When is the best time to visit Mandalay?
The best wonderful time to visit Mandalay is from November to February due to pleasant weather with little rainfall and cool temperatures. The hot season is usually from March to April when the weather is dominated by searing heat and there is less rainfall. The rainy season is from May to October with heavy downpour and maybe only suitable for some indoor activities during this time.
How to reach Mandalay?
By flight: There are available flights between Mandalay with other cities such as Yangon, Bagan, Heho, Putao, etc.
By train: To reach Mandalay, you also can choose to transfer by trains, which depart from Yangon, Bagan, Hopin, Hsipaw, Inle Lake and Kalaw, etc.
By bus: There are many buses to Mandalay from Yangon, Bagan, Kalaw and Inle Lake. It often takes 9 to 11 hours from Yangon, 5 to 6 hours from Bagan, 8 or 9 hours from Shwenyaung of Inle Lake. The journey by taxi to the center of town takes about 45 minutes.
By boat: From Bagan there boat services at different levels of luxury. The fast boat is the quickest and most comfortable way to get from Bagan to Mandalay by river. The trip is about 12 hours travel time.
What to see and do in Mandalay?
Mandalay Hill: At a height of 240 meters, Mandalay Hill is known for its abundance of pagodas and monasteries, and has been a major pilgrimage site for Burmese Buddhists for nearly two centuries. Setting atop of the hill is Sutaungpyei Pagoda, featuring a large patio and offering a panoramic view of Mandalay, which is really worthwhile to attempt a climb up its stairways.
Mingun Pagoda: is a massive unfinished pagoda built at the end of the 18th century, that was meant to be the largest pagoda in the country. In front of the pagoda facing the river are the remains of two giant Chinthe lions about 29 meters high, guarding the temple.
U-Bein Bridge: One of the main attractions of Mandalay is the U-Bein Bridge. The 1200 meter long wooden footbridge is known as the longest in the world. Completed in 1851 after three years, the planks of teak that make up the surface of the bridge were taken from the old royal palace of Inwa, a former Burmese capital, that had been razed a number of times. It is true to say that the U Bein Bridge might look like just another rickety wooden crossing, but this historic span is actually made of the remains of a royal palace.
Kuthodaw Pagoda: comprises of a gilded pagoda, hundreds of shrines housing inscribed marble slabs and several pavilions. The pagoda is also called “the world’s largest book”, named after the 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings.