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Mandalay will never win any beauty contests. Myanmar's second city is a relatively new creation, founded at the foot of Mandalay Hill in 1857 by King Mindon as his royal capital. The hill, its slopes studded with pagodas, still looms over the city. But Mandalay was bombed flat in WWII and the palace disappeared, along with much else. The palace was rebuilt in the 1990s, and since then Mandalay has undergone a haphazard construction boom that was never about aesthetics. An ever-growing number of motorbikes and cars clog the roads, too, making for a sometimes smoggy city. But if you can shut out all the honking, Mandalay has its own charm. There are splendid markets, many monasteries, Indian temples, mosques, gold workshops and a bustling, working riverside to explore, as well as a thriving tea house culture that offers visitors the chance to mingle with the exceptionally friendly locals.

Mandalay Weather Overview

Mandalay is located in central Myanmar and features a tropical dry, hot, and wet climate under the Koppen climate classification.

Average temperatures in Mandalay vary somewhat. Considering humidity, temperatures feel hot for most of the year with a very low chance of rain throughout the year. The area is less temperate than some — in the 39th percentile for pleasant weather — compared to tourist destinations worldwide. 

If you’re looking for the very warmest time to visit Mandalay, the hottest months are April, May, and then June. See average monthly temperatures below. The warmest time of year is generally mid April where highs are regularly around 103.5°F (39.7°C) with temperatures rarely dropping below 77.5°F (25.3°C) at night.

Check the below table to have the idea of Mandalay weather throughout the year

Month High/Low (°C) Rain
January 29°/ 15° 4 days
February 32°/ 16° 0 days
March 37°/ 21° 0 days
April 38°/ 24° 5 days
May 39°/ 27° 10 days
June 35°/ 25° 22 days
July 32°/ 25° 19 days
August 32°/ 24° 24 days
September 32°/ 24° 21 days
October 33°/ 23° 20 days
November 32°/ 21° 6 days
December 29°/ 16° 0 days

Best time to go to Mandalay

The best time to visit Mandalay is between November and February as the weather remains cool for one to roam around and explore the city. This is the peak season visit Mandalay and the weather remains pleasant and dry with the maximum temperatures of 30 degrees during the day.

Mandalay 3 seasons:

1. The dry season is from November to February. It enjoys pleasant weather with little rainfall and cool temperatures. That said, the dry season has become the peak tourist season in Mandalay and is a wonderful time to visit Mandalay

Drinking lots of water to stay hydrated is necessary. Please also be aware that you should book your hotel ahead of time as the hotels are busy in this season.

2. The hot season is usually from March to April when the weather is dominated by searing heat and there is less rainfall.

Ultraviolet radiation is strong during the daytime. Remember to protect yourself well against the harmful sun's rays with sunglasses, a sun hat, long-sleeved shirts, and a high SPF sunscreen.

When the weather is incredibly hot, from midday to 4pm, you should probably arrange indoor activities at your hotel.

3. The rainy season is from May to October. The southwest monsoon erupts in May, bringing rain showers to the area. Heavy rainfall may have an impact on tourism, such as delaying flights, making roads difficult to travel on, and spoiling some views. So it’s recommended for you to arrange some indoor activities.

However, as it is the low season, costs will be cheaper than in the peak season.

During the months of the rainy season, there is a higher rate of dengue fever. To avoid mosquito bites, try not to expose your skin, especially in the grass. You should prepare a thin long-sleeved shirt for outdoor activities.

Mandalay Current Weather & 7-Day Forecast

MANDALAY WEATHER

Like other cities in Myanmar, Mandalay is home to many pagodas. It is to be expected, as Theravada Buddhism is the predominant religion in the country, with 80% of the population practicing it. There are also monasteries to visit in Mandalay, some of which are impressive in their architectural style and construction. Most of the attractions in the city offer tourists a spiritual, if not enlightening, experience. Mandalay is not only a city of temples and monasteries; it can also be considered as city of royalty. The other attractions in Mandalay are reminders of the time when Burmese kingdoms were still in existence. This is the city where the Royal Palace can be found, as well as other structures built by the kings. However, the best attraction in Mandalay is not made by man. Mandalay Hill is the most famous attraction of the city, a necessary stop for any tourist who arrives in this part of Myanmar.

1. Visit Shwe In Bin Kyaung

Shwe In Bin Kyaung is a monastery in Mandalay but it is quite different from many of the other monasteries in the area which are usually very ornately decorated.

In contrast, Shwe In Bin Kyaung is built from teak which has been carved in intricate patterns which makes it one of the prettiest buildings of its kind in the city.

The monastery was built in 1895 and was commissioned by famous Chinese jade trades and the main building is set on large poles made from tree trunks.

On a visit here, make sure that you also check out the delightful interior balustrades as well as the roof cornices which are covered in detailed engravings.

2. Explore Mandalay Palace

Mandalay Palace is actually not the original building but a reconstruction that was built in the 1990s.

It is also not one building, but actually a series of 40 different houses that were built from wood to closely resemble the originals which would have been built in the 1850s and were sadly razed to the ground by a fire.

One of the highlights of a trip here is the wooden watchtower which is a great place to come if you want to take in the scenic views all over Mandalay.

Also make sure to check out the ornate throne room which features a gilt pyramid and you can see other historical sights like a four poster bed that would have belonged to the king.

3. Climb up Yankin Hill

Looking out over Mandalay is Yankin Hill which is topped by a pretty temple.

