Pearl Nadi Travels & Tours

Mandalay & Its environs


Mandalay is situated right in central Myanmar and on the eastern bank of Ayeyawaddy River about 668 km due north of Yangon. It is the second largest city in Myanmar and the last capital of Myanmar Dynasty. It lies in the tropical zone and the annual rain fall is always less than 30 inches. In AD 1857, King Mindon built a new city there and moved his government from Amarapura city. The classical name of the city is "Yadanapone" which means "Heap of Gems" but it is more widely know as Mandalay after the Mandalay hill. On November 29,1885 King Thibaw, the last king Mandalay Palace of Mandalay, had to hand the city over to the British as a result of the third Englo-Burman war and from the time on Mandalay lost its title as the capital of Myanmar forever. However, our Mandalay never loses its character as the centre of Buddhism and as the centre various kind of our Myanmar culture. Mandalay is still maintaining various kinds of our tradition today. Gold leaf beating, marble stone curving, woodcarvings, silk weaving, tapestries and so many others can be found in Mandalay.

Mandalay International Airport is 50 km away from city and it takes about one hour. All domestic flights, Phuket Air, and Yunan Air fly to Mandalay.

Mahamuni Buddha Image

Today, Mandalay becomes a chief tourist attraction in Myanmar. The first one of attraction is Mahamuni Pagoda, situated at the south west of city. King Bodaw Paya built this pagoda in 1784 to house the Mahamuni Buddha Image brought from Rakhine Sate. It is believed that, it was being cast in front of the Gautama Buddha himself and it can say Mahamuni Buddha Image is the portrait of Buddha. The 4m high, a seated image is cast in bronze and weighs 6.5 tons. The crown is decorated with diamonds, rubies and sapphires. Every morning at 4:30 Am, a team of monks washes the face and brushes the teeth. The Image has completely covered with 15cm thick gold. Original Body has for long been heavily gilded with gold leaf and now it takes an irregular form. That shows how religious Myanmar Buddhist is. Not far from the western entrance is a group of six bronze fingers, two of men, three of lions and one of a three-headed elephant. These were brought from Arakan (Rakhine) at the same time as the Mahamuni Image. They are parts of the spoil, which Bayin Naung took from Ayuthia in 1663, and later taken by the Rakhine King Razagyi from Bago.

Mandalay Hill

This lies merely outside the northeast center of the town. The summit of the hill is 230m above the surrounding level and about 274 m above the sea level. Visitors and pilgrims to Mandalay either climb the 1,729 steps of the covered southern stairway with its magnificent guardian two lions at the entry, use stairways on the other sides or take the escalator, cars or buses to the top. The legend has it that the Buddha, on his visit, had made a prophecy that a great city would be founded at the foot of this hill. It provides an excellent panoramic view of the city, Ayeyawaddy River, Sagaing Hill, Shan mountain ranges and the surrounding area. There stand a huge Buddha image known as the Shweyattaw representing Buddha pointing to the palace as the future center of a capital.

Kyauktawgyi Pagoda

A few hundred meters to the northeast of the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda lies the Kuthodaw or Maha Lawka Marazein Pagoda or World's Largest Book, which was built in 1857 by King Mindon on the mode of the Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan. Its distinctive feature is the collection of 729 stone slabs, on which is inscribed the whole of the Tripitaka. King Mindon convened the fifth great Synod for the Buddhist Canon, and the authorized version of the Tripitaka approved by the synod was inscribed on the stone slabs. These slabs are enshrined in small temples surrounding the central pagoda. This collection in unique in the Buddhist world and is highly prized by all oriental scholars.


Shwenandaw (Golden Palace) Monastery

It is a symbol of Myanmar traditional wooden monastery .Shwenandaw means Golden Palace. As a matter of fact, this building was used as an apartment of King Mindon and his chief queen. After the death of the King Mindon, King Thibaw in 1880 transferred it to the current place and transformed it into a monastery. The whole building was heavily gilded and it contains fine specimens of Myanmar woodcarvings.


