An overview of Mandalay
Mandalay is one of Myanmar’s most famous destinations and it is home to an exciting array of attractions that can cater to many different tourists’ needs or tastes. Despite its relatively brief historical existence by Southeast Asian standards, the city hosts a fascinating combination of modern architecture and cultural buildings that include Buddhist monasteries, pagodas and relics from its previous status as a royal city. An undoubted highlight is the spectacular Golden Palace Monastery, but a range of other unmissable attractions are also located nearby, including Mahamuni Pagoda, Mandalay Hill and the beautiful Pahtodawgyi Paya. There are also relics from Britain’s colonial history to be found and today the city displays a rich tapestry of cultural and ethnic diversity that includes the Burmese, ethnic Chinese and even indigenous peoples from the north.
Mandalay is certainly one of the most modern locations in Myanmar, making it a comfortable starting point for those with limited previous exposure to a country that remains largely undeveloped and devoid of many of the creature comforts found in western countries. Here you’ll find a sprinkling of bars, nightclubs, cafes and eateries that blend east and west uniquely. However, despite its modern exterior, you can still find a range of traditional restaurants (and culinary tours) in Mandalay that will enable you to sample local delights and a spectacularly flavoursome cuisine. For those in search of souvenirs or gifts, the city hosts a number of markets that will provide an interesting array of options. The Jade Market and the Zegyo Market are perhaps the city’s best choices and are well worth a brief visit if you have time and wish to immerse yourself a little more deeply into local Mandalay life.