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Most budget guesthouses are located around 25th St, between 81st and 84th Streets. There are many more than those listed here. Prices are not much cheaper than Rangoon.
 
Most budget guesthouses are located around 25th St, between 81st and 84th Streets. There are many more than those listed here. Prices are not much cheaper than Rangoon.
  
* <sleep name="Garden Hotel" alt="" address="83rd and 25th Street" directions="around the corner from nylon hotel" phone="0231884" url="" checkin="Early check-in available." checkout="12:00" price="single fan/shared bathroom US$10, double fan/shared bathroom US$15, Single air-con/en suite US$15, double US$20" lat="" long=""> Acceptable digs and decent prices for Burma. Rooms are a bit worn but clean. Fantastic water pressure! Staff helpful and breakfast included. Motorbikes 8000ks. Sorta working Wi-Fi. Prices from May 2013.</sleep>
+
* <sleep name="Garden Hotel" alt="" address="83rd and 25th Street" directions="around the corner from nylon hotel" phone="0231884" url="" checkin="Early check-in available." checkout="12:00" price="single fan/shared bathroom US$10, double fan/shared bathroom US$15, Single air-con/en suite US$15, double US$20" lat="" long=""> Acceptable digs and decent prices for Burma. Rooms are a bit worn but clean. Fantastic water pressure! Staff helpful and breakfast included. Motorbikes 8000ks. Sorta working Wi-Fi. Prices from May 2013. Staff charge 2000 kyats to book tickets but won't tell you.</sleep>
  
 
* <sleep name="Sabai Phyu Hotel" alt="" address="81st and 25/26th Street" directions="" phone="39997" url="" checkin="9" checkout="12:00" price="US$30" lat="" long="">Semi-squalid, cell-like rooms on the first floor. Larger rooms with air-con and fan on floors 2 and 3. Some of the best water pressure in Burma. Free WiFi working well. Very friendly staff except the owner, who can anger very quickly. Can help with booking a bus, but will charge more than double the price at the bus company. Rooms can be unclean: e.g bedsheets not changed for new guests (in case ask for clean ones). Not all rooms have hot water. Triple room in first floor without bathroom is 30 USD, Single is US$13. Rooms in the tops are more expensive. Double US$20. Prices from Aug 2013.</sleep>
 
* <sleep name="Sabai Phyu Hotel" alt="" address="81st and 25/26th Street" directions="" phone="39997" url="" checkin="9" checkout="12:00" price="US$30" lat="" long="">Semi-squalid, cell-like rooms on the first floor. Larger rooms with air-con and fan on floors 2 and 3. Some of the best water pressure in Burma. Free WiFi working well. Very friendly staff except the owner, who can anger very quickly. Can help with booking a bus, but will charge more than double the price at the bus company. Rooms can be unclean: e.g bedsheets not changed for new guests (in case ask for clean ones). Not all rooms have hot water. Triple room in first floor without bathroom is 30 USD, Single is US$13. Rooms in the tops are more expensive. Double US$20. Prices from Aug 2013.</sleep>

Revision as of 09:43, 31 August 2013

U-Bein Bridge near Mandalay in Myanmar

Mandalay is the second largest city in Burma (after Yangon), and a former capital of Myanmar. The city is the economic and religious hub of upper Myanmar and is centred around the Royal Palace.

It has wide lanes filled with bicycles and motorcycles but is known for its millionaires and cultural diversity. Half of Burma's monks reside in Mandalay and the surrounding areas).

Contents

Understand

History

Mandalay, the very name evokes the splendors of the Burma of old. But, most people will be surprised to learn that Mandalay is not an old city, not even a medieval one, but rather a new city that was created by King Mingdon Min of Burma in 1857 as the new capital of the kingdom of Ava. Only two Burmese kings ruled from there, King Mingdon and King Thibaw, before the British conquest of Upper Burma in 1885. It was a city of splendor between 1858 and 1885 but most of the magnificence is gone, destroyed by the fire that consumes wooden structures and by intensive bombing by the Allies during the Second World War. The city, neatly planned with its lettered roads and numbered streets, is a British creation. The once magnificent Royal Palace and the great Atumashi (incomparable) pagoda, King Mingdon Min's finest creations, are modern reconstructions supervised by the ruling Military junta with the help of forced labour. Today, Mandalay lies at the end of the Lashio Road and it is, by Burmese standards, relatively prosperous as a centre for trade with China and as a centre for the growing trade with India. Despite the capital having been moved to Naypyidaw, Mandalay remains by far the main commerical centre of Upper Myanmar.