Left bank of the Irrawaddy River, about 11 km south of Mandalay is the old city Amarapura the "City of Immortality". It is also known as Taungmyo, the southern city. King Bodawpara who transferred the Capital this place from Ava city founded it in 1783.It lost Capital since 1857 when Mandalay was made capital by king Mindon.The first British embassy to Burma led by captain Symes came to Amarapura in 1795.The town is now noted for its college industry in silk and cotton weaving. This city has a unique and formidable religious atmosphere. Amarapura is also famous of rich cultural, famous temples, silk and wood hand weaving industries and very nice of scenery.

"MAHAGANDAYON" is noted and prominent for its bestowing with more than thousand of monks.

U Bein Bridge

The Bridge was named after its donor U Bein, the mayor. It was constructed in 1849; crossing the Taung-tha-man lake .It is1.2 km long and the longest teak bridge in the world. There are 984 teak post and five rest houses on the bridge. It can overlook the viewpoint of the beautiful sunset.




Kyauktawgyi Pagoda

Kyauktawgyi Pagoda is on the east of the Taungthaman Lake. King Bagan built the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda in 1847 on the model of the Ananda Temple at Bagan. Amarapura Kyauktawgyi is known to have been built entirely by Myanmar Architects.

There is one principal image curved out of a single block of Sagyin marble. The walls in the two porches are adorned with paintings depicting many religious buildings erected by the donor and other kings in different parts of the country, and scenes from contemporary Burmese life.

Pahtodawgyi Pagoda

Built by King Bagyidaw in 1820. This best-preserved pagoda stood outside the old city walls. The lower terraces have marble slabs illustrating scenes from the Jataka. You will have a fine view over the surrounding countryside from the upper terrace.

Palace Ruins

All these remains of the Palace are two masonry buildings-the watchtower and the treasury building. King Bagyidaw and King Bodawpaya were both buried here and their tombs still remain. The corner pagodas still stand at the four corners of the once square city.


Sagaing lies 21 km southwest of the Mandalay on the west bank of the Irrawaddy River. The river here runs from east to west and is crossed by the Inwa Bridge. The town, which stands on the western bridgehead, was a capital in 1315 AD, before Inwa, after the fall of Bagan. From 1760 to 1764, Sagaing was once again the capital. There are numerous pagodas, temple and meditation centre in Sagaing, near Sagaing and Sagaing hill. Today, Sagaing is known as a meditation centre. At the nearby village of Ywahtaung, you can see silver workers producing bowls and other silver items by traditional methods. The most impressive Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda nearby was constructed in 1312. The view of Sagaing from Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin and its approach is marvelous.

Ominthone Sal Pagoda

It has many Buddha images in a crescent shaped colonnade. Mural paintings can be seen in the Tilawkaguru cave temple, which was built around 1672.

Thabyedan Fort

Just to the left of Inwa bridge, on the Mandalay and Inwa side, is the fort of Thabyedan which was built as a last ditch defense by the Myanmar before the third Anglo Myanmar.

Kaungmudaw Pagoda

Kaungmudaw Pagoda also called Razamanisula; 10 km north of the Sagaing town was built by King Thalun of Inwa in 1636. It was modeled after the Mahacedi Pagoda in Caylon.The enormous dome raises 46 m high and the circumference of the base is 270m. Around the base of the pagoda are stone pillars, each of which is 1.5 m high. The details of the pagoda's construction are recorded on them.



Inwa was formerly known as Yatana Pura, "the city of Gems". This old capital was founded in 1364 by King Thathoe Minbya. It lies at the confluence of the Ayeyawaddy & Myint Nge Rivers and the town was built on an artificial island by a canal to join the Myint Tha River, which was dug from the Myitnge to the Irrawaddy.

