6 Things To Do in Mandalay, Myanmar

Mandalay, the former capital, is the second largest city in Myanmar and the biggest city in northern Myanmar. From the top Mandalay attractions to the best things to do in Mandalay, we have you covered.

Mandalay doesn’t have the architectural British charm like Yangon , but it has just as much hustle and bustle. There is no lack of life going on in this city, that’s for sure. From it’s city center to the cities outskirts, there are a plenty of places to visit in Mandalay.

6 Things To Experience in Mandalay, Myanmar

1. Watch The Sun Set At Mandalay Hill

Popular for sunset, Mandalay Hill is situated at the North side of town. You’ll climb the 790 ft to the top but you are rewarded with beautiful views along the way. 

Just a head ups that Monks will stop tourists in hopes to strike up a conversation to practice their English. It’s good fun, and a fun way to interact with the young monks as you take in a Mandalay sunset.

mandalay hill monk

2. Rent A Bike & Explore The City

Renting a bike, while it can be a bit crazy riding around, happens to be one of our favorite ways to spend a day enjoying the city of Mandalay.

For us, we rented bikes through our accommodation for about $1 USD for the day.

We spent the day buzzing through the streets and exploring as daily life went by. We stopped for lunch and to explored the local market before riding past the Royal Palace and the city center. You can cover a lot of the city in one day by bike!

Seriously, it’s amazing and we totally recommend site seeing Mandalay by bicycle.

renting bikes in mandalay

3. See A Beautiful Sunrise At U Bein Bridge

U Bein Bridge is the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.

Built around 1850, only a few sections of the bridge’s original teakwood has been replaced. Wake up early and catch a ride to U Bein Bridge to see a beautiful sunrise.

Everyone says U Bein Bridge at sunset is the time to go. However, we disagree! Go at sunrise vs sunset. We went at sunrise to avoid the crowds at and got to see Monks crossing the bridge on their way to and from their monastery.

It was such a peaceful morning and there were hardly any tourists there!

TIP: Fair warning, apply lots and lots of bug spray! The mosquitos here are insane as the bridge sits above wetlands!

4. Catch A Game of Chinlone

Also referred to as Caneball, Chinlone is the national spot of Myanmar. The game is simple. There is a team of 6 players and the goal is to not let the ball drop on the ground.

Players can use any part of their body to keep the ball in the air except their hands. It gets really exciting and the Burmese people love it! If you’re lucky, you may get asked to join in 🙂

A Game of Chinlone in Mandalay

5. Chow Down on Some Street Food at Zeygo (Zay Cho) Market

You can’t really visit a country without trying local cuisine right? After you explore the oldest and busiest market in the city of Mandalay (Zeygo Market) take your pick from any of the street food vendors that surround the market.

We’re sure you worked up an appetite from biking around and shopping 🙂

lunch at Zeygo Market

6. Explore The Surrounding Area’s of Mandalay

Mandalay is surrounded by a handful of beautiful, historic places. All of which lay outside Mandalay’s city center, but worth the visit if you are looking to experience and explore the ancient cites of Amarapura, Sagaing, Innwa, Mingun and Ava.

Book an excursion and be whisked back in time to historic pagodas and temples.

viator mandalay tour

7. Temple Hoping – Places To Visit in Mandalay

Mandalay Palace

Last royal palace of the last Burmese monarchs.  The palace is surrounded by a wall and moat and is a popular tourist draw in Mandalay. The grounds of the palace are vast offering loads for you to see and explore.

The Royal Palace costs cost about $10 USD to enter.

Shwenandaw Monastery

Consider checking this Monastery out on your way to Mandalay Hill. The cool thing about this place is that the entire monastery is carved from teak wood.

It costs $10 USD to get in and explore

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Located at the foot of Mandalay Hill, Kuthodaw Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa that is referred to as the world’s largest book. The Pagoda is the classiv white stupa you see in all of instrgrams photos.

Outside of “the gram” making it picture famous the Kuthodaw Pagoda is named for the fact that it has 729 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Pretty cool, right?

The cost is $7 USD (10,000 kyat) for a combo ticket. This ticket includes admittance to Kuthodaw Pagoda and Sandamuni Pagoda

Sandamuni Pagoda

Located southwest of Mandalay and just across the street from Kuthadaw, you’ll find Sandamuni Pagoda.

This pagoda houses the largest iron Buddha image as well as 1774 slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings. Again, pretty impressive too, huh?

The cost is $7 USD (10,000 kyat) for a combo ticket. This ticket includes admittance to  Kuthodaw Pagoda and Sandamuni Pagoda

Mandalay Tours & Excursions

Looking to book a tour or excursion in and around Mandalay? From full day sightseeing temple tours to bicycle food tours, Mandalay has a little something for every traveler.

Where To Stay In Mandalay

  • The Luxury Inclined:  Get away from the city and relax at the Rupar Mandalar Resort outdoor pool and a spa. with clean, comfortable rooms and delicious food, your stay at Rupar Mandalar is sure to please.
  • The Budget Conscious: If you looking to save a few bucks but do not want to compromise location and cleanliness, then Richqueen Guesthouse is for you. Run by a Burmese family, be walking distance from some of Mandalay’s top attractions.
  • Something in Between: Hotel The Haven offers free bikes, on site bar, buffet breakfast and swimming pool. Plus, with it’s central location, it’s no wonder why so many book their stay at The Haven.

WANT MORE INFORMATION ON MYANMAR?!

How To Travel From Bagan to Mandalay by Boat

5 Great Things To Do In Inle Lake

9 Things To See & Do In Yangon, Myanmar


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For more travel tips, guides and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, follow us on Instagram @wanderingstusPinterest and on Facebook. Oh and if you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We’re happy to answer. Or, just leave us a positive note!

Happy Travels,

– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)

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