People

Mandalay is ethnically diverse, with the Bamar (Burmans) forming a slight majority. In recent years, there has been a major influx of Chinese from Mainland China, and the local Chinese (both recent migrants and descendants of colonial-era immigrants) form 30 to 40% of the population. Their influence is seen in the China-style glass buildings throughout the city, while the Yunnan dialect of Mandarin is often spoken among the ethnic Chinese community. Other prevalent ethnic groups include the Shan, who are ethnically and linguistically related to the Thais and Laotians, and the Karen (Kayin). There is a sizable ethnic Indian population, including Nepalis and Sikhs.

Climate

Mandalay has a semi-tropical climate. Winter (which is dry and cold) lasts from November to February, and summer lasts from March to May. Because Mandalay is in the central dry zone, it receives far less rain than the more tropical south.

Get in

By plane

Mandalay International Airport, a gleaming modern facility, serves the area with flights to most places in Myanmar and some international flights. Air Mandalay used to provide a service, twice a week, flying from Chiang Mai, Thailand, however, it was suspended in 2008 and, whilst rumours persist, the service has not yet restarted. There are also 3 flights weekly to and from Kunming on MU2029 for about RMB2000 one way.

Air Asia has direct flights from Don Muang Airport Bangkok 7 flights per week, Bankok Airways has 4 flights per week from Suwanabhumi Airport Bangkok.

The airport is far from the city, 45km on a modern highway (with a few hiccups). Expect to pay US$8 to central Mandalay, US$6 from central Mandalay, and US$30 to/from Pyin U Lwin. Shared van taxi which stops when required is the most common transportation to the centre. The price is US$5 or 4000kyats per person (as of April 2013). While going out from customs taxi driver will catch you and try to take straight to van. If you are going with big group or family, you can arrange private transfers [1]from hotels or travel agent in Madalay.

Air Asia offers a free shuttle bus from the airport to the center and back!

By train

From Yangon There are several trains daily from Yangon. The tracks are old and, in some cases, the carriages may be old, and the fifteen hour journey is extremely bumpy. There are sleepers in the last train leaving Yangon to Mandalay, but note that it is all but impossible to sleep on the train as most of the journey is made on extremely bumpy rails. Also note that the price for foreigners is significantly higher than the one for local people. It is also impossible to know how much the train will cost since the price seems to be at the discretion of the person manning the ticket counter at the train station. In order to reserve a ticket for the evening train, one must go to the train station at 7am on the same day.

From Lashio, Hsipaw, and Pwin U Lwin There are two trains daily from Pyin U Lwin (US$4/$2) and one from Lashio via Hsipaw and Pwin U Lwin (US$9/3 from Hsipaw). These trains are slow, crowded, but fascinating. The Pyin U Lwin - Hsipaw section includes the famous Gokteik Viaduct, a feat of Raj ingenuity (and American construction!).

From Myitkyina This twenty-four hour journey is on old rolling stock and even older tracks so expect it to be bumpy!

By bus

From Yangon There is a night bus with air-con (there are 5 options, 5PM, 6PM, 7PM, 9PM and 930PM departure, 10400k, 8.5-9 hours) running into Mandalay. Almost certainly the cheapest - and by far the most comfortable - option for getting between the two main cities in Myanmar.

From MandalayComfortable bus links from Mandalay are available for 14000 kyat (coach) and 16000 kyat (minibus)(6-7 hours). There are many bus options to choose from. As of Apr 2013, there are 3 daily minibuses, and 2 daily coaches. It is claimed that the minibuses are faster than the coaches, but they still take 6-7 hours. The buses leave daily at 9am and 2pm. The minibuses leave at 8am, 12pm, and 4pm.

From Inle Lake, Kalaw or Mid-Eastern Towns There are buses available along this route, either a day minibus (5AM departure, 9000k, 9 hours) or a night bus with air-con (6PM departure). The minibus in the day takes a slightly shorter route than the larger (and some say more comfortable) full-sized night bus. Expect windy and bumpy roads, stops for picking up and putting down passengers, and, if you are lucky, a search of the bus by un-uniformed and just-bribed police officers.

From the Highway Bus Station you can either take a taxi or pick-up into town. Taxis are overly expensive (quoting prices as high as 2000k per person or 6000k for the car), and often bargain in a mob fashion (except they all offer the same price and try and gang-up on you). A far cheaper option is to simply walk out of the bus station yards to the West (perhaps 10 minutes to the larger north/south road, look for traffic lights) and find one of the pick-ups which just ran a load of people to the station from town (500k per person) - they are normally more than happy to help and there is no commission issues to worry about.

