, Inwa, & Amarapura on this guided day tour from Mandalay, the last royal capital of Myanmar.
Mandalay Sightseeing Opportunities
Kuthodaw Pagoda Built in 1857 on the order of King Mindon on the occasion of the Fifth Great Synod in the Theravada Buddhist tradition. The 729 stupas surrounding a central golden shrine contain sacred Buddhist scriptures, sometimes referred to as “the world’s largest book”. The immaculate white spires and repeating geometric patterns make this an intriguing spot for sightseers and photographers alike.
Shwenandaw Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery) The building received its name from the fact that it was part of the king’s apartment both at the Amarapura and the Mandalay court. It was moved a second time to its current location in 1878 and rededicated as a monastery. The Golden Palace has withstood earthquakes and fires and is one of the few remaining original 19th-century buildings. It is today a dark teak structure but if you look closely you can still see golden and red paint on the ornate wood carvings.
Hsinbyume Pagoda Built by Bagyidaw in 1816, it is commemorates his favorite consort, Hsinbyume (Lady of the White Elephant), who died in childbirth. The crisp white waves leading up to a platform are modelled after descriptions of mythical Sulamani Pagoda on Mount Meru, part of Buddhist cosmology inherited from the Hindu tradition. The seven concentric terraces represent the mountain ranges leading to Mount Meru itself. In this way pilgrims can ascend from earth into the heavens. Truly a remarkable sight not to be missed when visiting Mandalay!
U Bein Bridge U Bein Bridge in Amarapura is the world’s longest wooden bridge. Still used daily by the local community, it is renown for its spectacular sunrise and sunset panoramas. From September to November the skies light up in a rainbow each dawn and dusk, casting magical light over the entire area.