The capital of Myanmar Last Kingdom and of Myanmar Kings, is situated in Central Myanmar 668 km north of Yangon. It was founded by King Mindon in 1857 and remained to be the official seat of Myanmar Kings until it was occupied by the British in 1885 and designated Yangon as capital. It is the largest city after Yangon and is both a bustling commercial center and a repository of rich cultural heritage. With the remains of the old Royal City and many old monasteries, Mandalay is a showcase for Myanmar art and architecture of the 19th century. It is also noted for woodcarvings, silverware, tapestries, silk, and other products of traditional handicraft. It has links to all parts of the country by rail, road, river and air.


The capital of Myanmar Last Kingdom and of Myanmar Kings, is situated in Central Myanmar 668 km north of Yangon. It was founded by King Mindon in 1857 and remained to be the official seat of Myanmar Kings until it was occupied by the British in 1885 and designated Yangon as capital. It is the largest city after Yangon and is both a bustling commercial center and a repository of rich cultural heritage. With the remains of the old Royal City and many old monasteries, Mandalay is a showcase for Myanmar art and architecture of the 19th century. It is also noted for woodcarvings, silverware, tapestries, silk, and other products of traditional handicraft. It has links to all parts of the country by rail, road, river and air.

How to get

there It takes about 1 ½ hours by air from Yangon. There are daily fights from Yangon, Bagan and Heho to Mandalay. The new Mandalay International Airport has been opened and operated since November 2000, with direct flights of some regional airlines. Express trains are running from Yangon to Mandalay, which take about 14 hours. Private express coaches also run everyday along Yangon-Mandalay highway, which is over 700 km long. If you travel overland you can also break the journey at Taungoo (280 km) or at Meiktila (540 km), where there are hotels for overnight stay.

What to see


Mandalay itself is a dirty, dusty town with some areas that have changed little in nearly a century, but it oozes with photographic opportunities and has its own special charm. Take a walk along the riverside early morning or late afternoon to watch the busy riverside activity and to see the water buffalo working hard to bring newly felled logs to the shore or spend a couple of hours wandering around the sprawling Zegyo Market, originally designed by an Italian architect in 1903. The Zegyo Market is the center of trade linking between towns of upper and lower Myanmar. Various local and imported (mainly from China and Thailand) goods are in business. The Italian-styled old market building was demolished and replaced with modern form. The Clock Tower, next to the Zegyo Market, was built in 1903 to commemorate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria,

Mandalay Hill

The natural landmark of Mandalay, a vantage-point for panoramic view of the city. The stairways are being constructed from the bottom to top of the hill which you can climb at ease and rest as you go up the stairway. There is a saying that if you want to live long, you take refuge in the environs of Mandalay hill. It means that as climbing to the Mandalay hill on foot is good for health. And to pay homage to the pagoda along the way makes one live long. You can pay homage to prominent pagodas along the stairway of Mandalay Hill. Besides, you can visit the shops of Myanmar traditional handmade toys, gifts such as beads.

Mandalay Palace

The whole magnificent palace complex was destroyed by fire during the World War II. However, the finely built palace walls, the city gates with their crowning wooden pavilions and the surrounding moat still present an impressive scene of the Mandalay Palace. A number of palace buildings namely "Mya-nan-san-kyaw Shwenandaw", the model of the Mandalay Palace, Nanmyint-saung have been rebuilt and the Cultural Museum is also located inside the palace grounds.

Shwenandaw Monastery

Famous for its intricate wood-carvings, this monastery is a fragile reminder of the old Mandalay Palace. It was originally built inside the Mandalay Palace but it was moved to the present site by King Thibaw in 1880.

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Built by King Mindon in 1857, modeling on the Shwe Zigon at Nyaung U, this pagoda is surrounded by 729 upright stone slabs on which are inscribed the entire Buddhist Scriptures as edited and approved by the 5th Buddhist Synod. It is popularly known as "the Worlds Biggest Book" for its stone scriptures.

Atumashi Kyaung

The Atumashi Kyaung, or Incomparable Monastery was originally built in 1857 by King Mindon (1853-1879) and burned down in 1890. For many years the ruins of the building lay open to the elements. Stumps of the charred teak pillars, a grand staircase and some colonnaded walls remained. The area was cleared in the 1990s and was rebuilt according to the original plans in 1996 by the Burmese archaeological department with the use of convict labor. While somewhat impressive, it does not come close to recreating the magnificence of the original building. The Atumashi Kyaung is near the Kuthodaw Pagoda, built at the same time, and next door to the Shwenandaw.

Kyauktawgyi Pagoda

Near the southern approach to Mandalay Hill stands the Kyauktawgyi Pagoda of the Buddha Image that was built by King Mindon in 1865. The Image was carved out of a huge single block of marble and sculpted. It was hauled to its position by nearly 12,000 men and took 13 days to transport the marble. The statues of 80 Arahants (the Great Disciples of the Buddha) are around the Image, 20 on each direction.

Maha Muni Pagoda

Revered as the holiest pagoda in Mandalay, this pagoda enshrines the famous Maha Muni Buddha image, which is said to have been cast in the life-time of and in the very presence of the Buddha. Consequently, devout Buddhists hold it to be alive and refer to it as the Maha Muni Sacred Living Image. The Image in sitting posture is 12 feet and 7 inches (3.8 meters) high. It was brought to Mandalay from Rakhine State during the reign of King Bodawpaya in 1784. The early morning ritual of washing the Face of the Buddha Image draws a large crowd of devotees everyday. And the image is also considered as the greatest, next to Shwedagon Pagoda, in Myanmar. A visit to Mandalay would be incomplete without a visit to Maha Muni Pagoda.

Shwe In Bin Monastery

This attractive monastery built in traditional Burmese fashion is one of the few buildings that have survived the test of time. Constructed in 1895 by Chinese merchants, the monastery consists of many impressive woodcarvings and also contains a number of admirable works of art. At present there are 35 monks that live in the monastery complex which is held up by the classical teak foundation that is often seen throughout the country but rarely in as good condition as at this illuminating site.