Get around

Taxis are relatively inexpensive and are excellent for travelling around Mandalay, though they do not have air-con. They can be difficult to flag down so expect quite a bit of walking to be necessary (the city layout is very simple and easy to navigate).

Motorcycle taxis are a cheap alternative, and will usually give you a cheap helmet to wear as well.

Many sights are centered around Mandalay Hill, which makes foot-walking feasible in that area.

It is almost impossible to ride a bike in Mandalay, the traffic is far too heavy. there is alsohave a good taxi ser Renting a motorcycle it is a great way to see the city or near villages if you are an experienced rider. Riding is similar to the rest of south-east Asia's countries. Some hotels on 25th street (near zeycho)rent bicycles and motorbikes. you can rent a motorbike for around 8000 kyats (April 2013). They are usually not really new, and semi-automatic, so you better check it twice before you go. Petrol is available from locals. Petrol stations are uncommon. They sell petrol in 1 litre bottles for 1000 kyats (April 2013). There is also an American expat in downtown who rents dirtbikes and motorbikes that can be dropped of at your hotel mandalaymotorbike@gmail.com Mobile:(09-2014265).

Trishaws(cycle rickshaws)are a convenient way of getting around in Mandalay, and if you find a driver who speaks good English you can have a tour guide and transport together for a reasonable price with a little bargaining. They only hold one or two(back to back) people though.

See

Religious sites

  • Maha Myat Muni Paya (Burmese: ma-ha myah mu-ni pei-ya) [2] is Myanmar's second holiest pilgrimage site. It is a 4-metre high Buddha statue, made of gold and decorated with precious jewels. The image was brought from Rakhine State, southeast of Mandalay. For 1600kyat, you can get a small pack of gold leaves to partake in the ceremonial tradition of decorating the buddha statue.
  • Shwe Kyi Myin Paya (Burmese: shui ji myin pei-ya) was built in the 1st century, by Prince Min Shin Saw.
  • Mandalay Hill (Burmese: man-da-lei thaonh) is a 230 m hill located near Mandalay. Along its path are several monasteries and temples. At its top are famous pagodas and temples. Beautiful at sunset and many monks also make the trip up for sunset to practice their English with foreigners.

Mandalay Zone Admission Fees (US$10) give you access to the following sites:

  • Shwenandaw Monastery is a monastery made entire out of teak wood with beautiful intricate carvings. It was originally part of the royal palace built by King Mindon and moved to its current location by his son, King Thibaw in the late 19th century. It is the only major building from the original wooden royal palace to have survived the bombing during World War II, and thus is the only authentic part of the royal palace which can still be seen today. Also located at the foot of Mandalay Hill, all of these sites can be visited together.
  • Sandamuni Paya (Burmese: san-da-mu-ni pei-ya), located at the foot of Mandalay Hill, is similar to Kuthodaw Paya, an adjacent site. Sandamuni contains the world's largest iron Buddha image.
  • Kuthodaw Paya (Burmese: ku-tho-dau pei-ya) is site of the world's largest book, located at the foot of Mandalay Hill. Built by King Mingdon in the 1800s, 729 white stupas within the complex contain the complete text of the Tripitaka, Theravada Buddhism's most sacred text.
  • Maha Atulawaiyan Monastery (or Atumashi), to the south of Kuthodaw Paya
  • Kyauk Taw Gyi Pagoda, contains an image of the Buddha carved out of a single block of marble from the Sagyin Hill. The figures of 80 arahats or the disciples of the Buddha, are arranged around the central shrine, 20 on each side. The carving of the image was completed in 1865
  • Myanan San Kyaw Golden Palace, inside the Mandalay Palace City. $10 to get in, and not well maintained, nor exciting.

Miscellaneous sites

  • Royal Palace (Burmese: man-da-lei nan-dau) is a walled city within Mandalay. It was built in 1861 by King Mindon, to fulfill a prophecy. The palace, although destroyed in World War II, was rebuilt, and was renovated recently. In addition, while the design of the reconstruction was fairly faithful to the original, the materials used were not (metal was use instead of the original teak wood). The palace contains several pavilions and chambers. Tourists are required to enter from the East Gate. An almost kilometre walk connects the entry gate to the palace proper. Replicas of throne rooms and chairs and Madame Tussaud style images of Kings Mindon and Thibaw with their chief consorts are on display.
  • At the west end is the Palace Museum where all palace memorabilia is on display including religious paraphernalia, court ritual implements, court dresses and uniforms, furnitures, palanquins and litters, as well as armoury - all in their typical intricate Myanmar design and execution. There are also photo exhibits.