The main reason to climb the hill is for the chance to enjoy the sweeping vistas over the rice fields for which Mandalay is famous which also stretch to the foothills of Shan province.

It takes around 10 minutes to climb to the top of the hill using a steep set of stairs and don’t be surprised if you come across the resident deer here as Buddhists believe that they will get good karma if they feed them.

There are a number of walkways between the temple pagodas here and you can also check out the amazing fish statues which are covered in gold leaf.

4. Watch a show at the Mandalay Marionettes

If you want to check out the local culture in Mandalay then there is no better way to do it than with a trip to the Mandalay Marionettes.

Here you will find a small stage and a colorful marionette show which usually tells the story of traditional Burmese legends.

The puppeteers have been working here for years and they will also give you a tour backstage to see how the puppets work.

You can also purchase puppets here if you are looking for a quirky souvenir to take home.

5. Visit Mahamuni Paya

Mahamuni Paya is known for its seated Buddha statue which measures 13 feet tall.

As you would expect, this is also a famous place of pilgrimage in Mandalay and the Buddha is said to date back some 2,000 years.

When male devotees come here they are supped to apply gold leaf to the statue, and you can see the layers which are gently peeling off, and this also means that there is now a layer of gold leaf that is said to be 6 inches thick in places.

If you make it here at 4 o’clock in the morning then you can watch the face of the Buddha statue being polished.

6. Watch a show at Mintha Theater

If you want to see a show in Mandalay then a great choice is the Mintha Theater.

Here you will find dancers wearing elaborate traditional costumes who perform up to 10 different regional dances for spectators.

These usually tell the story of traditional folk tales and legends and this is one of the best ways to learn more about the local culture in Myanmar.

7. Visit Ta Moke Shwe Gu Gyi

Ta Moke Shwe Gu Gyi is a massive temple complex that is also known for being one of the most important archaeological sites in Myanmar aside from Bagan and Mrauk-U. It can take a bit of time to get to the site which is not clearly marked, but once here you will find a two storey temple which is made of bricks and ornate stucco figures.

Some of the figures depict scenes from the life of the Buddha as well as traditional folk tales of animals, plants and deities.

To get to Ta Moke Shwe Gu Gyi you will need to travel around 24 miles to the south of the center of Mandalay but it is more than worth it.

Some other highlights to look out for include what is called the ‘encased’ Buddha which is made up of three Buddha statues which were built one inside the other.

8. Shop at the Jade Market

The best place to come in Mandalay if you want an authentic shopping experience is the Jade Market.

Here you will find the air thick with smoke from cheroots and, as the name suggest, this is one of the best places in Mandalay to pick up some jade pieces.

Note that sometimes you will be asked to pay $1 for entry but it is more than worth it as, even if you don’t want to buy anything, you can watch the artisans at work as they grind, clean and polish the intricate pieces of elegant jade.

9. Explore Pinya Stupa Ruins

Pinya used to be an ancient capital of Myanmar and would have had its heyday in the 1300s.

It was the seat of power of King Thihthu and you can come here and check out the ornate brick stupas that would have been built when this was still part of a royal kingdom.

Much of the complex is now overgrown which lends it a kind of ramshackle charm which in places is similar to the temples of Angkor in Cambodia.

Each building contains a Buddha image inside and this is definitely worth a visit if you want to see a more rustic attraction in Mandalay.

10. Visit Shwekyimyint Paya

Shwekyimyint Paya was founded in 1167 by Prince Minshinzaw and it is said that this temple is actually older than the town of Mandalay itself.

The site is known for the central image of the sitting Buddha that is meant to be built to scale and is covered in gold and sparkling jewels.

The central pagoda also has a number of images which would have been part of the collection of Myanmar kings of old and you can spend an afternoon here exploring dainty alcoves which have hidden murals and more images of Buddha.

11. Check out Kyauktawgyi Paya

Kyauktawgyi Paya dates from the 19th century and its biggest claim to fame is the 900 ton statue of the Buddha that is housed inside and is 26 feet tall.

The Buddha is also unusual as it is clothed in a royal costume and it was also carved from a single block of smooth marble.

According to legend, it took 10,000 workers some 13 days to hoist the marble from a neighboring canal and the site was dedicated in 1865. Make sure not to miss the outer walls which are covered in mirrored tiles and the little shrines in the other courtyards which have alms bowls and pictures of King Mindon who visited in 1865.

12. Walk through the Goldpounders’ District

One of the most important Buddhist practices in Myanmar involves placing sheets of gold leaf on scared statues of the Buddha and with this in mind you can see where these sheets come from at a number of workshops in the city.
These sheets are still pounded by hand and you can walk around the Goldpounders’ District which spans some two blocks in Mandalay.

13. Walk around the Moat and Fortress Walls

The Moat and Fortress Walls in Mandalay would have originally encircled the Mandalay fortress or citadel.

You can only view the walls from the outside but they stretch for some 4 miles and soar to a height of 26 feet.

There is also a 230 foot wide moat here and the site is actually a reconstruction that mimics the original style which would have been built in 1857. Make sure you check out the gate towers that top the walls at regular intervals and which feature intricately carved wooden pyramids.

14. Discover Shwenandaw Kyaung

Shwenandaw Kyaung is a monastery which is known for its pretty carved panels that show Jataka scenes which are basically stories about the past life of the Buddha.

This would once have been part of the Mandalay Palace complex and would also have been the royal residence of King Mindon who is said to have died here in 1878. When King Thibaw came to the throne he was fearful of the ghost of King Mindon and had the building ripped down and rebuilt outside the palace walls where it was then converted into a monastery.

