Get in touch


Mention Mandalay and it conjures up evocative images of old-world grandeur and romantic poetry. However, modern Mandalay is a growing and dynamic city. Glinting glass structures sit alongside lavish Buddhist stupas, and its years as a 19th-century royal capital are still visible in the imposing Royal Palace citadel at the foot of Mandalay Hill. The city’s longstanding tradition of arts and crafts can be found in busy workshops dotted throughout its streets, which produce everything from gold leaf that worshippers place onto sacred Buddha images to distinctive kalaga tapestries and polished jade.

Three things to do in Mandalay

Obviously there's a lot more, this is just to get you started...

U bein Bridge sunset

The view from up here…

Sweeping vistas aren’t hard to come by in Mandalay. With its glittering abundance of monasteries and pagodas, Mandalay Hill has been a Buddhist pilgrimage point for centuries. It’s definitely worth a trip to the summit for those views across the city, whether you feel up to puffing your way up the slope on foot or prefer a bouncy pick-up ride up the narrow hillside track. For a less vertiginous viewpoint, head out at dawn to watch sunrise over U Bein Bridge - the world’s longest teak crossing - which spans the Taungthaman Lake. Built in 1782, it’s an impressive piece of engineering that’s still used today. Sunrise is the perfect time to visit, with only monks and local residents commuting across the bridge.

Monks in Mandalay

A city of devotion

Myanmar is home to around 600,000 Buddhist monks and nuns – the highest percentage of monks in the world. Mandalay is one of Myanmar’s most important religious centres, and half of the country’s monastic population live in and around the city. An early start is required - 4am! - if you’re keen to witness the unusual spectacle of devotees at the Mahamuni Pagoda ceremoniously washing the face and brushing the teeth of the pagoda’s 13ft-tall seated gold Buddha. Just half an hour out of the city, Sagaing is also home to thousands of monks and nuns. Its hillsides are covered with white-washed pagodas and golden stupas, making it a picture perfect spot.

Myanmar market

Spice and bustle

Like any big city, Mandalay has its share of markets, and there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of daily life. Head down to Zay Cho market, or one of the many other streets of bustling stalls, to sample an array of traditional Burmese and international dishes including spiced rotisserie chicken, chunky maot ti noodles and tooth-achingly sweet htoe moat rice cakes. For a grass-roots taste of Mandalay, get yourself a bowlful of comforting ohn no khao swe noodles served with a generous blend of spices, chilli and chicken; they’re delicious and add a certain kick to your visit! During October and November, adventurous eaters can even get themselves a bag full of crunchy fried crickets…