Yankin Hill

3 km east of Mandalay Fort has a whole complex of temples and monasteries running along the top of its ridge. With two staircases at either 'end' of the hill, you can walk the complete circuit - so take your shoes with you.

Arts and Crafts

For lovers of arts and crafts, Mandalay represents the largest repository of Myanmar arts and crafts. It is here that visitors can observe skilled craftsmen making beautiful articles of tapestry, ivory, wood, marble and stone carving and engravings, silverware and bronze statues according to the time-honored traditions of their forefathers. Besides those, the other arts and crafts workshops of silk-weaving and gold-leaf making are also places worthy of visiting.


Located about 11 km upriver from Mandalay, on the west bank of the Ayeyawaddy River. The one hour boat trip to Mingun is a very pleasant way to see the real life on the river. Mingun has a gigantic unfinished pagoda, 50 meters high, overlooking the river, and the 90-ton Mingun Bell, the largest ringing bell in the world cast in 1170 by King Bodawpaya.


Amarapura the "City of Immortals", situated about 11 km south of Mandalay, was the capital of upper Burma until 1850. As it was the custom, most of the important wooden palaces and monasteries were taken down and transported to the new capital in Mandalay. Little remains of the old Amarapura palace but you can still find two masonry buildings - the treasury building and the old watchtower. The corner pagodas still stand at the four corners of the once square city. Apart from Pagodas that have survived, the ancient art of silk and cotton weaving, using handlooms is very much alive. The 150 year old Mahagandayon Monastery, is a famous Buddhist learning center and home to a thousand monks, who will form a procession as they go to take their noon and final meal of the day and the 1.200 meter long U Bein wooden bridge, over 150 years old, is the longest teak bridge in the world.

IN-WA (Ava)

Ava situated on a small island, between the Ayeyarwaddy and Myittha rivers, was first founded as a capital by King Thado Minbya in 1364 A.D. It was destroyed by the earthquake of 1838. The ruins of the palace, the massive fort walls and moat can still be seen of the splendour of the past when it had been the capital for more than four and half centuries.

The best way to explore this island is by horse cart. The king palace at that time does not exist any longer, however still the “Leaning Tower” of Inwa, 27 meter (90 feet) high masonry Watch Tower. The Maha Aung Mye Bon Zan Monastery, a brick-and-stucco monastery built by the Chief Queen of King Bagyidaw for her royal abbot (Nyaung Gan Sayadaw) in 1818 and the Bagayar Monastery, famous for its impressive ornate woodcarvings and teak posts are the high lights.


Sagaing lies 21 km southwest of Mandalay on the opposite bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River. Once you cross the Inwa Bridge, you see the hilltops, each crested with a pagoda, the banners proclaiming the Buddha's teaching, the refuge from all ills and tribulations where over 600 monasteries for monks and nuns are located for Buddhist studies and meditation. The Padamyazedi dates from 1300 while the U min Thonze or thirty caves pagoda has many Buddha images in a crescent shaped colonnade. Mural paintings can be seen in the Tilawkaguru cave temple, which was built around 1672. 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. About 10 km from Sagaing is the Kaunghmudaw, an enormous dome-shaped pagoda built by King Thalun in 1636, on the model of the Mahaceti Pagoda of Sri Lanka. At the nearby village of Ywataung, you can see silversmiths making silverware by traditional methods.


About 136 km to the west of Mandalay lies Monywa, the commercial center of the Chindwin Valley or northwestern Myanmar. Places of interest include Thanbokde Pagoda, with over 500,000 Buddha images; Bodhi-ta-taung (one thousand Bo trees): Ledi Kyaungtaik, a teaching monastery where Buddhist scriptures are inscribed on 806 stone slabs: and Kyaukka Village, known for its own distinctive style of lacquerware. Just on the other side of the Chindwin River and a 30 minutes drive by pick-up is the seldom visited 15th Phowin Taung temple complex where more than 450,000 sandstone Buddha’s were carved in the hillsides in caves, alcoves, or tiny niches. The cave murals are still intact with indigo blues and soft pastels. Many of the Buddha’s can be seen without entering the caves or niches and footwear is permitted as long as one is not entering the sanctuaries. A stunning Buddha not to be missed is the reclining Buddha resting on a rectangular stone mosaic which shimmers with cut glass."


Shwebo is a rice-collecting centre on the railway about 50 miles (80 km) north-northwest of Mandalay and 17 miles west of Kyauk Myaung, a river-side town on the Ayeyarwady, which is famous for glazed pottery works from toys, cups, letters, bowls, pots to huge water jars that are tied in hundreds and floated down the river as rafts. These are widely used throughout the country.

Shwebo was the birthplace of Alaungpaya, founder of the Alaungpaya dynasty (1752–1885), and is the site of his tomb. The palace and other royal parks, lakes, moats and watch tower have been neglected, disrepaired, ravaged and ruined in the last two centuries. With the promotion of the tourism industry, the government has launched upon the reconstruction of the palace buildings, parks and dredged the royal lake for the benefit of the visitors and locals.


Over 1000 meters above sea-level, Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular hill station about 69km away from Mandalay. 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 was founded by Myanmar official Maung Dwe in 1851 and later named as May Myo by British Colonel May in 1896. The 142-hecter well laid-out Botanical Garden, scenic Pwe-kauk Waterfalls, Chinese Temple in addition to British built colonial buildings are places worth visiting. Nearby are Peik-chin-hmyaung Cave and Gokteik Rail Bridge.


You can find many wondrous places in various part of the world and Myanmar is no exception. One of these is the Snake Pagoda, situated at the town of Paleik, which is 15 miles from Mandalay.

The formal name of the Pagoda is known as “Ratana Laba Muni Sutaungpyi Muei Phaya” but it is known to be as “Meui Phaya” or “Snake Pagoda”. In 1977, a Buddhist monk was clearing the bush in that area and found a Buddha image inside a ruined Pagoda.

On top of the image were three large pythons and from that time on, the place became known far and wide in the country as the Snake Pagoda. Each snake is fed a pot of milk and three eggs every five days. But later on, due to instructions from a veterinarian, each was given 50 ticals of goat meat for protein. But every morning at 11:00 a.m., the snakes are given a bath. Pilgrims from various parts of the country come to pay homage to the snake Pagoda in Paleik town whenever they arrive in Mandalay. It is Buddhist belief that even animals through merit earned in previous existences are deserving of care and attention.