15. Admire the Skinny Buddha

The Skinny Buddha was built in 2011 and stands at a height of 75 feet.

The image is said to show the Buddha in meditation and some people say that it looks more like an anime image than a traditional depiction.

The main reason to come and check out the Buddha is that this image is designed in a modern style which is also very different from many other statues in the region which makes it worth the visit alone.

16. Sample the food

One of the reasons that visitors usually rave about Mandalay is down to the terrific street food on offer here.

This is due to the sheer variety of bites on offer such as the Indian bread stalls that serve roti with dipping sauce.

You will also find a number of Chinese restaurants all over town that sell classic dishes like chicken with cashews and the city is also covered in local tea shops that sell drinks and local iconic plates such as tea leaf salad.

17. Visit Mya Kyauk Kyaung

Close to Yankin Paya is a newly built monastery in Mandalay which is known for its iconic stupa which is made of brass.

Mya Kyauk is known for being the spot of alkaline mineral water which means that it is also a place of worship due to the mineral properties found here.

Apparently the waters around Mya Kyauk can cure ailments such as diabetes and gout and you can sample a glass when you visit this unusual and quirky monastery building.

18. Admire the Peshawar Relics

The Peshawar Relics is basically the name for three small shards of bone which are important items in Buddhism.

They were discovered by the British in 1908 and what would have been found in a grand stupa in Peshawar which is now in modern day Pakistan.

Now you can check out these relics in the U-Khanti Monastery and this is also an important site of pilgrimage for those of the Buddhist faith.

19. Walk around Eindawya Paya

Eindawya Paya consists of a large stupa covered in gold leaf which was built in 1847 in the time of King Pagan Min on the spot of what would have been his palace.

The complex here is known for its serene atmosphere and you can wander around and soak in all the history of this famous spot.

Just make sure to take off your shoes as this became a source of contention in 1919 during the British colonial period and several monks were given prison sentences as a result.

20. Shop at Zegyo

For a more modern side of Mandalay, head to Zegyo which is a 25 storey tower which punctuates the skyline.

Here you will find a huge number of shops which sell everything you could ever want to buy in Myanmar.

Many of the shops sell traditional textiles and there is also an older market just outside that sells towers of local fruit and vegetables as well as snacks like dried fish.

If you want to pick up a souvenir in Mandalay then this is a great place to do it.

21. Check out the San Dha Mukhi Statue

The San Dha Mukhi Statue is a dainty statue that is fashioned in the image of the iconic ogress San Dha Mukhi who is in the middle of offering her severed breast to the Buddha.

This is part of a Buddhist legend which says that he was so pleased by this act of self-mutilation that he made sure that she was reincarnated some 2,4000 years later in the form of King Mindon.

This makes it worth the visit alone as this is one of the more unusual sights in Mandalay.

22. Visit the Sacred Heart Cathedral

If you have had enough of looking at temples and stupas then consider a visit to the main Catholic church in Mandalay.

The church was founded in the 19th century and was built in the colonial style which makes it stand out in the rest of the city.

Make sure that you tour the interior and soak in the serene atmosphere and the high vaulted ceilings.

23. Admire Golden Rose Workshop

Mandalay is known for its gold leaf beaters who make sheets of gold leaf which are then used by devotees and pasted to Buddha images.

If you want to know more about this then the best place to come is the Golden Rose Workshop where you can watch the artisans at work and also listen to a free talk in English that will explain the cultural and religious significance of the gold leaf beating process.

24. Climb up Mandalay Hill

If you are looking for a workout in Mandalay then head for Mandalay Hill where you can get out of the city and take in the views.

The hill is 760 feet tall and there is a stairway that will take you up the southern slope to the top.

As you walk along the route you will need to pass several temples and pagodas and it takes around 30 minutes to get to the summit of the hill.

It is more than worth the trek however for the uninterrupted vistas over this pretty city.

If possible try to time your visit to coincide with the sunset for obvious reasons.

25. Walk across U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge is probably the most iconic site in all of Myanmar and it stretches from Mandalay to Amarapura.

The bridge is made of wood and is famous for being the longest teak bridge in the world and is reinforced in places so that it doesn’t collapse.

Even with this in mind, it is still rather rickety and a trip across is not for the faint of heart.

If you don’t fancy walking across, then you can also rent a fishing boat here and drive underneath the bridge to see it from a completely different angle.

In Myanmar, there is no shortage of places to eat. This is particularly true in Mandalay with quite a selection of dining options in this city. It is a given that most restaurants and dining destinations in Myanmar serve rice-and-curry dishes however, the eateries in Mandalay go beyond that. Aside from traditional Burmese dishes and local Mandalay specialities, restaurants also offer Chinese, Indian, Thai, even Nepali dishes. Western food can also be enjoyed in Mandalay.

Lashio Lay

Although Mandalay’s Burmese population is largely made up of Bamar people, the city’s proximity to the rural Shan State has contributed immensely to the local cuisine. One of the most popular restaurants in the city, Lashio Lay is also the best place for authentic Shan fare. Freshly cooked dishes are displayed at the till, from which you can select the dishes you wish to try. Delicacies include shan tohu (chickpea-flour tofu fritters), wet tha chin (minced pork in rice) and papaya salad, with an emphasis throughout on sesame, peanut and garlic flavours.

