The city itself is not very attractive and a bit chaotic- but the tourist sights are good- with the exception of Mandalay Hill which was not worth the long up or down! Many of the city temples are nice- and did enjoy the reconstructed palace- but odd that not much else exists in the giant citadel- and was shocked to see the condition of the royal tombs.
The three city tour of the surrounding areas is good and interesting, as was the half day trip up the river to see the fourth ancient capital in the area.
This city is full of nice people, I met a Burmese Chinese and he brought me around for FREE and introduce me with some of the local traditional foods! He is one of the reason I fell in love with Mandalay! Beautiful city with good hearted people!
Mandalay itself won't take long to visit. A few shops, artcraft, local life, temples. However, going out can really be good (Pyin OOlwin was beautiful, at 2 hours) and we also did a great river cruise.
Very easy city to be in. It's laid out in a grid pattern with street numbers, not street names, so it's easy to know how far one street is from another and easy to find your way around.
At street intersections, there will be a green street sign on one corner telling you which streets you're on. People are friendly, helpful, and some speak enough English for English-only speakers to find their way around. It's a genuinely Burmese city, i.e., street restaurants and beer gardens throughout the city so easy to find food and drink. If you have a sense of cultural adventure and you like to explore a city rather than be waited on in a 5-star hotel as a vacation, then this city is worth some of your time. It's still Myanmar, i.e., relatively undeveloped, but that's the fun of it. If you want a city with all the amenities, then stick with London, Singapore, Hong Kong, or even Bangkok. If you like to get away from it all and know how to adapt and go with the flow, then Mandalay will be a delight for you.
Not big city and not small. People are still living like 100 years ago but with modern appliances. The history of this city is interesting and many monuments are the witness of it.
Mandalay was not our favorite city in Myanmar. It may only have been the area we were in, but we found it difficult to get around with very few food options that interested us.
The staff recommended some places, but they all turned out to be western food. I don't travel half way around the globe to have a burger. Other ones seemed a little too local - like maybe you would be spending your night in the hotel bathroom. We did finally stop at one of these that looked okay. I ate, but my boyfriend chickened out and wouldn't touch his! Ha-ha! I slept soundly with no issues. We were entertained stopping at a local outdoor bar. The dogs came through liberally and a three-year-old kid was sipping on his dad's Chang beer. There's some local color for you. Mandalay seems like it's there as an airport to use in that area to get to the next country. The airport was nice, I'll admit. Stop in to the massage place while you wait for your plane.
You can see everything the city has to offer in two days (Mandalay Hill, Ava, Ammapura, Castle) and it seemed to me that outside of the main attractions there is little to see.
While branded as the "business capitol" of Myanmar, Yangon seems much more affluent. The city is less developed than Yangon, and in some places there is just an open trough of stagnant water between the sidewalk and the houses/businesses. I was unimpressed, but that said I had been travelling in lesser developed places for a couple weeks and probably was in need of some Western creature comforts.
Mandalay is previous capital of myanmar, you can visit and saw many old temple and small state in mandalay, really a herritage town but also is a happening city.
There are some good sightseeing attractions, which I enjoyed very much. Because of a full moon holiday, most shops and markets were closed when I was there.
I enjoyed visiting sightseeing spots by bicycle, which I rented from the hotel I stayed. Also, I joined a one day mini bus tour visiting neighboring 3 towns. This was also good. This kind of tour could be easily arranged at a hotel you stay at.
Glad I went, but wouldn't spend more than two nights there. Interesting history and culture. Some great sights (royal palace, a variety of pagodas, etc.
) But it is a crowded, noisy and dirty city, in desperate need of urban planning.
Myanmar itself was a fantastic and interesting country. I always think Mandalay - British Raj and imagined old colonial buildings etc and a romantic past.
It is a dirty, noisy, busy city and I would not even included it on an itinerary. Hard to find places to eat. No bars or nightlife. we were in bed at 10:00 pm on New Years Eve, the only expat bar having been shut down. Yangon is interesting, Bagan and Inle Lake are wonderful but Mandalay is nothing much.
Mandalay is famous for Ubein and pagodas but it's still under development. Local food is so difficult to eat while Westen or seafood restaurants are rare.
Mandalay is well worth a visit. It's more laid back than Yangon and has a nice feel about it. Overall, it seems more modern and less run down.