More mysterious than Mecca and more difficult to reach than Lhasa. That is how Joseph Kessel describes it in his novel. In the heart of the mountains, located some 200 kilometres north-east of Myanmar’s second largest city, Mandalay, the valley of Mogok has been producing the most beautiful rubies and the most unusual legends for over a thousand years.

Yet Mogok has much more to offer than just precious stones. Little towns, villages and gardens are dotted here and there across the hills, which are covered with shrubs and flowers and decorated with well-kept Buddhist shrines. The tips of the gold leaf-covered pagodas stretch towards the sky like golden sculptures jutting out of rock formations and line the only main road in the region, as well as gravel roads and footpaths.

We, a local travel agency, can arrange the sightseeing tour in Mandalay & environs if you wish. Explore our tailored made tour programs for Mandalay trip to experience a memorable trip to Myanmar.

City Centre and West of Mandalay Palace
East of Mandalay Palace
Northest Corner of Mandalay Palace
Southeast Corner of Mandalay Palace
Starting price: $29
The Amazing Mandalay Hotel is in the city centre, only about 1 km from the station. You can easily walk to the former Royal Palace and...
Starting price: $29
Starting price: $95
The Mercure Mandalay Hill Resort is on the north-eastern corner of the former Royal Palace, at the foot of Mandalay Hill. The city...
Starting price: $95
Starting price: $126
The Hilton Mandalay is centrally located at the southeast tip of the former Royal Palace, facing Mandalay Hill. The city centre is...
Starting price: $126
Starting price: $68
The Yadanarpon Dynasty is in a quiet area southeast of the former Royal Palace. You can reach the Daw Ma Ma Naings puppet theatre and...
Starting price: $68
Starting price: $84
The hotel is located on a small canal east of the former Royal Palace. The city centre is about a 15-minute drive away; the...
Starting price: $84
Starting price: $37
The Ma Ma Guest House is about a ten-minute drive east of the former Royal Palace. The nearest restaurants are around 15-20 minutes...
Starting price: $37
Starting price: $39
The Peacock Lodge is a small, family-run B&B that puts the comfort of its guests above all else. It’s about a ten-minute...
Starting price: $39
Starting price: $62
The Triumph Hotel Mandalay is around a 10-minute drive east of the former Royal Palace. The city centre is about a 25-minute drive...
Starting price: $62
Starting price: $84
This romantic hotel with an exotic atmosphere is about a 10-minute drive east of the former Royal Palace. Mandalay Hill is about a 15-...
Starting price: $84
Starting price: $42
This small and cosy inn is in a residential district at the northwest corner of the Mandalay Palace. The city centre is about a 10-...
Starting price: $42
Starting price: $32
This modern comfort-class hotel is in a good, central city location, directly opposite the station. You can reach the former Royal...
Starting price: $32
Starting price: $63
The Hotel Shwe Pyi Thar is about a 10-minute drive east of the former Royal Palace. Mandalay Hill is about a 15-minute drive away,...
Starting price: $63
Starting price: $32
The Hotel Yadanarbon is directly in the centre of the city and only 5 minutes’ drive from Zegyo market. The highway bus station...
Starting price: $32
Starting price: $37
The Hotel Queen is directly in the centre of the city and only a few minutes’ walk from Zegyo market and the former Royal Palace...
Starting price: $37
Starting price: $47
Built in 2004 on the site of a former bus station, the Mandalay City Hotel is right in the middle of the city, just a five-minute walk...
Starting price: $47
Starting price: $37
This mid-range hotel opened in 2011 and is located at the edge of Mandalay, just a few steps from the banks of the Ayarwaddy River....
Starting price: $37
Street Food at Zegyo Market

While Mandalay’s cafes and restaurants proffer an array globe-spanning cuisines and offer a glimpse into local life, the city’s true culinary heart still exists in its street food, often centered on its markets. Zegyo Market is both the largest and oldest in Mandalay. Though now housed in an uninspiring shopping center, you can browse all manner of delights in the scores of colorful, canopied stalls that surround it. If you don’t feel like sampling chicken gizzards, pig’s stomach or curried lungs, try mohinga, a fish noodle soup that has long been Myanmar’s unofficial national dish. For something a little sweeter, pick up some kauknyintok, steamed bananas wrapped in coconut leaves.

Address: Corner of 84th St. and 26th St.

Aye Myit Tar Restaurant

Close to the Mahamuni Pagoda, Aye Myit Tar is a favorite with locals and tourists alike. Set in an unpretentious room covered with photographs of Myanmar, the staff are extraordinarily friendly and eager to sit you at their tables. The most popular choice here is the Myanmar curry, which holds Indian and Chinese flavor’s in a delicate balance and comes with a smattering of complimentary vegetables, salad and broth. More adventurous diners should try the meeshay, rice noodles cooked in a clay pot with a thick, oily meat sauce.

Opening hours: 09:00 – 22:00
Address: No (530), 81th Street, between 36th x37th street, Mandalay
Tel: 31627

Lashio Lay

The best Shan food in Mandalay. It’s a very simple place used by locals: Formica tables, stools to sit on, and scruffy round the edges. The food is arranged in canteen-style trays: a selection of curries, noodles, salads and stir-fried vegetables. Do try the fish steamed in a banana leaf and the fresh tofu curry. Some dishes are fiery so watch out. Arrive by 1pm for lunch and 7pm for dinner when the food is freshly cooked. The place can take some finding so ask your hotel to write the name and address down in Burmese for the taxi driver.

Opening hours: 06:00 – 22:30
Address: No (65), 23rd Street, between 83rd & 84th Street 
Tel: 38568.

Super 81

With southern Chinese immigrants accounting for over a third of the city’s population, it’s no surprise that many of Mandalay’s best eateries specialize in Cantonese and Yunnan food. Super 81 stands out in a crowded field, serving up a huge variety of dishes; there are a dozen variations of steamed duck alone, along with excellent squid and sea bass, all served in generous portions. Its labyrinthine layout only adds to the charm, with a sprawling network of rooms, terraces and roof gardens hidden behind an unassuming shop front.