Address: Lashio Lay, No. 65, 23rd St., Mandalay, Burma

Aye Myit Tar

Close to the Mahumuni Temple’s golden Buddha and spectacular pagoda, Aye Myit Tar is a favorite among locals. Set in an unpretentious room covered with photographs of Myanmar, the staff are extraordinarily friendly. The most popular choice here is the Burmese curry, which combines Indian and Chinese flavours in a delicate balance and comes with a smattering of complimentary vegetables, salad and broth. More adventurous diners should try the meeshay, rice noodles cooked in a clay pot with a thick, oily meat sauce.

Address: Aye Myit Tar, No. 530, 81st St., Mandalay, Burma

Super 81

With southern Chinese immigrants accounting for over a third of the city’s population, it’s no surprise that many of Mandalay’s best eateries specialise in Cantonese and Yunnan food. Super 81 stands out in a crowded field, serving up a huge variety of dishes; there are a dozen variations of steamed duck alone, along with excellent squid and sea bass, all served in generous portions. Its labyrinthine layout only adds to the charm, with a sprawling network of rooms, terraces and roof gardens hidden behind an unassuming shop front.

Address: Super 81, No. 582, 81st St., between 38th and 39th St., Mandalay, Burma

Ko’s Kitchen

For much of their history, the countries now known as Myanmar and Thailand were composed of small warring states with constantly shifting boundaries. Lanna, the northern Thai kingdom centered on culinary haven Chiang Mai, was under Burmese control until 1775. There remains a significant Thai minority in Mandalay, and Ko’s Kitchen serves the most elegant Thai food in town. Located just west of the incredible reconstructed Mandalay Palace, it’s housed in a pleasant art deco building and features a glass-walled kitchen that you can watch as you wait. Alongside fine-tuned green and red curries, specialties include fish skewers, yam pla duk foo (catfish salad with mango and cashews) and a larb Llana, an elaborately spiced minced pork salad.

Address: Ko’s Kitchen, Corner of 19th and 80th St., Mandalay, Burma, +95 69576 31265

Café City

Café City is advertised with kitschy neon signs and decked out with miniature cars and model planes, Café City feels like a classic American diner, right down to the leather booth seating. Peruse the menu, though, and you’ll be surprised. Alongside Western comfort food like steak, pizza and battered fish, they serve prawns grilled in honey, coconut-flavoured fish kebabs and a range of Japanese options. Despite, or perhaps because of, this international focus, Café City is a hit with the local youth, giving it a lively, fashionable ambience.

Address: 66th Street, Mandalay, Mandalay Region, Myanmar, +95 261 484

Marie Min

From 1885 to 1948, Burma’s colonial rulers saw it as a vital connection between India and Singapore. As a major stopping point on the trade route, Mandalay has long been influenced by its northern neighbours, and is today dotted with numerous authentic Indian eateries. Marie Min, located down an alleyway a block to the south of the Palace, is particularly admirable. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, including the breakfast buffet frequented by Western backpackers. Come in the evening for diverse menu of delicious curries, accompanied with dahl, baingan bharta (roasted aubergine sauce) and a range of lassis.

Address: Marie Min, 27th St., between 74th and 75th St., Mandalay, Burma

Yunnan III

One of the most delightful side effects of Mandalay’s flourishing migrant population has been the emergence of the southern Chinese barbeque. Set around a big outdoor seating area, Yunnan III epitomises this trend while harking back to the traditional teahouse. Curate your dish from a lavish selection of meat, vegetables and noodles then watch as they are freshly grilled. Often filled with groups of local men drinking whisky, smoking cigars and watching football, it’s one of the best places in Mandalay for meeting friendly residents and feeling a sense of community.

Address: Yunnan III, 62nd St., between 36th and 37th St., Mandalay, Burma

SIMPLICITY Organic Food and Bakery

Simplicity certainly lives up to its name. Located in Mandalay’s western district, between the bustling jetties of the Ayeyarwady River and the exquisite teak Shwe In Bin Kyaung monastery, Simplicity doesn’t just feel like a house, it is one. The owners, who treat their customers like honorary family members, often join their guests at the table. The wholesome, straightforward local dishes, including shan noodles, dumplings and carrot salads, are entirely organic. Come in the mornings to sit in the tiny front garden, separated from the street by a hedgerow, and breakfast on strong coffee and Chinese cakes.

Address: SIMPLICITY, 35th St., between 91st and 92nd St, Mandalay, Burma

Street Food at Zegyo Market

While Mandalay’s cafes and restaurants proffer an array of globe-spanning cuisines and offer a glimpse into local life, the city’s true culinary heart still exists in its street food, often centred around its markets. Zegyo Market is both the largest and oldest in Mandalay. Though now housed in an uninspiring shopping centre, you can browse all manner of delights in the scores of colourful, canopied stalls that surround it. If you don’t feel like sampling chicken gizzards, pig’s stomach or curried lungs, try mohinga,a fish noodle soup that has long been Myanmar’s unofficial national dish. For something a little sweeter, pick up some kauknyintok,steamed bananas wrapped in coconut leaves.

Address: 27th Street, Chanayethazan Mandalay, Mandalay Region, Myanmar, +95 940 269 5651

Check out our listings of hotels in Mandalay and find the right accommodation for you: whether it is for business, family or just plain fun, you're sure to find the right place to stay.