It was renovated using forced labour, and locals may advise you not to visit the place.

As of Apr 2013, they are charging $10 for foreigners to get in, and the palace is not well maintained, nor interesting enough to spend more than a few minutes at

Others

  • A vanishing sight almost anywhere in the world, see magnificent street-block long teak tree trunks the diameter the size of a boy's stretched out arms being hauled by 8-wheeler trucks. You can see them at least twice in a day, coming from the river.


Do

  • Mandalay Hill In the old days you had to climb Mandalay Hill on foot, a long and gruelling journey. Nowadays visitors can take a shared pick-up for a handfull of kyats. The pick-ups leave every twenty minutes and bring you to the foot of the hill pagoda, where an entry fee of 200 kyats is collected and footwear is prohibited. However if you do take the many stairs up, you bypass the entry fee. You can also take the motorbike taxi which cost 1000 Kyats. A camera fee of 1000 kyat is collected at the very top. The pagoda offers nice views of Mandalay and the surrounding plains. One can also rent a private pick-up for 5000 Kyat or so, a more comfortable option since the shared pick-ups can be very crowded.
  • Moustache Brothers, 39th street between 80th and 81st (any bicycle rickshaw), [3]. A comedy trio who have served a total of 12 years in prison for their political (anti-government) performances and jokes. They are only allowed to perform from their home, for tourists. They perform every night, cost 8000 kyat, which goes towards helping political prisoners. Bicycle rickshaw drivers will undoubtedly approach you to strike a return pedal deal. The show lasts for about 1,5 hours and mostly features Burmese dance and some political jokes. Famed in the past for their derision of the oppressive regime, as of Feb2013 this show may no longer be relevant given the opening of the country (many locals we spoke to recommended that we see different shows instead). K8000.
  • Waterfall Hill (Yaedagon Taung) is located on the east side of Mandaly, where you can have outdoor sports. Especially caving and rock climbing is the most favourite one since it is not spoiled, nor crowded and not far from the city.
  • Mahamuni Paya. Visit at around 4.30-5.00a.m for the amazing ceremony of washing the buddha's face, which occurs every day and is attended by hundreds of people.
  • tour to Sagaing. This can be arranged from your hotel for a private driver that will take you to visit Maha Muni on the way Southwards towards Sagaing Hill which has beautiful views of the numerous golden temples around. Typical stops include a visit to Amaypura Monastery where 1000monks currently live and study (not very interesting, and probably not right that this has become a tourist spectacle), the Kaung Hmu Taw golden domed monastery (modeled after the Mahacedi Pagoda in Sri Lanka), river boat to Ava where you can take a horse cart around to different temples, and the Sagaing bridge where locals congregate to watch the sunset.
  • Motorcycle Tour of Mandalay Outskirts. Many (if not all) motorcycle drivers are hooked up to hotels and can take you on the tour of the three main tourist draw villages surrounding Mandalay. Amarapura boasts the U Bien Bridge, the famous 1.2 km. teak bridge which is a popular sunset stop. Sagaing offers the chance to climb to Sagaing hilltop, dotted with gleaming golden and enormous payas, one of which (Soon Oo Pon Nya Shin Pagoda) can be reached by 300+ steps and offering a 360-degree view of and overlooking the Irrawady River. And, the town of Old Ava (also called Innwa) is usually reached by boat (2000 kyat round trip). Horse carts greet you on the other side and charge 6000 kyat to take you around to the main sites. Or alternatively, you can pay your motorcycle driver an extra 4000 kyat to tour you around (skipping the boat crossing and horse cart). The horse cart tour usually consists of four attractions - the antiquated looking teak monastery Bagaya Kyuang (you cannot escape the $10 Mandalay ticket here), Nanmyin Palace Watchtower (the leaning tower of Ava), 27m high, Mahar Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery, and Yadan Sinme brick temple complex - a group of stupas and temples that serves as teaser for what's to come in Bagan. There is one other extra attraction, not necessary to get out of the horse carriage - the ruined former palace gate. The Yadan temple is not signed, but there are two or three souvenir stalls set up at the entrance path, an indication that this is popular with tourists. The whole motorcycle tour costs 12,000 kyats (16,000 if you pay your driver to skip the boat and horse cart, saving you some kyats).(Mar.'12)
  • Watch Puppet Show @ Mandalay Marionettes Theatre, 66th St., Bet. 26th & 27th St., +95 (0) 234446, [4]. . This is a hard to find show, not even in Yangon. Here, they are featured as a regular show. Impressive considering that the marionette master is 80years old, but the show itself is a bit odd and takes a certain type of appreciation to be able to enjoy. If you have difficulty understanding interpretive dance performed by humans, the puppet version may not fare much better with you.
  • Watch Classical Dance @ Mintha Theatre, 27th St., Bet. 65th & 66th St., 09-6803607, [5]. 8:30 pm, daily. Classical court and folkloric dances that include a full 8-piece traditional orchestra 8000 kyats.
  • Mingun. The boat to the village of Mingun departs at 9am and returns at 1pm (5000 kyat round trip - min 4 people on ferry or pay difference). It takes about one hour there and 45 minutes back, giving you three hours to explore. You can no longer climb the Mingun Paya, but it's still impressive to see. Other sites include the world's largest uncracked bell and Hsinbyume Paya, a white pagoda.