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 23:00
Address: No. (582), 81st Street, between 38th and 39th Street
Tel: 32232

Marie Min Vegetarian Restaurant

From 1885 to 1948, while subjected to the British Empire, Myanmar’s colonial rulers saw it as a vital connection between India and Singapore. As a major stopping point on the trade route, Mandalay has long been influenced by its northern neighbors, and is today dotted with numerous authentic Indian eateries. Marie Min, located down an alleyway a block to the south of the Palace, is particularly admirable. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, including the breakfast buffet frequented by Western backpackers. Come in the evening for diverse menu of delicious curries, accompanied with dahl, baingan bharta (roasted aubergine sauce) and a range of lassis.

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 22:00 
Address: 27th Street, between 74th and 75th Street
Tel: 36234 
Mobile: 0943197231

Yunnan III Restaurant

One of the most delightful side effects of Mandalay’s flourishing migrant population has been the emergence of the southern Chinese barbeque. Set around a voluminous outdoor seating area, Yunnan III epitomizes this trend while harking back to the traditional teahouse. Curate your dish from a lavish selection of meat, vegetables and noodles then watch as they are freshly grilled. Often filled with groups of local men drinking whisky, smoking cigars and watching football, it’s one of the best places in Mandalay for meeting friendly residents and imbibing a sense of community.

Opening Hours: 10:00 – 23:00
Address: 62nd Street, between 36th and 37th Street
Mobile: 0991004431

Unique Myanmar

This welcoming, open-sided restaurant opened a year ago and has already captured a lot of business from its more touristy neighbors. There’s a good choice of meat and vegetarian options. Do try the fresh fruit juices and the smoky grilled aubergine and the shredded ginger salads. The staff have all been recruited from same village near Bagan, brought here and trained by the family that owns the place. They do a great job.

Opening Hours: 11:00-23:00
Address: Corner of 27th x 65th Street
Tel: 23562

Mya Nandar Restaurant

The Mya Nandar is the only restaurant on the riverfront in Mandalay. It occupies a large teak pavilion beside the Ayeyarwady River. Tables are set up both inside around the stage used for the evening cultural performances (from October to March, 7.30pm to 9pm) and outside beneath tamarind trees overlooking the river. I prefer to have to lunch here watching the river craft, from overloaded riverboats to fishermen in their wooden skiffs. Slap on plenty of mosquito repellent at dusk and ask for a coil to be lit beneath your table.

Opening Hours: 11:00 - 23:00
Address: 26th x 35th Street, Strand Road, MyoTaw Garden West
Tel: 66110
Mobile: 0991013473

Green Elephant

Green Elephant is the most luxurious place in Mandalay for a traditional culinary experience. Part of a small chain with three branches throughout the country, it began in a disused Yangon garage with the aim of fusing Myanmar food with Western standards of service and cleanliness. Set within an early 20th century colonial villa with a bucolic garden, it’s something of an oasis removed from the dust of the surrounding streets. Authentic Burmese dishes include tealeaf salads, fine curries accompanied by soy paste and moet-hin-kar fish soup. Thai and Chinese menus are also available, and all the food uses vegetables from the restaurant’s own local garden.

Opening Hours: 11:00 – 21:30
Address: No. (3/H), Block 801, 27th Street, between 64th and 65th Street
Tel: 61237 / 74273 
Mobile: 092038207

A Little Bit of Mandalay

For those who wish to try Myanmar traditional cuisines, but do not prefer strong tasting, oily, salty and spicy fare, A Little Bit of Mandalay is a good choice. Situated in the tranquil eastern part of the city, the decade-old restaurant is serving the Burmese traditional cuisines such as Thee Sone Hnat (vegetable curry), prawn curry and various traditional salads, all at a reasonable price.
Myanmar people usually love their curries to be a yellowish-red, produced by good helpings of turmeric and chili powder. These spices give a slightly hot taste to the curry, complemented by the sweet, salty taste of fish paste. But at A Little Bit of Mandalay, the color and the sweetness is produced just by tomato paste, and the curries stimulate the visitors’ taste buds with a new flavor of Burmese traditional cuisine.

Opening Hours: 11:00 -14:30 and 17:00-22:30
Address: No (1) A/3, 28th Street, Between 52nd x 53rd Streets
Tel: 61295
Mobile: 09973126505

Ko’s Kitchen

For much of their history, the countries now known as Myanmar and Thailand were composed of small warring states with constantly shifting boundaries. Lanna, the northern Thai kingdom centered on culinary haven Chiang Mai, was under Burmese control until 1775. There remains a significant Thai minority in Mandalay, and Ko’s Kitchen serves the most elegant Thai food in town. Located just west of the incredible reconstructed Mandalay Palace, it’s housed in a pleasant art deco building and boasts a glass-walled kitchen that you can watch as you wait. Alongside fine-tuned green and red curries, specialties include fish skewers, yam pla duk foo (catfish salad with mango and cashews) and a larb Llana, an elaborately spiced minced pork salad.

Opening hours: 11:30 – 14:30 and 17:30 – 22:00
Address: No (282), Corner of 19th x 80th Street, Maygagiri Quarter
Tel: 69576
Mobile: 091024600

Golden Palace

Also known by its Burmese name of Shwenandaw, this shiny, new air-conditioned restaurant lies just off the main Yangon-Mandalay road in Amarapura. It’s well positioned for lunch after a morning in Inwa or Sagaing. The friendly, eager-to-please staff serve a traditional Burmese lunch with a good choice of tapas-style bowls of meat and vegetable curries. The soup, chutneys, tamarind sweets and tea leaf salad are provided free of charge. Air-dried mutton, a local specialty, is particularly delicious.

