Mandalay, the former royal capital of the last Kingdom of Myanmar (Burma) is the second largest city with a population of over 1 million people. It is the commercial hub of Upper Myanmar. As well as Mandalay is the center of culture and industry, it has many workshops and industries such as silk weaving, jade cutting, brass and copper casting, gold-leaf beating, wood carvings, marble carvings, goldware, silverware, brewing and distilling. Mandalay is an important Buddhist religious Centre; there are many monasteries and nunneries where the majority of Buddhist monks and nuns are studying. As the majority people who lives in Mandalay are Buddhist, the core of the city includes many Buddhist temples donated by the Kings of last Dynasty and monasteries, the Fort Dufferin and the moats and the ruins of royal palace.
Highlights of Mandalay
Face washing ceremony of Maharmuni Buddha Image, Mandalay,
The face washing ceremony, it was commenced by the Venerable Sayadaws of Htilin Monastery and Pitaka Monasatery since 1988 and still practice as ritual of daily face washing. The duration of the ceremony is1h30 to 2 hours. The senior chief monk residing in the monastery of Mahamuni pagoda compound enters to the temple by accompanying by devotees assistants once the custom religious drums are struck about 4 am. During the ceremony, the venerable Sayadaw (the chief monk) offered the fresh towels donated by devotees to the Buddha then he starts the teeth brushing and face washing to Buddha Image. Then sandal wood paste is applied to Buddha and cleaned again with towels. After the ceremony, the devotees and the pilgrims from the country wide keep these towels for their home shrines. This is just the unique custom of Mahamuni pagoda in Mandalay, you cannot find anywhere else in Myanmar.
Take a train to cross over the Gok Teik Viaduct
Gok Teik Viaduct was built for the use of railways between Naung Cho Township and Kyaukme Twonship in Shan State.It was built by the Pennsylvania and Maryland Bridge Construction in 1,899 and finishes in 1,900. It is 689 meters long and it is considered as a world standard masterpiece because of its technical and natural conditions. For the tourists who would like to try local train, we would like to recommend to take train from Pyin Oo Lwin (44 kms from Mandalay) to Naung Pain village by crossing over the Gok Teik Viaduct.
Boat excursion to Mingun,
Mingun is a must place for the travelers who has more than one day in Mandalay. The short boat ride about (45 – 60 mins) will permits you to view the Saggaing Hill and you may see dolphins if you were lucky.
Visit Ava by horse cart,
The tourists can try the Burmese horse cart once they visit ancient capital, Ava.
Sunset from U Bein wooden bridge,
As U Bein Bridge is famous as the longest teak wooden bridge among foreign tourists and Myanmar tourists, it is a busy place. It is possible to take the sampam on the lake and can take photos of the bridge.
Visit Saggaing Hill and Kaung Hmu Taw pagoda.
Sagging is a hill of monasteries and nunneries. In Burma, it is a place to point who wants to meditate or the person who bored normal people life and who wants to become a monk or a nun.