6 Things To Experience and Do in Mandalay, Myanmar

Mandalay, the former capital, is the second largest city in Myanmar and the biggest city in northern Myanmar. No worries, we have a great list below of things to do in Mandalay.

Mandalay doesn’t have the architectural British charm like Yangon has, but it has just as much hustle and bustle. Believe that! There is no lack of life going on in this city, that’s for sure. 

1) Watch The Sun Set At Mandalay Hill

Popular for sunset, Mandalay Hill is situated at the North side of town. You’ll have to climb 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, a decent climb to the top but certainly worth the trip.

2) Rent A Bike & Explore The City

Enjoy Mandalay by bike! Renting a bike while it can be a bit crazy riding around it was also was one our favorite things we did!

We rented bikes through our accommodation for about $1 USD for the day.

We buzzed through the streets and saw daily life go by. We stopped for lunch and to explore the local market. We road 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.

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!

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 🙂

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 🙂

6) Temple Hoping & Surrounding Area Exploration

While we did not get a chance to experience the below, we wanted to provide a few other options (just to be comprehensive) of  things there are to see, do and experience in Mandalay, Myanmar.

We would have loved to check a few of the below out but either 1) we did not want to pay the fees to visit or 2) we just plain ran out of time.

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

Explore The Surrounding Area’s of Mandalay

Mandalay is surrounded by a handful of great places to visit. All of these places are outside of Mandalays city center so it will take a bit of coordinating on your end to get yourselves to one or all of these places listed below.

If you have extra time in Mandalay, the below list is definitely worth checking out.

  • Amarapura
  • Sagaing
  • Innwa
  • Mingun
  • Pyin Oo Lwin


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


For more travel tips, guides and awesome travel shots, be sure to poke around our site, follow us on Instagram @wanderingstus 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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