Opening Hours: 09:30 -22:00
Address: Yangon-Mandalay Highway Road, Corner of Sagaing Road, Mya Nandar Housing
Mobile: 09-256100969

Spice Garden

Part of the boutique Hotel by the Red Canal, the Spice Garden has a wonderful and luminous ambience. Overlooking the pool, the restaurant is spread over two floors, framed within a teak annex. It is a fine dining restaurant serving Northern and Southern Indian cuisine, with a traditional tandoor to add to the authenticity of their tandoori dishes. The food is also guaranteed to be freshly cooked on the day. Cooking classes led by the resident chefs are offered, but if you just want to enjoy the food, there is an outdoor area for al fresco eating, where the relaxing atmosphere can be best soaked up.

Opening Hours: 06:00 – 22:30 
Address: No (417), corner of 63rd and 22nd Street, Aung Myae Tha Zan Township
Tel: 61177

Café City

Tired of the local cuisine, and crave something a little closer to home? Don’t worry – head to Café City, directly facing the Palace’s main entrance along the leafy East Moat Road. Advertised with kitschy neon signs and bedecked with miniature cars and model planes, Café City feels like a classic American diner, right down to the leather booth seating. Peruse the menu, though, and you’ll be surprised – alongside Western comfort food like steak, pizza and battered fish, they serve prawns grilled in honey, coconut-flavored fish kebabs and a range of Japanese options. Despite – or perhaps because of – this international focus, Café City is a hit with the local youth, giving it a lively, fashionable ambience.

Opening Hours: 09:00 – 22:30 
Address: 66th Street (East Moat Road), between 20th x 22nd Street
Tel: 24054 / 61237

SIMPLICITY Organic Food and Bakery

Simplicity certainly lives up to its name. Located in Mandalay’s western district, between the bustling jetties of the Ayeyarwady River and the exquisite teak Shwe In Bin Kyaung monastery, Simplicity doesn’t just feel like a house – it is one. The owners, who treat their customers like honorary family members, often join their guests at the table. The wholesome, straightforward local dishes, including Shan noodles, dumplings and carrot salads, are entirely organic. Come in the mornings to sit in the tiny front garden, separated from the street by a hedgerow, and breakfast on strong coffee and Chinese cakes.

Opening Hours: 07:00 – 21:30
Address: Block (328), 35th Street, between 91st x 92nd Street, Chan Aye Tharzan Township
Tel: 63909 
Mobile: 0991024005

Small River Restaurant

This small outdoor eatery is actually in Ava, across the river from Mandalay. Sit beneath the sprawling Banyan tree and enjoy great local food, including a delicious butterfish curry using locally caught fish.

Opening Hours: 08:30 – 17:30
Address: Ava (Inwa)
Mobile: 0943014574 / 0991001921

Kinsana Garden Theatre

There's an intimate atmosphere at this open-air theatre which stands in the Mandalay Palace Hotel's beautiful landscaped gardens. There is seating for just 120 people at tables for four set out on a softly-lit terrace. The food here is excellent with an eat-all-you-can choice of barbecue meats and an international buffet. The show plays out the dance, music and costumes of the different dynasties from medieval Bagan to post-Independence state-sponsored works. Arrive early to secure a good seat and enjoy a cocktail from the bar.

Cultural Show & BBQ Dinner: Daily from 19:00 – 22:00 
(Only during the high season from 01st October – 31st March)
Address: Mandalay Hill Resort, Kinasna Garden Theater, No (9), Kwin (416.B), 10th Street at the foot of Mandalay Hill 
Price: US$ 40 per person (for in house guests) and US$ 50 per person (for outside guests)
Tel: 02-35637 / 35670
E-mail: [email protected]


Downtown Mandalay – which includes the Mahamuni Pagoda, the renowned craft workshops (for woodcarving, marblework, or gold leaf production), the Shwe In Bin monastery, Mandalay Palace and the landmarks at the foot of Mandalay Hill – is easy to tour on foot or by rickshaw.

Rickshaw drivers charge around 4,000 kyat (US$ 5.70) for the trip between the city centre and Mandalay Hill and around 2,000 kyat (US$ 2.90) for the trip between the city centre and the Mahamuni Pagoda, as well as for the trip between the city centre and the Ayeyarwady River (Mingun Jetty).  
The price should be negotiated in advance. As the drivers often do not speak English, you should write down the address in Burmese. The hotel staff would be happy to help you with this.

A great way to explore Mandalay and its surroundings (Amarapura, Ava, Sagaing) independently is by bicycle.
You can rent bicycles from many hotels, but you should thoroughly check your bike beforehand and take it for a quick practice round. 
Rental prices for bicycles vary considerably and range from US$ 5 to US$ 10 per day.

Motorcycle rickshaws:

Since October 2017 there are also motorcycle rickshaws (Mini Oway three-wheel bikes) in Mandalay. The motorcycle rickshaws, with powerful machines and covered seats, can carry at least two people. Mandalay and the old royal cities can be explored wonderfully on a cosy cushion with the wind around your nose.

You can easily book a motorcycle rickshaw via the Oway Ride app or the switchboard:

09 969915330
09 969915331

For the first km you pay at least 1,000 Kyat, each additional km costs 250 Kyat.

An airport transfer costs 10,000 Kyat, for half a day (5 hours) you pay 15,000 Kyat and for a whole day (10 hours) 25,000 Kyat.


You can also rent a car and driver. The vehicles are in good condition and have air conditioning. Before every long journey, the vehicle undergoes another thorough inspection and service. 

Reservation tips for vehicles:
All prices are indicated in US$ per vehicle for the respective route.

Car rental services charge an extra 50% during Thingyan (water festival & New Year) which is held from the 13th April to the 17th April.

PRICES IN US$ PER VEHICLE, VALID FROM 01.05.2019 – 30.04.2020

(up to 2 people)
(up to 3 people)
(up to 6 people)
(18-24 people)
Transfer from/to airport19242750
Transfer from/to railway station and marina8101228
Airport transfer and half day in Mandalay37475583
Airport transfer and full day in Mandalay475871122
Airport transfer and full day in Sagaing556681133
Half day in Mandalay26303570
Full day in Mandalay/Amarapura374755104
Full day in Ava/Sagaing425262115
Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay (1 day)647688180
Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin – Mandalay (2 days / 1 night)128152176360
Mandalay – Monywa – Mandalay (1 day)8090106200
Mandalay – Monywa – Mandalay (2 days/1 night)160180212400


From Mandalay to Pindaya:
The landscape between Mandalay and Pindaya is extremely beautiful. The drive takes around 6 hours, giving you plenty of time to stop in some villages along the way to get a glimpse of the everyday lives of the people in this rural area. From Pindaya, it takes around 2 hours to reach Kalaw and 3½ to reach Lake Inle. If you enjoying hiking, you can hike from Pindaya to Kalaw (2 days/1 night).