Budget options

Taim Phyu Hotel (Silver Cloud Hotel)

Add: 73rd Street, Corner of 73rd x 29th Street, Chan Aye Thar Zan Township, Eastern Mandalay

Renovated in , Taim Phyu Hotel (Silver Cloud Hotel) guarantees guests a pleasant stay whether in Mandalay for business or pleasure. 

At Taim Phyu Hotel (Silver Cloud Hotel), the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. This property offers numerous on-site facilities to satisfy even the most discerning guest.

The ambiance of Taim Phyu Hotel (Silver Cloud Hotel) is reflected in every guestroom. flat screen television, clothes rack, free welcome drink, linens, mirror are just some of the facilities that can be found throughout the property. The property's host of recreational offerings ensures you have plenty to do during your stay. 

Nan Bwe- The Vibe Hostel

Add: corner of 41st and 59th street , Eastern Mandalay

If what you're looking for is a conveniently located hotel in Mandalay, look no further than Nan Bwe- The Vibe Hostel. The excitement of the city center is only 4 km away. With its convenient location, the hotel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations.

Take advantage of a wealth of unrivaled services and amenities at this Mandalay hotel. For the comfort and convenience of guests, the hotel offers 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, kitchen, taxi service.

Step into one of 20 inviting rooms and escape the stresses of the day with a wide range of amenities such as television LCD/plasma screen, additional bathroom, additional toilet, complimentary tea, free welcome drink which can be found in some rooms. The hotel offers fantastic facilities, including outdoor pool, to help you unwind after an action-packed day in the city.

Four Rivers B&B Mandalay

Add: 543, 82nd Street, Between 37th & 38th St, Mandalay, Southern Mandalay

The city center is merely 2 KM away and the airport can be reached within 60 minutes. 

The facilities and services provided by Four Rivers B&B Mandalay ensure a pleasant stay for guests. While lodging at this wonderful property, guests can enjoy free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, ticket service, express check-in/check-out.

Hotel accommodations have been carefully appointed to the highest degree of comfort and convenience. In some of the rooms, guests can find television LCD/plasma screen, additional bathroom, additional toilet, clothes rack, complimentary instant coffee. Besides, the hotel's host of recreational offerings ensures you have plenty to do during your stay.

Golden City Light Hotel

Add: No .50 ,77 Street , btw 34 Street & 35 Street , Chan Aye Thar Zan Township., Central Mandalay

The facilities and services provided by Golden City Light Hotel ensure a pleasant stay for guests. For the comfort and convenience of guests, the hotel offers 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, taxi service.

Guests can choose from 32 rooms, all of which exude an atmosphere of total peace and harmony. Besides, the hotel's host of recreational offerings ensures you have plenty to do during your stay.

Mid-range options

Aung Myint Mo Hotel

Add: Corner of Yangon-Mandalay Road & Chan Mya Shwe Pyi Base Compound Street, Kywesekan, Southern Mandalay
Ideal for fun and relaxation, Aung Myint Mo Hotel is located in the Southern Mandalay area of Mandalay. 

At Aung Myint Mo Hotel, the excellent service and superior facilities make for an unforgettable stay. The property provides free Wi-Fi in all rooms, daily housekeeping, 24-hour front desk, express check-in/check-out, luggage storage to ensure the greatest comfort.

All guest accommodations feature thoughtful amenities to ensure an unparalleled sense of comfort. The property offers fantastic facilities, including golf course (within 3 km), karaoke, to help you unwind after an action-packed day in the city. 

Emerald Land Hotel

Add: 14 Street Bet 87 & 88 Street, Northern Mandalay

The Emerald Land Hotel is located near the Mandalay Palace under the famous Mandalay Hill. The architecture is beautiful and accentuated by the rich brown arch that inhabits the front of the hotel. All 32 of its rooms, whether in standard or superior size, are comfortable and modernly furnished. The surrounding courtyard is lush and well-maintained, accentuating the charming swimming pool. Should guests wish to rush out in the morning for a day of sightseeing, they can arrange free transport to the nearby pier, often with a delicious boxed breakfast! 

Royal Yadanarbon Hotel

Add: 89 Road, Between 22&23 Streets, Aung Myay Thar San Township, Mandalay

At Royal Yadanarbon Hotel, every effort is made to make guests feel comfortable. To do so, the hotel provides the best in services and amenities. While lodging at this wonderful property, guests can enjoy 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, fireplace.

The hotel features 38 beautifully appointed guest rooms, many of which include television LCD/plasma screen, internet access – wireless (complimentary), non smoking rooms, air conditioning, wake-up service. Besides, the hotel's host of recreational offerings ensures you have plenty to do during your stay. 

Ostello Bello Mandalay

Add: No.54, 28th Street (Between 73rd and 74th street), Chan Aye Thar Zan Township, Central Mandalay

The excitement of the city center is only 1.1 kilometers away. With its convenient location, the hostel offers easy access to the city's must-see destinations.

Take advantage of a wealth of unrivaled services and amenities at this Mandalay hostel. The hostel offers access to a vast array of services, including free Wi-Fi in all rooms, wheelchair accessible, 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, and convenience store.

Ostello Bello Mandalay is home to 34 bedrooms. All are tastefully furnished and many even provide such comforts as LCD/plasma screen television, clothes rack, complimentary coffee, complimentary tea, and linens.

Deluxe options

Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort

Add: No 9, 416B Kwin 10th Street, At The Foot Of Mandalay Hill, Northern Mandalay

Take advantage of a wealth of unrivaled services and amenities at this Mandalay hotel. A selection of top-class facilities such as 24-hour room service, free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour security, convenience store, daily housekeeping can be enjoyed at the hotel.

