Mandalay and Surrounding
Mandalay is the second largest city of Myanmar and the last capital of the Myanmar Kings. The heart of Myanmar traditional cultures, Mandalay has a number of attractions well worth visiting. Here can see Yadanabon palace surrounding moats up from the Mandalay Hill, with stairways, temples and sweeping views. Kuthodaw pagoda, the world’s “biggest book” and Mahamuni pagoda, ancient Rakhine Buddha image are the places which no one should miss. The area around Mandalay where there are ancient cities, Amarapura where U Pein bridge, Ava, Sagaing and Mingun. Then there is the atmospheric cold ‘hill station’ of Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), about 69 km away from Mandalay.
It is situated 11 km south of Mandalay, an ancient capital before Mandalay was built. There are several interesting sites to be seen. Pahtodawgyi, built by King Bagyidaw in 1820, stood outside of the old city walls. South of Pahtodawgyi, U Pein’s Bridge which is 1.2 km- long footbridge, constructed with teak planks. Bagaya Kyaung, one of Myanmar’s largest and most active wooden monasteries, dating to the mid-19th century is located just out of town on the road of Sagaing. Once a royal city, now there are also silk weavers, bronze casters, wood carvers and other artisans.
n-wa is a small town south of Amarapura and it was another ancient capital of the Second Myanmar Empire. The interesting sites to be seen in In-wa are 27 meter-high Nanmyint watch tower, Maha Aungmye Bonzan Monastery, lacquer ware industry and In-wa bridge 16-span bridge dates to 1934 and is the only structure that crosses Ayeyarwaddy River.
Another one ancient capital, Sagaing lies 21 km south west of Mandalay, which is known as a religious centre that supports dozens Buddhist monasteries and nunneries as well as a major monastic hospital. There are certainly plenty of pagodas and stupas scattered over the Sagaing hills which rise on the western bank of the Ayeyarwaddy. Other places worth visiting are Thabyaedan Fort, Kaunghmudaw Pagoda ( a copy of the Mahazeti Pagoda in Sri Lanka), and Ywahtaung village where the home of the silversmiths’ guilds is.
It is located about 11 km upriver from Mandalay on the opposite bank of the Ayeyarwady. There is the huge and incomplete Mingun Pagoda, King Bodawpaya of the late 18th century planned to build it to a height of 500 feet but it was left unfinished at 160 feet. Then you can see there Mingun Bell, a hung, uncracked bell and weighing 55,555 viss (90 tonnes).
Pyin Oo Lwin/Maymyo
A popular hill station, Pyin oo Lwin was renamed Maymyo. It is about 69 km away from Mandalay and over 1000 meters above sea-level. It is well known for its colonial era buildings, pine trees, eucalyptus and silver-oak abound in town. The town itself is easygoing and full of interest. One of interesting places is 175 hectare Botanical Garden. There are several natural attractions around Pyin Oo Lwin, including a number of caves, waterfalls and tribal villages. Pwe Kauk and Ani-Sakan Waterfalls, Goteik Viaduct and Peik Chin Myaung Caves are places which attract to tourists.