By: Filza Jawad Hai
Mandalay is the biggest city in Burma, and a former royal capital of Myanmar. It is known for its cultural diversity with the Burmans (majority), Thai’s, Indians, Chinese and etc. Compared to Burmese standards Mandalay is a commercial and affluent city as a trade center with China and India. It’s a liberal city where citizens are free to voice out their expectations, desires, displeasure and dreams.
Although it’s a rare place to travel but every place has its distinct features and environment which makes it worthwhile to visit. Like every other city Mandalay has concrete buildings, busy traffic etc. but the monumental beauty, temples, workshops and tea houses brings an instant appeal to this city.
Mandalay is surrounded by ancient cities and several tourist attractions. Some of the most intriguing sights of Mandalay are teak U-Bein Bridge, Royal palace, Kuthodaw Paya temple and Mandalay hill.
Teak U-Bein Bridge is considered the most iconic sites of Burma. It is the longest teak wood bridge built over the Taungthaman Lake. It is overcrowded as many people visit this place to view the beautiful sunset and walk along it. There are boat arrangements made to travel to the other side of the bridge to explore some beautiful temples/pagodas.
A must visit tourist charm is the Royal palace. It has two separate entrances one for the locals and the other for tourists. The palace requires an entrance ticket, which can also be used to enter the other attractions. There is a long wat up to the tower, from where you can view the scenic beauty of the surrounding area.
White Temple and Kuthodaw Paya temple are massive and spectacular looking temples, which are highly recommended to visit.
Taking a southern route of Mandalay leads you to Pagoda up the hill. It is quiet an interesting journey as you walk 1729 steps up the hill barefoot. If you want to avoid the rush, best time to visit the temple is early.
Mandalay somewhere you can go to explore the photogenic scenic beauty of Burma and visit the old temples to enjoy the iconic heritage.