Mandalay is the second largest city and former royal capital in northern Myanmar. Founded by King Mindon at the foot of Mandalay Hill in 1857. The city is relatively new and much of it was restored during 1990s after being leveled during second World War like Royal Palace. Nowadays walking through the same street, you can witness new private house block district appearing right next to a block of shacks which are owned by less earning locals. The difference between them and inequality gap is huge and exploring behind shining pagodas, Royal Palace or marvelous Hill views can be a bit shocking.
As city was and still is growing very fast construction was never about the beauty or esthetic, thus, Mandalay could probably never be called a beautiful city. On top of that pollution from growing number cars and motorcycles adds up creating a cover of smog around the city.
Nevertheless, if you can ignore all the noise, pollution and inequality, it has its own charm and many sights to offer! It could be named one of the most appealing destinations in the country for travelers. Not only because of great location to be used as a base while exploring the north of Myanmar but also many still standing monasteries, splendid markets, gold workshops and nature surrounding the city. Most of the incredible sights here are situated outside the city while still many of which are free to visit. It is best to take your time and feel the vibe of the city, experience the local hospitality and sharing a drink with them in a local teahouse or a “Beer stop”.
Best of luck planning your holidays in Myanmar!
Is there anything else you would like to visit while in Myanmar?
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