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
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.
U Bein Bridge
The magnificent U Bein Bridge near Amarapura spans over a kilometer and is the oldest and once the longest teakwood bridge in the world. Wood for the bridge was reclaimed from the former royal palace in Inwa when the capital was moved to Amarapura. The bridge continues to be an important passageway for local people today. The best time to visit is from July-August when water levels are at their peak, and from September to December when colorful skies light up at sunrise and sunset. U Bein Bridge is a guest
As the cultural and artistic center of Myanmar, Mandalay offers a unique opportunity to visit extraordinary family workshops. Depending on the itinerary you choose, your Imperial Mandalay Day Tour can visit these workshops:
- slipper making
- gold leaf beating
- bronze casting
- Buddha stone carving
- paper toy making
- wood carving
- alms-bowls making
- 5:00 AM Hotel Pick up
- Mandalay Hill (Sunrise)
- Breakfast Time
- Kuthodaw Pagoda
- Shwenandaw Kyaung (Golden Palace Monastery)
- Gold leaf beating workshop
- Lunch Time
- Shwe In Bin Kyaung Monastery
- Kin Wun Min Gyi Monastery
- Slipper making workshop
- Wood Carving workshop
- U Bein Bridge Sunset
- Return to your hotel
- 5:00 AM Hotel Pick up
- Mandalay Moat Sunrise
ThuyeMarket – Train Station
- Breakfast at local restaurant or teashop
- Yaw Min Gyi Brick Monastery
- Mandalay Royal Palace
- Lunch Break
- Khay Mar Thi Wun Ruined Monastery
- Aka Pa Wun Monastery
- Stone Carving Workshop
- Mahamuni Pagoda
- Bronze Casting Workshop
- Riverside Sunset
- Return to your hotel
Duration: 12+ hours
Mandalay Private Tour Pricing:
$149USD per person, based on 2 guests
Mandalay Small Group Tour Pricing:
$119USD per person, min 4 guests
- Air-conditioned private taxi and driver
- Experienced English-speaking licensed tour guide
- Entry fees
- Chilled water