From Mandalay to Bagan via Meiktila:
The journey from Mandalay to Bagan via Meiktila is very popular. The drive takes between 6 and 7 hours. If you set off early enough in the morning, you’ll also have enough time to take a detour to Mt. Popa.

From Mandalay to Bagan via Monywa and Pakokku:
You can also travel from Mandalay to Pakokku via Monywa and from there you can take a private boat to Bagan (two-hour journey). We recommend staying overnight in Monywa so that you have enough time to explore the other side of the Chindwin River, where there is a rarely visited 15th-century complex of Phowin Taung temples. There are more than 450,000 sandstone Buddhas carved into the mountain walls, caves, alcoves and tiny niches there.

From Mandalay to Lashio via Pyin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw:
A journey along the legendary ‘Old Burma Road’ from Mandalay to Lashio. Stroll through Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), a popular mountain town, take a train journey across the spectacular Gokteik Viaduct, visit the ancient Shan Palace in Hsipaw and wander around the colourful market in Lashio.

Our tip:
There is a daily direct flight from Lashio to Heho in Shan State. From there, you can continue on to Kalaw, Pindaya and Lake Inle.

Reservation tips for vehicles: 
All prices are indicated in US$ per vehicle for the respective route.

Please note that one-way journeys are always more expensive because the driver has to travel back to the departure location. 

Car rental services charge an extra 50% during Thingyan (water festival & New Year) which is held from the 13th April to the 17th April.

PRICES IN US$ PER VEHICLE, VALID FROM 01.05.2019 – 30.04.2020

(up to 2 people)
(up to 3 people)
(up to 6 people)
(18-24 people)
Mandalay – Bagan140165185320
Mandalay – Monywa – Pakokku – Bagan (2 days/1 night)225264297502
Mandalay – Pindaya218286323505
Mandalay – Pindaya – Lake Inle (2 days/1 night)250315390580
Mandalay – Kalaw218286323505
Mandalay – Kalaw – Pindaya – Lake Inle (2 days/1 night)250315390580
Mandalay – Nyaung Shwe200260290460

With nine airlines that are constantly expanding their network, more and more new and exciting destinations off the beaten track are gradually being opened up. These include Myitkyina and Putao to the north, Tachileik and Kyaing Tong in the Golden Triangle, or else Layshi and Khamti, points of departure for river cruises on the Chindwin, or explorations in the Naga Mountains. 

Domestic flights are offered by the following airlines:

Air KBZ: www.airkbz.com
Golden Myanmar Airlines: www.gmairlines.com
Myanmar National Airlines: www.flymna.com
Mann Yadanarpon Airlines: www.airmyp.com
Yangon Airways: www.yangonair.com

Luggage allowance for domestic flights:
The airlines carry a certain amount of checked bags (“luggage”) and hand luggage, free of charge.

One item of checked luggage up to 20 kg 
One item of hand luggage up to 8 kg

Please remember that each item of luggage should be labelled with your name and mobile/landline number before it is checked in at the airport.

Transfer and check-in:
The transfer time from downtown to the airport is approx. 1 hour
Check-in time for domestic flights 1 ½ hours before departure and for international flights 2 hours before departure.

YangonSeveral flights a day between 09:30 and 19:301 h 20 minUS$ 98
BaganDaily; in the morning around 08:30 and in the late afternoon around 17:3030 minUS$ 76
Heho (Lake Inle)Several flights a day between 08:30 and 10:3030 minUS$ 76
BhamoMyanmar National Airlines: www.flymna.com every Weds. and Fri. around 07:00 50 minUS$ 114
MyitkyinaAir KBZ: www.airkbz.com daily flights around 14:301 h 10 minUS$ 98
PutaoYangon Airways: www.yangonair.com flights every Mon., Weds., Thurs. and Sat. and Golden Myanmar Airlines: www.gmairlines.com flights every Mon., Weds., Fri. and Sun. via Myitkyina to Putao2 h 5 minUS$ 144
TachileikYangon Airways: www.yangonair.com and Mann Yadanarpon Airlines: www.airmyp.com daily flights starting at 13:001 h 10 minUS$ 138
Kyaing TongMann Yadanarpon Airlines: www.airmyp.com flights every Tues., Thurs. & Sat. starting at 13:351 h 10 minUS$ 138
LashioMyanmar National Airlines: www.flymna.com direct flights to Lashio every Tues. & Fri. Mann Yadanarpon Airlines: www.airmyp.com daily flights to Lashio via TachileikDirect: 1 h 10 min and via Tachileik: 2 h 30 minUS$ 83
Layshi  US$ 144
KhamtiYangon Airways: www.yangonair.com flights every Mon., Tues., Fri. and Sun. and Mann Yadanarpon Airlines: www.airmyp.com flights every Weds., Fri. and Sun.1 h 20 minUS$ 144

The most popular route is the one from Mandalay to Lashio via Pyin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw. The journey across the Gokteik Viaduct between Pyin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw is one of the most beautiful stretches of railway in Myanmar. 

There are also daily connections between Mandalay and Yangon, Bagan and Myitkyina to the north. 

Tickets are available for first class (‘upper class’) or sleeper carriages.

Reservation tips for train travel: 
All prices are indicated in US$ per person for the respective route
Please note that we require a copy of your passport to purchase train tickets.


Our recommendation:
Take a car to Pyin Oo Lwin, a popular mountain city, and take the train from there over the spectacular Gokteik Viaduct. There is also a wide range of good, well-priced accommodation options in Pyin Oo, Hsipaw and Lashio.

