Mandalay is a large city dotted with many amazing tourist destinations that will surely make you fall in love with this city on your tour to Myanmar. Explore the monasteries and temples that reveal the best of Myanmar’s ancient architectural designs. It is advisable to spend 3 days in Mandalay to enjoy all its charms.

How to Get to Mandalay?

By plane

Mandalay is well connected to the rest of the country and the world. It has an international airport with connections to the main cities of the world. Domestic flights operate from Mandalay to almost every national airport in Myanmar.

By bus

Getting to Mandalay by bus takes up to 6 hours from Bagan and 9 hours from Yangon. Bus services are also available from Inle Lake with a journey of approximately 7 hours.

By train

This city is also well connected to the rest of the country by train. It takes about 8 hours to get to Mandalay by train from Bagan and 15 hours from Yangon. There are two daily trains from Lashio, Hsipaw, and Pyin U Lwin. Train journeys from these areas are slow, but you can enjoy the view along the way.

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On a boat

Boat trips are possible from Bagan to Mandalay. In fact, it is highly recommended to enjoy the beautiful landscape of the Burmese countryside from a boat.

Suggested Itineraries for 3 Days in Mandalay

Itinerary 1: Discovery of Mandalay

  • D1: Mandalay city tour
  • D2: Visit Mingun and Sagaing
  • D3: U Bein Bridge and Inwa

This basic and classic 3-day itinerary will allow you to explore all the outstanding attractions of Mandalay.

Day 01: Mandalay City Tour

If you are curious about the local culture, get up early to attend a typical morning seaweed ceremony. You will have the opportunity to see monks pass on the streets to take the “gifts” of local families. Start your day with a visit to Mahamuni, a well-known pilgrimage site, housing a bronze image of 6.5 Buddha. Then you will visit the Shwenandaw Monastery. This site was built in the 1800s and is the last remaining wooden palace in Myanmar until today. Before lunchtime, proceed to Kuthodaw Pagoda. The pagoda contains 730 marble slabs depicting Buddha’s lessons, which is why it is called the greatest book in the world.

Poetic sunset on Irrawaddy River

Poetic sunset on Irrawaddy River

In the afternoon, the Royal Palace is a nice place to learn about the last dynasty of the kingdom of Burma. From here, head towards Mandalay Hill to admire the sunset over the city and the Irrawaddy River.

Day 02: Visit of Mingun and Sagaing

You will cross the river with a trip upstream to Mingun in the morning. We suggest that you book a private tour or if you are traveling alone, head to the jetty a bit earlier to catch a shared boat. The boat ride is a unique experience to discover the daily life of local communities admiring the beauty of the river landscape. In Mingun you can explore the incomplete pagoda and Myatheindan pagoda. These two sites have their own stories. The best idea for the afternoon is to continue your river cruise but at the bottom of the foot of Sagaing. From there, disembark for a hike to the summit where Kaunghmudaw pagoda is located. Back in town by car or boat.

Day 03: U Bein Bridge and Inwa

U Bein bridge at sunset

U Bein bridge at sunset

The bridge of U Bein is a must for any circuit in Mandalay. While all photographers go at sunset, you can differentiate your trip by taking pictures at sunrise on this longest teak deck in the world. Then embark on a horse cart ride to see Inwa, one of the four ancient Burmese capitals around Mandalay.

Itinerary 2: Adventure Tour on 3 Days in Mandalay

  • D1: A bike tour to discover Mandalay’s colorful markets
  • D2: Admire Maymyo and Anisakan waterfall
  • D3: River cruise and Mandalay city tour

An option for those looking for a new experience, a new adventure like no other, or simply soaking up Burmese authenticity in the most active way.

Day 01: Discover the markets of Mandalay by bike

Before you start the day, rent a bike before you arrive. Departure from your hotel in the morning for the Zay Cho market. Take the time to see all Mandalay products, from food stalls to artisanal products. From there, prepare your trip to the gemstone market. You do not have to be an expert, but if you are curious about how they trade gems and gems, then do not miss it. Spend your afternoon near Sagaing Hill. It is a prime destination for driving on the road that meanders along the Irrawaddy River. If you are interested in a traditional workshop, see Blacksmith and Silversmith. Return to your hotel in the afternoon.

Day 02: Maymyo and Anisakan Falls

The majestic Anisakan Falls, Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar

The majestic Anisakan Falls, Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar

The highlight of this day is Maymyo, also known as Pyin Oo Lwin, the best hill populated with many British colonial buildings. The whole region enjoys the fresh mountain air, exhibiting extravagant botanical gardens and lush flower plantations. On the way to Maymyo, there is a colorful flower market for photography. After visiting the main attractions of Maymyo, including ancient churches and villas, you will return by another path that will take you to the cascading waterfall of Anisakan. Stop at sunset near the Inwa Bridge.

Day 03: River cruise and Mandalay city tour

To conclude your 3 pleasant days in Mandalay, take a morning cruise to admire the magnificent view of Sagaing. It could be a trip to Mingun or simply a private visit to Mandalay Pier. It costs about $ 40 for such a private trip with a local boat. Keep your bike to discover at least the Royal Palace and Kuthodaw Pagoda. We hope that our suggested itineraries will help you make your trip as enjoyable as possible.

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Bich Ngoc

As a true Vietnamese enthusiast of music, books and coffee, Bich Ngoc loves researching into those typical cultural characteristics of Vietnam as well as exploring further destinations in the country of thousand years of civilization.

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