Mandalay, known as the art and cultural heart-land, is the second largest city after Yangon which amazes you with its historical sites, cultural memorials and Buddhist edifices. It is also the cultural centre of Myanmar and is home to several Buddhist monasteries and exquisite examples of Myanmar masonry. It is situated about 445 miles (716km) north of Yangon in the central dry zone of Myanmar on the east bank of the Ayeyarwady River. The most striking feature of Mandalay modern and classic images with the ancient cultural beauty of the royal palace and the moat surrounding it, and the natural impressionistic beauty of the Mandalay Hill, harmoniously added with new architectural phonograph of modern houses and brick buildings. It is also the economic hub of Upper Myanmar and considered the centre of Burmese culture. The city was named after Mandalay Hill, which is 236 meter high in elevation, commands a magnificent view of the city and surrounding countryside. Aside from the meritorious ascent of its sacred stairways to reach the hilltop’s richly decorated shrines, the main reason to make the climb is for the spellbinding views from the summit, which extend for many kilometers in every direction.
The “Great Golden Royal Palace”, the grandest monument and trademark of Mandalay city, is the major tourist attraction that could take your breath away with its beautiful artifacts. A visit to Mandalay is incomplete without a visit to Maha Muni Pagoda which is the most revered Buddhist shrine in Mandalay. The greatest Buddha image is said to have been cast in the life-time of the Gautama Buddha and that of Buddha embraced it 7 times there by bringing it to life. The early morning ritual of washing the Face of Buddha image draws a large crowd of devotee every day. The great image is also considered as the greatest next to Shwedagon Pagoda. A couple of blocks southwest, Zegyo Market, is Mandalay’s most important market area and a great zone for souvenir hunting. Mandalay preserves the folk art of puppetry, and showcases this art form to foreigners through marionette shows and theatre performance. Travelling within Mandalay would give you the new taste of adventure which you could never imagine. The city provides variety of transportation for all the visitors. Those who want to get around with the locals can ride on a bus or on a trishaw. There are also taxis, bicycles and motorcycles to take tourists to their destinations.