TrainTrain routeDepartureArrivalPrice
    Upper classSleeper
131UPMandalay – Lashio04:0019:356 
 Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin 07:521.5 
 Pyin Oo Lwin – Naung Pain08:2211:581.6 
 Naung Pain – Kyaukme12:2513:190.9 
 Kyaukme – Hsipaw13:3914:550.6 
 Hsipaw – Lashio15:1519:351.5 


Our recommendation:
Take the Myitsone-Mandalar Express 37UP, operated by Kachin State Public Company Ltd. This train also takes 24 hours to reach its destination, but it offers a much more comfortable setting and fresh food and drinks can be purchased in the dining carriage. 

TrainTrain routeDepartureArrivalPrice
    Upper classSleeper
37UPMandalay – Myikyina11:3011:3025 
 Mandalay – Naba 00:3025 
 Naba – Hopin00:4504:303 
 Hopin – Myitkyina04:4511:303.6 


TrainTrain routeDepartureArrivalPrice
    Upper classSleeper
55UPMandalay – Myitkyina04:0004:0016.520
 Mandalay – Naba 17:0016.520
 Naba – Hopin17:1521:001.5 
 Hopin – Myitkyina21:1504:001.82.5


TrainTrain routeDepartureArrivalPrice
    Upper classSleeper
57UPMandalay – Myitkyina05:0005:0016.520
 Mandalay – Naba 18:0016.520
 Naba – Hopin18:1522:001.5 
 Hopin – Myitkyina22:1505:001.82.5


TrainTrain routeDepartureArrivalPrice
    First class 
120DNMandalay – Bagan21:0004:502 


Our recommendation:

Take the 6DN day train to Thazi (departure around 15:00 / arrival around 17:46). Stay overnight there in a modest guesthouse and travel to Kalaw via Sin Taung the next morning on the 141UP train departing at 07:00. From here, you can spend two to three days exploring Inle Lake and stay in traditional houses along the way.

TrainTrain routeDepartureArrivalPrice
    Upper classSleeper
6DNMandalay – Thazi15:0017:462 
Overnight stay in Thazi
141UPThazi – Shwe Nyaung07:0017:004 
 Thazi – Sin Taung 11:551.3 
 Sin Taung – Kalaw12:0013:150.2 
 Kalaw – Shwe Nyaung13:3017:001.2 


Our recommendation:

Take the 6DN day train from downtown Mandalay to downtown Yangon (departure around 06:00 / arrival around 21:00). The train mostly rattles along at walking speed on the old tracks. Those who can endure the ordeal of this 15-hour journey are rewarded with exceptionally beautiful landscapes and warm acquaintances with the local travellers.

TrainTrain routeDepartureArrivalPrice
    Upper classSleeper
12DNMandalay – Yangon06:0021:0012 
 Mandalay – Thazi 08:512 
 Thazi – Naypyidaw08:5411:512 
 Naypyidaw – Taunggo11:5414:411.7 
 Taungoo – Bago14:5118:564 
 Bago – Yangon18:5921:001.2 


TrainTrain routeDepartureArrivalPrice
    Upper classSleeper
6DNMandalay – Yangon15:0005:0012 
 Mandalay – Thazi 17:462 
 Thazi – Naypyidaw17:4920:332 
 Naypyidaw – Taunggo20:3623:081.7 
 Taungoo – Bago23:1803:134 
 Bago – Yangon03:1605:001.2 


TrainTrain routeDepartureArrivalPrice
    Upper classSleeper
4DNMandalay – Yangon17:0007:451217
 Mandalay – Thazi 19:462 
 Thazi – Naypyidaw19:4922:482 
 Naypyidaw – Taunggo22:5101:171.7 
 Taungoo – Bago01:2705:464 
 Bago – Yangon05:4607:451.2 

The new highway from Mandalay to Yangon via Naypyidaw is in excellent condition. The travel time (Mandalay bus station to Yangon bus station) is around ten hours. 

Unfortunately, the new highway has acquired the name ‘Death Highway’, with good reason: in 2016 there were more than 700 reported accidents which in total killed 167 people and injured more than 1,300.

Since 2011 an increasing number of private companies have expanded the supply of express buses. The buses are relatively comfortable and equipped with air conditioning and reclining seats.

All prices are indicated in US$ per person for the respective route

The buses to Yangon depart from Kywel Sel Kann Bus Station. 
Transfer time from the city centre to the bus station is around 40 minutes, while the taxi costs around 5,000 kyat. Please be at the bus station half an hour before departure.

Bus routeDepartureArrivalPrice
Mandalar Minn08:0017:0018.5
Mandalar Minn09:0018:0018.5
JJ Express09:0018:0023
Mandalar Minn21:0006:0018.5
JJ Express21:0006:0023


Monywa is an approximately four-hour drive away from Mandalay and the point of departure for a detour to the rarely visited 15th-century complex of Phowin Taung temples as well as river cruises traveling up the Chindwin river to Hkamti via Homalin and Htamanti. You can also travel from Monywa to Pakokku (approximately 4 hours) and from there you can take a private boat on the Ayeyarwady River to Bagan (approximately 2 hours). There are also plenty of accommodation options in Monywa. 

The buses to Monywa depart from Thiri Mandalar Bus Station. 
Transfer time from the city centre to the bus station is around 40 minutes, while the taxi costs around 5,000 kyat. Please be at the bus station half an hour before departure.

The buses depart hourly between 05:00 and 17:00 and the journey takes around 4 hours.
Price: US$ 5 per person


Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), a popular hill town, is located around 69 kilometres (a two-hour drive) from Mandalay. It is known for its colonial buildings, spacious parks and the abundant pine trees, eucalyptus trees and grevilleas that can be found in the town. It is wonderfully cool and pleasant all year round. Along with the British colonial buildings, the beautifully laid out 142-hectare botanical gardens, charming Pwe Kauk waterfalls and the Chinese temple are also worth visiting. 

Passenger vans to Pyin Oo Lwin depart from Pyi Gyi Myat Shin Bus Station (at the intersection of 62nd and 35th Street). 
Transfer time from the city centre to the bus station is around 20 minutes, while the taxi costs around 3,000 kyat. 

