Mandalay is an Irrawaddy River cruise port, Burma's last royal capital and country's 2nd-largest city (population over 1,3 million). The city is located approx 445 ml (76 km) north of Yangon/Rangoon, on the Irrawaddy's east bank. The Sagaing-Mandalay metro area has population over 1,8 million. Sagaing City is approx 20 km (12 ml) southwest of Mandalay.
Despite the rise of Naypyidaw Union Territory (Myanmar's current capital city), Mandalay is the economic centre of Upper Burma and is considered the centre of Burmese culture. The continuing influx of Chinese immigrants in the past 20 years, has reshaped the city's ethnic makeup and increased commerce with China.
Among Manadalay city's most popular tourist attractions are:
- Atumashi Monastery
- Buddha's Replica Tooth Pagoda (Swedaw Pagoda in Amarapura)
- Kuthodaw Pagoda (aka "World's Biggest Book")
- Kyauktawgyi Pagoda
- Mahamuni Buddha Temple
- Mandalay Hill (city's holy mount)
- Mandalay Palace complex (partially rebuilt after being destroyed during WW2 / 1939-1945)
- Shwenandaw Monastery
- Chinese Temple
- Yadanabon Zoological Gardens (zoo with over 300 species)
Via flights from Mandalay are offered cruisetours to Inle Lake.
Inle Lake (aka Inlay Lake) is a large freshwater lake and wetland sanctuary in Burma. The lake is country's 2nd largest (after Indawgyi Lake) with total area approx 116 km2 (45 ml2),. During dry season, lake's average depth is 2 m (7 ft). Its deepest point is just 4 m (12 ft). The lake drains through the stream Nam Pilu (Kayah).
Nyaungshwe is lake's entry point. This small town has a main street with shops, restaurants, stupas, travel agency offices, open-air market. The town also serves as river cruise port (boat marina) for tour boats on the lake. The lake itself is located just a few km to the south, and is accessible through a channel.
Inle Lake can't be reached by river cruise ships, so foot passengers are transported to Nyaungshwe via buses. The town is reachable by car from Shwenyaung (approx 16 km / 10 ml to the north) and also by plane via the Heho Airport (at approx 1-hour drive distance).
Inle Lake cruisetours by major river cruise companies are offered with flights from Mandalay to Heho (travel time approx 1,5 hours), then follows bus travel from Heho to Nyaungshwe.
Mandalay tours, shore excursions, hotels
City Tours and Shore Excursions
Inle Lake (fly-cruise tour)