The local people are very friendly. I had some of the best food I've eaten in Myanmar here. There is also quite a lot to do around Mandalay. I had a guide and car for two days and went to various craft workshops around the city and to the sites of the ancient capitals that lie just outside the city area. I was also told it is easy to hire a motor bike to get to the sights. If you visit, talk to the locals and they will direct you to some nice places.
Mandalay is a pretty simple city, limited development but with an array of historical sights to see both centrally and within driving distance.
The visit to the historical cities and U Bein bridge are well worth a trip to Mandalay.
moving around is difficult because of insufficient taxis. Taxi's need to be booked from the hotel and a bit expensive compared to Yangon.
We stayed in Mandalay for 3 days and did not see one taxi on the road.
We had only a week in Myanmar and were told not to waste our time in Mandalay. Wrong. We spent three nights and could have spent another.
Mandalay Hill, Maha Bodhi Temple, Sagaing, Ava -- all were good to spend time in, especially for those of us who love temples. And we had our best meal in Myanmar at what amounted to truck stop near the riverside. Four dollars for a huge "Myanmar Buffet" of delightful, delicious, unusual, and varied dishes. The city is clearly just emerging from hard times, and just learning how to deal with foreign tourists. It was dusty and seemed a bit disorganized. But the people were friendly (without being pushy) and there was definitely a religious feeling in the air. Shopping for silk, wooden carvings, and even marble Buddha figures was rich and not too expensive. We felt the approximately $40/day we spent for a car and driver was well worth it, as he could take us wherever we wanted whenever we wanted, and had enough English to act as a bit of a guide.
Mandalay is busy city and you'd better to explore around Mandalay, such as Pwin Oo Lwin, Mingun, Inwa, Sagaing Hill and U-Bein Bridge.
i was told not to go to mandalay because its dirty big city. i am so glad i went. great times visiting places enjoying sunrise etc.
getting a motorbike was cool and enabled me to explore at my own leisure.
We only went to Mandalay hill and U-bein bridge for the sunset. It is difficult to get a taxi on the street compared to Yangon.
Taxi is more expensive too. And it was difficult to walk in the heat with broken and dirty pavement.
Mandalay can be quite a culture shock at first, but once you are used to the atmosphere it becomes a quaint and pleasant city.
The areas around Mandalay are of more interest (Sagaing) though the city does have some very interesting temples to visit. For those who are interested in Buddhism the Mahamuni temple is very interesting and worth a visit. Not much of a night life, though the beer stations are always a good place to start!
Besides the city of Mandalay there are three or four villages within about 30 minutes of the city that are worth seeing.
Rent a car for the day and see all of them. Do go check out local silk fabric makers, you can see the workshops and the finish product. Lots of fun.
some neglected infrstructure. Dusty and noisy(too many motorbikes)but local life interesting and everyone very friendly.
Many interesting sites locally.
Mandalay has so many sights, both within and outside the city, that one or two days can never be enough to see it all.
We had two days and barely scratched the surface! We'll just have to go back for more! Sagaing and the ancient capitals are a definite must-see. U-Bein teak bridge is a photographer's dream. Mingun and the giant unfinished stupa is staggering in its immensity. Trying to imagine what it would have been like if ever finished boggles the mind! Mahamuni Pagoda with its golden Buddha, and Shwenendaw Kyaung teak monastery are also treats for the eyes, especially lovers of art, culture and Buddhist artefacts.
Not much to do here It's not as romantic as one would have thought But there is plenty to see outside the city limits.
Mandalay is worth coming to, the central part of Myanmar and has many of its cultural and historical places to visit.
Do check out the places in advance or if not, you can engage a guide that bring you around for a daily rate of USD35 per day!
A great cultural place. More of an adventure than a holiday. Prepare to be stared at if you're white! Very funny.
Hire a bike and ride to mandalay hill, only takes 15 minutes
No preconceived expectations but I had some free time between leisure and work...and spent 6 nights in the area.
Surprised by the friendships of residents, the casual historic value of the area and the busy, ever changing environment of Mandalay. The night market was a delight along with the rooftop dining are and the various activities from cooking to climbing kept me busy. There was no time to sit in this clean, yet modern hotel room with a TV which had english movies and BBC!
Native people here are very friendly and kind. They take their initiative to ask you if you need any help .
Mandalay is a small city with religious interests. There are lots of Pagodas to visit and also a Palace.
Not much of a shopping destination.
I prefer to explore around Mandalay such as Pwin Oo Lwin, Mingun, Sagaing Hill, Inwa and U-Bein Bridge