"Second city but not second best." Top 5 Page for this destination Mandalay by planxty

Mandalay Travel Guide: 409 reviews and 1,269 photos

Big, bustling and brilliant.

There are some places whose names are just magical, names heard in childhood of exotic places that conjure up images of worlds barely conceivable to the young mind. Amongst these for me Kathmandu, Ulaan Batar and Mandalay were such names. When thinking about my trip and writing these pages, I was determined to avoid the slightly obvious Kipling references, but it's almost unavoidable. As I was walking round the city (the best way to see anywhere, I think) snatches of his work kept running, unbidden, through my mind.

The second city of Myanmar (Burma), I found it in many ways more vibrant that Yangon. I think perhaps this has something to do with the ban on motorcycles and car horns in Yangon, which is so untypical of Southeast Asian cities. Mandalay has motorcycles in profusion and the attendant noise and smell of two-stroke is something inextricably linked in my mind with my favourite region in the world.

Certainly, Mandalay has nothing to compare with Shwedagon in Yangon, but then again, where has? Despite this, it is still one of the "Big Four" on most travellers itineraries, along with Bagan and Inle Lake, but it never feels overrun with travellers. Apart from the main sites, you can walk for hours and not see another Westerner. For the lucky few of us that do get there, there is certainly plenty to keep you occupied for a few days, or even longer, food and accomodation options are good and I really enjoyed the ambience of the place.

Hopefully now, I've got everything written down ( a time-consuming business as VTer's will know) and I trust it will be of benefit to other travellers.

  • Last visit to Mandalay: Feb 2006
  • Intro Updated Jan 3, 2007
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Reviews (20)

Comments (16)

  • fleurann's Profile Photo
    Nov 21, 2010 at 6:05 AM

    Lovely photos and descriptions...I shall be visiting the magical land of Burma in January 2011 for the first time, and hope to create my own pages. Thanks for sharing yours...

  • kokoryko's Profile Photo
    Nov 29, 2009 at 11:04 AM

    That’s a place I have to visit one day! The Mahamuni Paya is indeed a must see, but I like more the smaller temples and shrines, specially seen from the hill. You have very good restaurant tips, but sunset above the river with a cold beer. . . . . :))

  • zumodemango's Profile Photo
    May 26, 2009 at 3:42 AM

    brilliant Mandalay,almost a perfect place!

  • BillNJ's Profile Photo
    May 17, 2009 at 10:17 AM

    Great tips and photos about Mandalay. The prices certainly appear to be reasonable!

  • Penelope4's Profile Photo
    Aug 21, 2008 at 8:33 PM

    What an extraordinary photograph! Thanks for sharing it. Greetings from Kabul.

  • Mailo's Profile Photo
    Jun 15, 2007 at 7:11 PM

    Fergy.. be welcome, trips to exotic and interesting places start with e dream.. then .. an instant later you are there. Thank's for the nice comments, and as I said.. BE WELCOME.

  • zlatiq's Profile Photo
    Jun 3, 2007 at 7:29 AM

    thanks for the tips...hope to be able to follow them soon!that street vendor seems to have a very dangerous job...carrying the hot oil and charcoal;pretty risky! thnx!

  • into-thin-air's Profile Photo
    Apr 7, 2007 at 1:18 PM

    Awesome Sunset in the Strand pic Great Page Thanks Rob

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2007 at 9:11 AM

    great page!

  • maysue's Profile Photo
    Feb 14, 2007 at 12:22 AM

    Lovely sunset! It's a priceless pic!


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