The earthquake of 1838 destroyed it. The area within the walls is now filled with cultivated land, scattered hamlets, monasteries, and ruins of ancient pagoda. The ruins of the palace, the massive fort walls and moat still can be seen of the splendor of the past when it had been the capital for more than four and half centuries.


Maha Aung Mye Bon Zan Monastery

The Chief Queen of King Bagyidaw built Maha Aung Mye Bon Zan Monastery or Okkyang for the residence of her royal abbot (Nyaung Gan Sayadaw) in 1818. Monasteries were normally built of wood and were prone to deterioration from the elements or destruction by fire. Although this monastery was built in imitation of the traditional wooden style, its masonry construction has ensured its survival. The 1838 earthquake badly damaged it, but in 1873 Sinbyumashin, Queen of Mindon and daughter of Menu, restored it.

Nanmyint Watch Tower

The site of palace is now marked by a solitary masonry watchtower. Nanmyint, which is about 27 meter (90 feet) high. It is that remains of the palace built by King Bagyidaw.


Located on the western bank of the river Ayeyawaddy, approximately about 11 km north of Mandalay. It is reached by ferryboats across the river and takes 1 hour for up-river and 45 minutes for down-river. A small village noted for its huge unfinished pagoda and the enormous bell, one of the biggest in the world. A boat trip to Mingun is pleasant with plenty of life on the river to see.

Pahtotawgi (Mingun Paya)

Pahtotawgi (Mingun Paya) was built by King Bodawpaya in 1819, which spent about 15 years on its construction. It is still in an unfinished condition is only re-markable for its size. The Pagoda covers an area about 450 feet square and its height is 162ft or one third of originally intended. The earthquake of 1838 cracked the biggest part of pagoda but it is still the largest brick base in the world. Had this pagoda been completed, then it would have been the largest monument.



Mingun Bell

King Bodawpaya dedicated a big bronze bell near the Mingun Pagoda at Mingun. The Bell was cast of bronze; but it is said that Buddhist devotees inserted gold, silver ornaments and jewellery into the bronze. It weighs 90 tons, the exterior height being 12 feet and the external diameter at the lip 16 feets 3 inches. The thickness of metal varies from 6 to 12 inches. It original support was destroyed by earth square of 1883 and it was raised to the present position in a suitable shed. It is the world's biggest ringing bell.



Myatheindan Pagoda

Built by King Bagyidaw in 1816, while he was yet a prince. The pagoda was constructed in memory of his senior wife, the Sinbyume Princess. It is built as a representation of the Sulamani Pagoda on the top of the mount Meru in Tavatinsa heaven, the abode of Indra. The seven wavy terraces around the pagoda represent the seven mountain ranges around mount Meru. The pagoda was badly damaged in 1838 by earthquake but King Mindon restored it in 1874.

Pyin Oo Lwin

Over 1160 meters above sea level, Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular hill station about 69 km to the North east of Mandalay on the road to china border area. It is well known for its colonial style houses with large compound and pine trees, eucalyptus and silver-oak abound in town. Delightfully cool and pleasant the whole year round. It can be reached by rail or by road. Formally, Pyin Oo Lwin was called Maymyo. It means the town of May, was named after the British Army officer colonel May, who built Maymyo fast after the British occupied Mandalay.

Pwe Kauk Fall

Pwe Kauk Fall is about 8 km north of the town near the Pwe Kauk Village. It is a very pleasant picnic spot.

Peik Chin Myaung Water falls and caves

It is located about 20 km from the town. The natural cave has many springs with clear, cool water running under it. Many Buddha images can be seen inside the cave.





Mogok then and now, is a city of gems the heart of the gem-zone and the centre of the Gems trade. Mogok has been achieving fame as "Ruby Land". Besides, it produces many sami-precious stones. The climate is moderate and temperate. Visitors can make a thorough study how to mine the precious stones and go shopping at the gemstone markets.







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