In addition, all guestrooms feature a variety of comforts. Many rooms even provide television LCD/plasma screen, linens, mirror, towels, internet access – wireless to please the most discerning guest. The hotel offers many unique recreational opportunities such as fitness center, golf course (within 3 km), outdoor pool, spa, massage. 

Hilton Mandalay

Add: No. 1 Junction of 26th and 66th Street, Chan Aye Tharzan Township, Eastern Mandalay

All the services and amenities you have come to expect from Hilton Worldwide are right in the comfort of your own home. This property offers numerous on-site facilities to satisfy even the most discerning guest.

All guest accommodations feature thoughtful amenities to ensure an unparalleled sense of comfort. The property's host of recreational offerings ensures you have plenty to do during your stay.

Hotel Apex

Add: 35th Street, Between 58th & 59th Streets, Chan Aye Thar Zan Township, Mandalay, Eastern Mandalay

Whether you're a tourist or traveling on business, Hotel Apex is a great choice for accommodation when visiting Mandalay. 

Every effort is made to make guests feel comfortable. To do so, the property provides the best in services and amenities.

To name a few of the property's facilities, there are free Wi-Fi in all rooms, 24-hour room service, 24-hour security, daily housekeeping, postal service.

The property's accommodations have been carefully appointed to the highest degree of comfort and convenience. In some of the rooms, guests can find towels, complimentary instant coffee, separate living room, flat screen television, mirror. The property's recreational facilities, which include fitness center, indoor pool are designed for escape and relaxation. 

Hotel Hazel

Add: Corner of 53 rd and 37 th Streets , Mahar Aung Myay Tsp . Mandalay , myanmar, Eastern Mandalay

Hotel Hazel, located in Eastern Mandalay, Mandalay, is a popular choice for travelers. 

Hotel Hazel offers impeccable service and all the essential amenities to invigorate travelers. This hotel offers numerous on-site facilities to satisfy even the most discerning guest.

All guest accommodations feature thoughtful amenities to ensure an unparalleled sense of comfort. The hotel offers many unique recreational opportunities such as outdoor pool, garden.

By flight

Mandalay airport (MYL) lies some 35 kilometres south of the city and its international code. It’s one of Burma’s smarter airports and has a taxi desk, exchange facilities (08:00-17:00) and cafes. Taxis should be around 12,000 kyat to downtown while Shwe Nan San run an airport minibus from outside the main doors for $4 or 5,000 kyat per person.

Domestic flights

Flights from Mandalay serve Yangon, Heho (for Inle Lake), Nyaung Oo-Bagan, Myitkyina and Tachileik, among others.

As is often the case, KBZ are usually the priciest and Yadanarbon and Golden Myanmar usually the cheapest, with Asian Wings, Myanma National Air and Yangon Airways somewhere in between.

By the time you read this, they’ll have probably set up two or three new airlines anyway. Most companies run daily flights to most popular destinations.

Some sample fares: Yangon for $124-$142, Heho $73-$92, Nyaung Oo/Bagan $89, Tachileik $143, Myitkyina $110-$129, Putao from $137.

International flights

As of 2016 the following international flights also operate out of Mandalay:

  • Bangkok: Bangkok Airways, Air Asia and Myanmar Airways International. The latter arrives at Don Muang and while Bangkok Airways run Chiang Mai-Mandalay flights, there are no Mandalay to Chiang Mai ones.
  • Kunming: China Eastern Airways and Myanmar Airways International.
  • Singapore: Silk Air
  • Seoul: Myanmar Airways International
  • Hong Kong: HK Express

Burmese schedules and prices are liable to last-minute changes so please check carefully before making any plans. The above is intended as an approximate guide only.

By train

Mandalay’s huge railway station is on 79th Street at the junction with 30th Street, with a rear slip road leading down onto 79th and 80th.

From a distance, the recently repainted facade looks impressive; inside however, even by Burmese station standards, it’s a dump.

Furthermore, though staff did try their best, there is little information in English. Its acres of grimy, decaying concrete are not a place to linger so here’s the most accurate information and prices we could come up with for destinations liable to be of interest to foreign visitors.

The five lines out of Mandalay are as follows:

Northeast line departs 04:00

  • Pyin Oo Lwin: 1st class/2nd class: 1,200/550; arrives 08:00.
  • Kyaukme: 3,300/1,450; arrives 13:20.
  • Hsipaw: 2,950/1,700; arrives 15:00.
  • Lashio: 5,550/2,400; arrives 19:35.

West line departs 05:35

  • Monywa: 2nd class only, 700 kyat; arrives 11:35.

Southwest departs 07:20, 21:00

  • Bagan: 1st 1,800 kyat; arrives 18:45, 04:50

North line departs 04:30, 12:00, 17:55, 19:15, 20:00

  • Myitkyina: 1st 22,500; arrives 22:00, 06:30, 10:45, 13:30, 21:05

Yangon departs 06:00, 15:00, 17:00

  • Thazi: 2,000/1,000 kyat; arrives 08:51, 17:46, 19:46
  • Naypyidaw: 3,700/2,000 kyat; arrives 11:51, 20:33, 22:48
  • Bago: 9,300/4,600 kyat; arrives 18:56, 03:13, 05:46
  • Yangon: 9,300/4,600; arrrives 21:00, 05:00, 07:45

For Kalaw and Shwe Nyaung (Inle lake) change at Thazi.

