Mandalay is the second largest city and the last Royal Capital of Burma. It is located on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River 716 Km north of Yangon. Despite Naypyidaw’s administrative capital status and recent rise Mandalay is considered the centre of Burmese culture and the economic, commercial, educational and health centre of Upper Burma.
Mandalay is also the name of the district and region. The city itself is relatively new in comparison with other ancient capitals and it is still finding its place in Myanmar’s contemporary times at a very slow pace. Nightlife is almost non-existent but food is very diverse and an experience itself.
There are fascinating religious and royal structures across the city. The Mandalay Palace exposes the scale of King Mindon’s ambition, who decided to build this walled citadel in the middle of the city. Unfortunately along with much of the city this fortress was devastated during the Second World War. However there are many conserved structures like Shwenandaw Kyaung, a perfectly preserved monastery which King Mindon used as his royal apartment before dying in it. The structure is made almost entirely out of teak and it is adorned with stunning intricate carvings.