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
A Tour of Imperial Mandalay City Showcasing 19th-Century Architecture and Cultural Marvels
Our experienced local guides bring you to the most significant sites of Mandalay, the last royal capital city of Myanmar. From the astonishing panoramic view from Mandalay Hill at
Imperial Mandalay Day Tour Highlights
Sunrise from Mandalay Hill
Commemorates the assassination of the king’s younger brother and two princes during an uprising. The royal court was located next to Sandamuni before the completion of Mandalay Palace. The layout is not dissimilar to Kuthodaw, but the stupas are smaller and closer together so that visitors cannot wander between them.
The large sitting Buddha in its center was made from the king’s lacquered clothing and the third eye on his forehead was a massive diamond. The diamond vanished when the British conquered Mandalay in the 1880s and the original teak structure burnt down in a subsequent fire, leaving only the stumps of the massive pillars, the grand staircase, and some outer walls behind. In the 1990s the building was reconstructed in concrete.
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.
Apart from the massive outer walls, a watchtower, and a few smaller buildings, the Royal Palace in Mandalay was built entirely from teak and almost completely destroyed during World War II. Reconstruction efforts started in the 1990s and are ongoing, but the existing structures allow the visitor to get an idea of what the royal court once looked like.
Shwe In Bin Kyaung (Shweinbin Monastery), another teak monastery.
Mahamuni Buddha Temple (Maha Muni Paya) is home to the holiest Buddha image in Mandalay. The sitting Buddha is said to have been brought to life 2,500 years ago by Siddhārtha Gautama, the first Buddha and is therefore also called Mahamuni Sacred Living Image. The sculpture measures almost 4m in height and is covered in gold leaf by devotees from all over Myanmar who come here to pay homage.
Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda (“Great Marble Image”) – Giant Buddha statue carved from a single block of green marble, completed in 1878.
- slipper making
- gold leaf beating
- bronze casting
- Buddha stone carving
- paper toy making
- wood carving
- alms-bowls making
U Bein Bridge
The world’s longest wooden bridge
Optional Mandalay Day Tour Sites
Kin Wun Min Gyi monastery
Shwe Kyaung and A Tu Ma Shi Monastery
Yan Min Gyi brick monastery
Kay Mar Wun Thi monastery (ruins)