The passenger vans depart hourly between 06:00 and 18:00 and the journey takes around 2 hours.
Price: US$ 4 per person


Most tourists take an express boat down the Ayeyarwady River to Bagan. If you don’t like the thought of getting up at 5 o’clock in the morning, however, you can also take a bus to Bagan. The buses depart from Kywel Sel Kann Bus Station. 
Between Mandalay and Bagan, bus companies such as OK Bus Shwe Man Thu also use minibuses and offer a hotel-to-hotel shuttle service.

Transfer time from the city centre to Kywel Sel Kann Bus Station is around 40 minutes, while the taxi costs around 5,000 kyat. Please be at the bus station half an hour before departure.

Bus routeDepartureArrivalPrice
Pyar Taw Gyi07:0012:009
OK Bus08:0014:0012
OK Bus08:3014:3012
Pyar Taw Gyi09:0014:009
OK Bus10:0016:0012
Shwe Man Thu10:3016:3012
Shwe Man Thu11:0017:0012
Pyar Taw Gyi12:0017:009
Shwe Man Thu13:0019:0012
Pyar Taw Gyi14:0019:009
Shwe Man Thu14:0020:0012
Shwe Man Thu15:0021:0012
Pyar Taw Gyi16:0021:009


Due to time constraints, the majority of tourists travel directly to Lake Inle. All of these buses stop at the turnoff in Shwe Nyaung; from there, it only takes a 30-minute taxi ride to reach Nyaung Shwe, 11 kilometres away.
If you have a little more time, however, you can get off earlier in Kalaw, where there are plenty of accommodation options. You’ll then have the option of either traveling from Kalaw to Lake Inle via Pindaya or hiking to Lake Inle over two or three days.

Bus routeDepartureArrival
in Kalaw
in Nyaung Shwe
in Taunggyi
Shwe Taung Yo09:0015:0016:0017:0015
Shwe Nan Taw09:3015:3016:3017:3017
Shwe Taung Yo20:0002:0003:0004:0015
Shwe Nan Taw20:3002:3003:3004:3017
JJ Express22:0004:0005:0006:0018

There are several express boats departing from Bagan to Mandalay daily from October to the end of March. The boats leave around 05:00, and the journey takes approximately 12.5 hours.
There is no service at all in April and May. Service is only offered from June to the end of September if there is any demand.

Please always check in half an hour before departure.

Malikha Irrawaddy River Cruises www.malikha-rivercruises.com
Departure from Gawwein Jetty at 07:00
Arrival at Nyaun Oo Jetty at 16:30
Price: US$ 38 per person
Breakfast and a light lunch are included in the price.

Malikha Irrawaddy River Cruises stop in Yandabo around 12:00 noon 

MGRG www.mgrgexpress.com
Departure from Gawwein Jetty at 07:00
Arrival at Nyaun Oo Jetty at 16:00
Price: US$ 38 per person
Breakfast and a light lunch are included in the price.

RV NMAI HKA Cruise www.rvnmaihka.com
Departure from Gawwein Jetty at 07:00
Arrival at Nyaun Oo Jetty at 16:30
Price: US$ 36 per person
Breakfast and a light lunch are included in the price.

RV Panorama 1 & 2 www.aliancemyanmarrivercruise.com
Departure from Amyauk Nitlat Jetty at 07:00
Arrival at Thar Yar Wati Jetty at 16:30
Price: US$ 56 per person
Breakfast and a light lunch are included in the price.
You will visit a typical riverside village and receive a presentation about the longyi (a traditional Burmese garment) and thanaka (traditional Burmese cosmetic paste) during the trip.

Our tip:
Take the RV NMAI HKA or Malikha Irrawaddy River Cruises and disembark in Yandabo – a village that specialises in pottery.
You can stay at the Yandabo Home (http://www.yandabohome.com/index.php/en/) and take trips to the surrounding area and then continue your journey the next day with the RV NMAI HKA or Malikha Irrawaddy River Cruises.

You should only plan on taking the ferry if you have no time constraints, as the ferries never depart on time, delays of several hours are common and certain routes may even be cancelled completely.
The Pyigyitakon-4 (the better ferry) departs from Mandalay every Monday around 06:00 and arrives in Bhamo on Wednesday around 16:00.
The Pinlone departs from Mandalay every Thursday around 06:00 and arrives in Bhamo on Saturday around 16:00.
And the Pyithu departs from Mandalay every Saturday around 06:00 and arrives in Bhamo on Monday around 16:00.

A ticket for a seat on the deck costs US$ 14.50 
Cabins cost US$ 72 per person

Timetable from Mandalay to BaganDepartureArrival
First day
Mandalay – Kyauk Myauk06:0017:00
Kyauk Myauk – Tagaung17:3000:00
Second day
Tagaung – Htee Chount00:3010:00
Htee Chount – Katha10:3016:00
Katha – Shwegu16:3022:00
Second/third day
Shwegu – Bhamo22:3016:00

Once a day, an express boat departs Mandalay and arrives in Katha, the setting of George Orwell’s novel Burmese Days.
Departure from Manawayar Jetty, near Karaweik Hotel, at 05:00
Arrival at Katha Jetty at 21:00
Price: US$ 25 per person
Please ensure you have sufficient food and drink before departure.

A larger selection of luxurious river cruises that travel on the Ayeyarwady River between Bagan and Mandalay are available from October to April. When travelling from Bagan to Mandalay, we recommend taking a small boutique boat. It offers you a more intensive travel experience as well as a very personal service.

Although most tourists unfortunately travel downriver from Mandalay to Bagan, the route along the upper Ayeyarwady to Bhamo is much more beautiful and exciting. This tour gives you the chance to take in both the picturesque landscape and the cultural diversity of the country. You’ll visit important historic and cultural sites, as well as remote places off the beaten path that are rarely visited by tourists. These small towns and villages are part of a vibrant river-based economy and their local industries are flourishing. The inhabitants of the Ayeyarwady Valley have hardly changed over the last centuries. Wherever you go, the people are very warm, friendly and helpful. 
The river undergoes dramatic transformations over its course: Above Mandalay, it’s extremely broad, with endless winding waterways; after the third ravine, it grows dark and narrow. Enjoy the constantly changing landscapes and impressive mountainous backdrop.

For small groups or families, we also offer private river cruises on the Ayeyarwady River.