Mandalay, today the countries second largest city, was the
last royal capital of Burma. This city along the Ayeyarwady River
retains a wealth of architectural jewels - monasteries, pagodas and
temples belong to the most beautiful ones in Myanmar. A 1square miles
area of once world famous Mandalay Palace dominates the city proper.
Today only the walls of the Palace can be seen, the Palace itself with
its gold covered teakwood buildings was burnt down during Second World
War. From Mandalay Hill you can enjoy a panoramic view of parts of the
city. A visit to the huge Marble Buddha and to Kuthodaw Pagoda is a
must. But the center of religiousness is Mahamuni Pagoda with its golden
Buddha image. Mandalay is also the centre for many crafts such as silk
weaving and tapestries. There are some good restaurants close to the
walls of former Palace.
Most spectacular is
the sunset watched from a hilltop pagoda in Sagaing. The visit to
Amarapura and Sagaing should be combined in one excursion.
PyinOoLwin/Maymyo: Myanmar's only botanical garden boasts
Pyin Oo Lwin, formerly a British Hill Station known as Maymyo. Here
visitors can enjoy beautiful scenery and a nostalgic atmosphere.
The world of famous Burmese sapphires rubies and jade now can enter in
Mogkok. The town can be reached by road after a 9hours drive (200km
northwest of Mandalay) or by an Ayeyarwaddy boat ride via Thabeikkyin
(full day). The town itself is quite interesting and also the open air
gem market. This excursion needs at least 1 overnight in Mogkok.
After a one-hour boat ride upriver your clients reach Mingun with its
massive unfinished pagoda. At the beginning of the 19th century King
Bodawpaya wanted to build the highest pagoda in the Buddhist world in
Mingun. He failed - but the unfinished pagoda already looks impressive
enough. You also can see the world's largest ringing bronze bell.
Monywa: A must for the cultural minded tourist is the
excursion to the temples of Monywa along the mighty Chindwin River (140
km northwest of Mandalay by road). To make it easier, one overnight in
Monywa should be included. Very beautiful are the ancient cave temple of
Po Win Daung with its carvings and the spectacular and new Thanbodday
Amarapura: Another one-hour boat ride
downriver (or half an hour by car) is Amarapura with its beautiful
temples and monasteries, once a royal centre also.
Yangon (Rangun) -
Mandalay - Pagan -