Mandalay is the heart of Myanmar today. A key location for the past 142 years, it holds centre stage now and will continue to be a place of pride in the future.
Mandalay is situated about 600 kilometres north of Yangon on the Ayeyarwaddy river. With about half a million inhabitants, it is the second largest city in Myanmar.
Mandalay is the historical old capital of Myanmar culture, and of Buddhist Sasana and Myanmar traditional arts and crafts. The city abounds in historical sites, cultural memorials and Buddhist edifices, and is the richest historical landmark next to Bagan.

How To Get There

The flight from Yangon to Mandalay takes little more than an hour. Myanmar Airways, Yangon Airways, Air Bagan and Air Mandalay all offer daily flights into Mandalay International Airport. Coaches also run daily and will take eight or nine hours. The train trip takes upwards of 14 hours.

Mandalay’s Surroundings


The town of Amarapura, just 11 km south of Malalay, was the capital of the Konbaung Dynasty during the reign of King Bodawpaya after he moved the capital there in 1783. Places of interest include the famous unfinished Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, the U Bein wooden footbridge across the Taungthaman Lake, the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda at the foot of Mandalay Hill, Nagayon Pagoda and the Mahagandayone Monastery. There are also many examples of the cotton and silk weaving cottage industry.

In-wa (Ava)

In-wa is another ancient capital. It was known as the Kingdom of In-wa during the Second Myanmar Empire. Today In-wa is a small town south of Amarapura. The sites to see in In-wa include the masonry-built Nanmyit Watch Tower, the brick-built Maha Aungmye Bozan Monastery, the teak wood Bagaya Monastery and the In-wa Bridge which spans the Ayeyarwaddy River. Good examples of Burma’s ancient lacquer ware Industry can also be found in In-wa.


Once an ancient capital, Sagaing is now an important religious and monastic centre. Located on the Ayeyarwaddy River 20km southwest of Mandalay, the Sagaing Hills are dotted with pagodas and more than 500 monasteries, as well as a retreat for some 6000 monks and nuns. Make time to visit Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda and Kaung Hmudaw Pagoda, which is a copy of Mahaceti Pagoda in Sri Lanka. Ywahtaung village, home of the silversmiths’ guilds, is worth visiting.


You will find Mingun 11 km upriver from Mandalay, on the western bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. The main attractions here are the huge unfinished ruins of Mingun Pahtodawgyi and the all white pagodas, Settawya and Hsinbyume.

Pyin-Oo Lwin (formerly Maymyo)

Pyin-Oo Lwin is a popular hill station about 69 km away from Mandalay. At an altitude of more than 100 metres above sea level, it was built by the British as retreat from soaring summer temperatures and is well known for its colonial-style houses with large compounds. Pine trees, eucalyptus and silver oaks flourish in the town. Cool and pleasant all year round, the 175 hectare National Kandawgyi Garden are a botanical delight. The Pwe Kauk and Ani-sakhan Waterfalls, the Gohteik Viaduct railway trestle and the Peik Chin Myaung limestone stalactite cave are well worth a visit.


About 136 km to the west of Mandalay you will find Monywa, the commercial centre of Chindwin Valley. Here you will find Than-bok-de Pagoda with over 500,000 Buddha images, Bodi-ta-htaung (one thousand Bo trees), the Ledi Kyaungteik monastery where Buddhist scriptures are inscribed and the Po Win Taung cave pagodas containing 947 small and large richly decorated caves. Nearby Kyaukka village is known for its own style of lacquer ware.