View Map

Overview

Mandalay is the beating heart of Burma, the cultural and former royal capital. In Yangon you may have to look in the newspapers and wait a week or two to witness a classical dance or music performance. But in Mandalay, sometimes you just need to show up at the night market. Under open starry skies the air will be filled with incense and music, swathes of color and laughter. A few pennies the price of admission. The city is dominated by the sacred Mandalay Hill. It is bristling with shrines, altars, pagodas and temples large and small and too numerous to mention. To reach the summit by the fabled “1000 steps” is to gain merit in Heaven. If ...

Mandalay is the beating heart of Burma, the cultural and former royal capital. In Yangon you may have to look in the newspapers and wait a week or two to witness a classical dance or music performance. But in Mandalay, sometimes you just need to show up at the night market. Under open starry skies the air will be filled with incense and music, swathes of color and laughter. A few pennies the price of admission. The city is dominated by the sacred Mandalay Hill. It is bristling with shrines, altars, pagodas and temples large and small and too numerous to mention. To reach the summit by the fabled “1000 steps” is to gain merit in Heaven. If merit isn't that important you can take the escalator. From the summit you can survey the entire Mandalay Plain. You can see how the city is laid out geometrically rather than the haphazard way of most in the region. And you can almost hear Kipling whispering, “Come ye back to Mandalay.” Come down from the mountain and walk the wide, easy streets. See lovers holding hands and taking the shade in the heat of the afternoon. See why this is perhaps the most romantic city in the region. See if you don't want to “come back to Mandalay.”

Richard Sterling
About the Expert

Richard Sterling is the author of Lonely Planet's World Food: Greece, Eyewitness Travel Guide Vietnam, and many other books.

view full overview

Richard Sterling for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Situated about 400 miles north of Yangon on the Ayeyarwaddy river
  • Language: Burmese (Myanmar), English and 107 dialects
  • Currency: Kyat
  • Research: Mandalay | Mandalay
  • Weather: Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    November-April