There are so many things to see in Mandalay that it is worth spending at least 3 nights in the ancient capital of Myanmar. We did not bet too much on her, perhaps thinking that it could be another bustling asian city. Mandalay hides many things, but his greatest charms are around him. The day represents visiting spaces that you didn't think were so close to a big city. The night, if you walk it well, you can enjoy millenary shows, full of grace, and especially with passion, such as the Burmese, people full of life and that for now, tourists do not hide or intimidate them.
What to see in Mandalay
After 11h decrucero, $ 35 per person, in the rain from the incredible Bagan we arrived at Mandalay. The cruise did not fulfill what we expected due to bad weather or its excessive price. Little or nothing we saw from the deck. When you arrived at the jetty, as in all Myanmar, you had to pay the tourist tourist tax, $ 10 per person, which gives you access to see the temples of the city. It is true that when you pay in this way you feel bad, but once you enter places like these you leave those taxes without meaning to give way to the recreation of your sight for the wonders that you will get to see.
Mandalay unlike Yangon is full of motorcycles and bicycles, like the big Asian cities. To see the best places on foot is practically impossible, except the Mandalay Palace or the main hill of the city. The rest is on the outskirts, so we decided to tour Mandalay by motorcycle, the best option of all.
Mandalay on motorcycle
And why not?. In Yangon they were forbidden, but curiously in Mandalay no. Although we saw almost no tourists, to say none, renting a motorcycle is the cheapest and fastest option to move around Mandalay and surroundings. For 12,000 MMK a day you have one, less than what a taxi costs to go to U Bein.
I'm sure you'll be thinking, how crazy! With how chaotic these cities are. Let's see, drive through these cities is not easy, you have to be attentive to everything. Traffic lights are almost non-existent, crossings are a bit crazy, but the excitement of being an inhabitant is priceless. We do not feel insecure. The roads are paved and if you drive carefully, nothing has to happen to you. After two days with the scooter in Mandalay we are left with one thing, why don't we rent it the first day?
Mandalay on motorcycle
¿What to see in Mandalay?
Mandalay has for several days for various reasons. The first is for its size. The things to see are really huge and if it takes a long time to access them. Our visit to Mandalay we divide it into two stages. The first, when we arrived from Bagan, with two nights, and the third, giving us a “rest” to do a trekking in Hsipaw. On the way back from the route, we spend the third night before leaving for the Inle Lake and touring its places by boat and bike.
Soon U Punya Shin Pagoda, Sagagin Hill
One of the things that entertained us most about Mandalay was to locate the few restaurants European court of the city. Objective, taste Myanmar wine with a good hamburger, that after so much rice and pasta these things fancy. One of the nights we even went to the movies to live alocal experience, and we find that before each movie the Burmese have to get up from their seats and sing the national anthem.
Eating in Ubein
These are the best places to really enjoy Mandalay and why not, of the “lifeguard” restaurants if you feel like going back to Mom's kitchen.
When asked what to see in Mandalay, one of the sites that comes to mind is the Mandalay Palace, one of the best reconstructions in the country and one of the places forced to visit. Bit of original It remains, but it is worth dreaming of the splendor that became this palace.
If you take a map of the city, the palace has no loss. Because of its dimensions, colossal and it takes more than 20 min to get to each side of this quadrilateral of colossal dimensions.
For more information, visit our article in Mandalay Palace.
The U Bein Bridge
U Bein the longest teak bridge in the world, is one of the most visited tourist spots in Myanmar and is located in the city of Amarapura, next to Mandalay. The best time to go to the Teak Bridge, that of thesunset to see the reflections in the lake of the boatmen crossing the lake. Another good time is to first hour in the morning, to see the monks cross the bridge.
For more information, visit our article on the longest teak bridge in the world.
Teak Bridge in the rain
Mandalay Hill has possibly the best views of the entire city. It is accessed from one of the sides of the Mandalay Palace after overcoming hundreds of steps and makeshift markets. Climbing the hill is like changing plants in a shopping center. Each level of the hill has something to show you. A challenging Buddha, a market, a gazebo or a local who wants to speak in your language or in English. The best time, the sunset.
Views from Mandalay Hill
To reach it, it is best to reach the base by motorcycle or bicycle and walk up the hill by an endless stairs. The climb is done in about 30 minutes and barefoot as in all the temples of the country. The entrance fee is 1,000 MMK.
As an anecdote on the way back we took a rickshaw which was run by an elderly man. It took two people more than 5km. There was a moment that we wanted to stop, since even if it is his trade he is still very sacrificed and hard, but always the man returned the answer with an incredible smile, as is everything in Myanmar. Actually, we thought the good man was bursting ...
Located south of the city, it is not easy to reach it, being in a neighborhood full of narrow streets. Already inside, it is a classic Buddhist temple where there is a golden Buddha, which women are not allowed to approach. This Buddha weighs nothing less than 6 tons, due to the bronze inside, plus the 5cm thick gold that covers it makes it one of Mandalay's most revered Buddhas. Ticket cost 1 $.
Sagaing is located in the southwest shore from Mandalay, about 20 km from the center and 7km from the longest teak bridge in the world, the so-called U Bein. From the shore of Mandalay you can get to see the succession of Sagaging hills with their temples on each top and the hanging bridges to access them.
For more information, visit our article on Sagaing Hill
From Sagagin Hill
The puppet show
Not far from Mandalay Palace there is a show not to be missed. Ticket cost $ 20. The video describes everything. See video of the beginning of the article.
How to get?
Companies like Air Bagan, Air Mandalay or Yangon Airways fly directly from Yangon. They all have more or less the same price when they belong mainly to the state.
The cost to leave Mandalay airport is about 8,000 MMK per person, since it is almost 30km from the city. If you fly with Air Asia from Bankok, there is a shuttle gratuitous.
Where to eat / dine?
There are many places in Nyaungshwe where you can enjoy traditional Chinese or Myanmar food, we leave you the restaurants that won our palate:
- Cafe city. A getaway from local food where you can find pizzas, hamburgers and international food. Besides, you can taste Myanmar wine for 13,000 MMK per bottle.
- Sky bar. Overlooking Mandalay Palace, it is a good place to have a drink while watching Mandalay traffic from the terrace.
- Diamond Plaza. One of the new shopping centers with a “western” cut, with cinemas, shops and the new Myanmar ATMs.
Food in Mandalay
Where to sleep?
- Yanapardon Luxury from € 34.
- Hotel 78. It's very basic, but don't ask for more for € 20.
- Yesterday One pass to cost € 50. It has up to pool.
- Rupar Mandalar Resort. This really is Asian luxury. Rooms from € 184.
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