Mandalay can be found on the banks of the Irrawaddy River, it is Burma’s cultural capital and its second largest city, after Rangoon. Recognised for its time-honoured history, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to profound culture and numerous historical places of interest.

Mandalay is a Buddhist holy land and there are an abundance of Buddhist temples and monasteries in this area, not to mention half of the Buddhist monks in Burma live here. One of the main attractions is the Mahaghandayon Monastery which is home to thousands of young monks. In addition, located nearby on Mandalay Hill, you’ll find Maha Myat Muni Paya which is one of Myanmar's holiest places of pilgrimage, with an enormous bejewelled Buddha. You’ll also see Shwe Kyi Myin Paya,a stupa dating to the 1st century that was constructed by Prince Min Shin Saw. At the foot of Mandalay Hill, is the Kuthodaw Paya, which is home to the world's largest book, the complete works of Theravada, Buddhism’s most sacred text, the Tripitaka, which is located within the 729 white stupas scattered across the complex.

Mandalay isn’t an ancient city, although it was once its capital under King Mingdon Min in 1857. In World War II the city was bombed and the only surviving building was the Shwenandaw Monastery, previously the old royal palace, which is constructed entirely from teak wood and decorated with ornate carvings.
As in the rest of Burma, life is still very laid back here. Everyone uses bicycles, and it is astonishing to think that there are more millionaires here than in Rangoon! Most of the money has come here from outside of Burma, largely from trade with China and India. Despite many other foreign influences from across Asia, Mandalay still has a very British feel about it.

Mandalay at a Glance

We all enjoy a good fact or two - here are a few useful ones about Mandalay:

AEST -3.5
time difference
11 Hours
flight time
53 Million
famous landmark
local food
best time to visit

Popular Holidays to Mandalay

Mandalay offers a wealth of wonderful sights and experiences. What better way to explore them than on a Wendy Wu tour?

Myanmar Explorer Tour

11 days from $4,590pp
  • Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Mandalay Hill
  • Temples of Bagan
  • U Bein Bridge
  • Inle Lake
Hidden Treasures of Myanmar Tour

17 days from $5,490pp
  • Central Market of Prome
  • Irrawaddy River Cruise
  • Temples of Bagan
Myanmar Discovery Tour

15 days from $4,890pp
  • Bagan’s temples
  • Mt Popa
  • Shan Highlands
  • Inle Lake

Things To See In Mandalay

No trip to Mandalay would be complete without seeing one of the wonders listed below.

What the experts say

Wendy Wu Tours is one of Australia's leading escorted tours specialist and we think it's easy to see why! We are knowledgeable, passionate and innovative about travel in Asia and the world beyond. Combine this with the excellent value, cultural experiences and industry-leading National Escorts that our tours offer and you can trust that you are going to have the best possible experience travelling with us. So, what are you waiting for?


  • Australia's leading Asia Specialist
  • Over 25 years of experience
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