By bus

Buses depart Mandalay for most corners of the country. To the west are destinations in Sagaing and Chin States; north are Bhamo and Myitkyina in Kachin State; and east includes all stops en route to Taunggyi and Lashio in southern and northern Shan State respectively, including the popular tourist destinations of Pyin Oo Lwin, Kyaukme, Hsipaw, Kalaw and Inle Lake.

Heading south, the closest stops are Bagan, Thazi and Meiktila on the way to Naypyidaw, Pyay, Taungoo and eventually Yangon. Fans of long-distance bus travel can knock yourselves out with direct tickets to Hpa-an, Mawlamyine or Myawaddy.

Mandalay has four main bus stations. Highway bus terminal (on the continuation of 62th Street, south of the centre) serves the southern and central destinations to Yangon as well as southeast via Kalaw and Inle to Taunggyi in southern Shan State. Pyi Gyi Myat Shin, on the corner of 60th and 37th Streets, is for destinations in northern Shan State, Pyin Oo Lwin, Hsipaw, Lashio and ultimately Muse on the Chinese border. Smaller Thiri Mandala station on 23rd Street serves Monywa, Shwebo and Pakokku.

As usual there are myriad different bus companies and options include shared taxis, minibuses, old fan buses and VIP air-con sleepers. Hotel and guesthouses receptions are probably your best option for obtaining information and tickets and for the small commission they charge it’s not usually worth messing around yourself. Some pricier hotels may add on more substantial service charges so it can be worth checking; plenty of independent travel agents dotted around can help too.

Shared taxi and most minibus options are more expensive than regular buses but they do include pick-up and drop-off at your hotel.

Sample shared taxi fares are: Monywa, 7,000 or 8,000 for front seat; Pyin Oo Lwin, 6,000 to 7,000 kyat; Kyaukme, Hsipaw and Lashio 18,000-20,000 kyat.

The following are samples for buses:

Northeast (The China Road)

  • Pyin Oo Lwin: 3,000 kyat, around 2 hours, regular departures
  • Kyaukme: 5,000 kyat, 4.30 hours, early morning and a 14:00 departure
  • Hsipaw: 5,000 kyat, 6 hours, early morning and a 14:00 departure
  • Lashio: 6,000-6,500 kyat, 10 hours, early morning and night buses

South

  • Bagan: 9,000 kyat, 5 hours, regular departures
  • Naypyidaw: 5,300 kyat, 4 hours, regular departures
  • Yangon: fan 10,700-12,000 kyat, air-con 18,500-20,500 kyat, VIP 35,000 kyat, 9-11 hours, a few early morning, mostly night buses.

Southeast

  • Kalaw: 7,500 kyat, 7-8 hours, early morning and night buses
  • Nyaung Shwe: 7,500, 9-10 hours early morning and night buses
  • Taunggyi: 7,500 kyat, 9-10 hours early morning and night buses

West

  • Monywa: 5,000 kyat, 3 hours, regular departures

Some buses are fan and some air-con, but be careful as some of the companies we checked sold seats on either at more or less the same price. Buses depart regularly throughout the day for closer towns—hourly for Monywa for example—but for longer routes buses leave either early mornings or sleeper versions early evenings.

We also saw Hsipaw buses, both fan and air-con, departing at 14:00 as well. Shared taxis and to some extent minibuses leave whenever they are full.

By boat

From Mandalay you can in theory go either direction up the Ayeyarwady, with the Bagan journey being the most frequently taken by foreign visitors. At the time of writing, there were no boats up the Chindwin from here as the road to Monywa is in good condition. For destinations north on the Chindwin you’ll have to go to Monywa first.

For points north to Katha, Bhamo and Myitkyina boat travel is dependent upon both water levels and the political situation. Road, boat, and even rail transport to Kachin State varies according to the current security situation, which can change at very short notice, particularly north of Bhamo. If the government says you can’t go then that’s it—you can’t go. During rainy season slow government boats depart most days of the week taking around two days to reach Bhamo. There are also occasional faster, but much more expensive, boats. Check on the ground close to the time of your proposed visit.

It makes much more sense to do the northbound trip by flight or rail and the return trip—downstream—by boat.

While not set in stone, southbound transport is a lot more reliable, though in this case determining factors are water levels and tourist levels. As long as water levels are okay and sufficient demand is there, boats will run. However an unfortunate contradiction is that the best water levels are during the rainy season when there’s the least number of passengers around.

The early part of the high season in November to December is okay, but come late January and February, water levels can get very low. Boats will continue to be scheduled, since it’s busy, but navigating myriad sandbanks with heavily laden cargo boats trying to do the same in the opposite direction can be painful and boats can (frequently) get stuck. An eight-hour rainy season voyage can easily become a 12-hour dry season one.

During our low season visit, slow boats were departing on Wednesdays and Sundays from Mandalay with foreigners charged $18-20 for a 14-15 hour trip. A private fast service (8-12 hours) was running on Thursdays for $40 to $44 per person, depending upon where you buy your ticket. Daily services don’t usually start until late October. Boats leave at 07:00 from Strand Road but you can’t just turn up; you will need to buy a ticket beforehand, as well as check times. All hotel and guesthouses will have current information and ticket sales.

Public boats to Mingun leave from the Strand jetty opposite 26th Street and cost 5,000 per person. Scheduled departure is 09:00 with a 12:40 return and private hire at any time of day is $25. The boat journey is around 45 minutes upstream, and 30 minutes downstream.

Myanmar River Cruises: T: (01) 294 669, (01) 901 0757, (099) 7296 2028; [email protected]; www.myanmarrivercruises.com.

TOUR PACKAGES INCLUDING "Mandalay"

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Myanmar Beauties Myanmar Beauties

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Must-see / 19 days / fr. $2,754

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Wild Myanmar Adventure Wild Myanmar Adventure

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Unseen / 21 days / fr. $2,449

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Cruise / 14 days / fr. $2,250

This 14 day- trip offers you an original and unforgettable approach to Burma. Apart from Burma, many minorities, warm and welcoming, continue to maintain original traditions that translate into a d... More

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Must-see / 28 days / fr. $3,780

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Family / 9 days / fr. $1,170

This 9-day tour will introduce you to the cultural highlights and most famous destinations in Myanmar. Not just sightseeing, you will have a chance to learn how to cook authentic Burmese dishes. Fr... More

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Family / 12 days / fr. $1,560

Bring the family on a world wind trip in Myanmar! Covering the big four - Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake, there are activities like fun puzzles to solve, cultural experiences and hands on wo... More

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From Mandalay to Yangon, travel the iconic and lesser-known sites of Myanmar while leaving a positive impact to local communities and the environment. Leave the lightest carbon footprints with eco-... More

Naga Land Exploration Naga Land Exploration

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Trek & Hike / 8 days / fr. $1,240

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This 19 day- trip offers you an original and unforgettable approach to Burma between treks, navigation, cultural discovery, meeting minorities. Apart from Burma, many minorities, warm and welc... More

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Myanmar Must-see & Mergui Archipelago Cruise Myanmar Must-see & Mergui Archipelago Cruise

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Spiritual Myanmar Spiritual Myanmar

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OTHER PLACES TO VISIT IN Myanmar
Yangon
Yangon

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Bagan

Inle Lake
Inle Lake

Mergui Archipelago
Mergui Archipelago

Ngapali Beach
Ngapali Beach

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Myanmar BLOG ARTICLES

Thanaka or  thanakha is a yellowish-white cosmetic paste made from ground bark. It is a distinctive feature of the culture of Myanmar, seen commonly applied to the face and sometimes the arms of women and girls, and is used to a lesser extent also by men and boys. The use of thanaka has also spread to neighboring countries including Thailand.

Within this article, we will learn everything about Thanaka and the benefits of its powder in making a secret beauty ingredient of Burmese women.

...more

Burmese Longyi, along with the country’s longtime history, art, and heritage sites has contributed to the richness of the local culture that will grasp your attention whenever you find yourself in strolling around the streets of Myanmar. With just a piece of fabric grasping on the lower part of the body through time, the longyi has made it become an incredible pattern of Myanmar traditional costume for both men and women. In this article, we are going to find out the secret of Myanmar quintessence through Longyi, about why it has been worn for centuries by the Burmese people.

...more

Kachin Manaw Festival is an annual traditional dance festival celebrated by Kachin people. Mostly held at Myitkyina, Kachin State also known as Manaw Land in Myanmar and also celebrated by Kachin people around the world. Manaw is the largest festival in Myitkyina, held at the beginning of January. Manaw Festival is the most significant event for Kachin People. Tribes of Kachin gather together in Manaw ground and dance around the erected Manaw poles. The Manau dance is performed at Manau festivals, which originated as part of the ‘Nat’ or spirit worship of the past.

...more

If your idea of fun involves a blurry riot of colour and explosions, look no further than the Taunngyi Fire Balloon Festival, which takes place in the culturally diverse capital of Shan State over several days every November. This celebration is held around the Full Moon of Tazaungmon, a Myanmar national holiday that marks the end of rainy season and is also known as the Tazaungdaing Festival of Lights.

Traditionally, it is a festival to pay homage to the Sulamani Pagoda by sending up decorated hot air balloons, and lately it also became as a Hot Air Balloon Competition Festival and the festival is divided into two parts; daytime competition and nighttime competition. In the daytime, hot air balloons are sent up with the shapes of various animals and mythical creatures, and hot air balloons with firework & fire-cracker (known as Nya Mee Gyi) and lot of lanterns are hanging in the hot air balloons (known as Seinnaban) are sent up in the nighttime.

...more

All year round, visitors to Myanmar can experience the country’s warm and rich culture. However, one particularly special and unique time to visit is during the Naga New Year Festival, which will be held in Lahe around mid-January every year.

This special time allows visitors the chance to experience the traditions and customs of Myanmar’s Naga people. For the Naga, Lahe (New Year) is a significant time when people share their wishes and hopes for the future, and families are reunited.

It is a time of great celebration; where lively dances are performed in traditional dress, to the beat and sounds of traditional instruments.

Few tourists are lucky enough to share in the joy and festivities of the Naga New Year, but those who do are richly rewarded with an incredible cultural experience.

Overall, for those who seek genuine cultural exchange and the opportunity to take some truly stunning photographs, the Naga New Year is an amazing and unique festival to attend.

...more

The full moon of the Thadingyut month is when Buddhists believe the Buddha descended back to earth after three months of preaching in the spiritual realm above. While the rest of Myanmar celebrates it by lighting the Buddha's way home, the town of Kyaukse near Mandalay commemorates it a little differently: with a Elephant Dance Festival, populated not by real elephants, but by pairs of dancers in gigantic elephant costumes.

Hmm... What is it? What makes it so special? and how to join the festival? You will have all the answers below.

...more
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