Eat

Mandalay, both due to its history as a former capital of Myanmar, and its position as a major trading centre between Myanmar and it's neighbours in China, India and Bangladesh has a notable array of specialties both from various regions within Myanmar as well as from other countries. Cuisine from the Shan State (usually including fermented pastes, vegetables, and meats) is popular in Mandalay which has a notable Shan minority. Muslim Chinese noodles, pronounced pan-THEI-kao-sweh (flat thin noodles mixed with an array of spices, chili, and chicken), are also famous in Mandalay and the surrounding hills. Regardless of where you eat, try and leave space for Htou moun(to-moh), a traditional Burmese dessert sold only in Mandalay. Beware, it contains a lot of oil and is extremely sweet.

  • Mann Restaurant, 83rd Street (Between 25th & 26th Streets). A Chinese restaurant, frequented by locals, but not so much by foreigners. Has a number of basic Chinese meals, at around 2000k a plate. Easily recognised from the street by the abundant yellow and black advertising for a local whisky brand. (They do sell beer and alcohol here too, Myanmar Beer at 1500k a bottle compared to 2000k in Yangon.)
  • Too Too Myanmar Cuisine, 28th Street (Between 74th & 75th Streets). Supposedly has the best Burmese food in whole Mandalay. Standard Burmese fare, with a curry dish of your choice and 3 vegetable side dishes (bamboo shoots, okra, and something minced vegetable). Slightly overpriced, with the mutton curry going for 3000 kyats; generally have found the curry + side dishes meal to be no more than 1500-2000 kyats elsewhere. Good food (for Burmese cuisine = oily and fried), but nothing special and the price is questionable.
  • Golden Lion. About the only restaurant nearby the Mandalay Hill area. A bit pricier than others for this reason (5000kyat per dish) but good with mostly Chinese options.
  • Street Pancakes (Indian roti), SW corner of 81st & 26th (enter unmarked alley going west, next to Myawaddy Bank). In the southwest block of 81st & 26th streets, enter the unmarked alley besides the Myawaddy Bank during the afternoon to find a pleasant indian lady making savoury and sweet street pancakes in a cast iron frying pan in front of her house. Cheap, delicious, and pleasant company.
  • Nepali Food, 81st St, between 26 and 27. Simple and delicious chapatis served with three curries (1500-2000 kyat)
  • Koffee Korner, 70st St and 27th. A posh and modernly decorated spot where the young and hip middle class of Mandalay come to hang out. More than just a cafe, they have a wide arrangement of Thai/Chinese/Italian food and great drinks. Easily walkable on a dark and poorly lit street, this place will stand out to you by the noticeable decor. More expensive than many of the local spots, but good food and ambiance with air conditioning.
  • Nylon Ice Cream Bar, The corner of 83 and 25. Serves a variety of ice creams from chocolate to durian - delicious and surprisingly cheap (300 kyat and up). As of March 2013, lowest price on the menu is 600 kyats. Ice cream is interesting but not particularly creamy or rich. Kind of balances between ice cream and sorbet.
  • Night food market, 76th Street (between 34th and 35th Street). Nightly food market stall selling mainly Chinese (Yunnan) food. Open air and more established eateries opposite each other. Good variety of Chinese food but main attraction are noodle soup (sold at basically every shop). Cheap, good, fast food and reasonably clean for Mandalay standards. Some shops have picture menus however most staff can only speak Burmese or Chinese (Manadarin). 1000 - 3000 kyats.


Drink

  • V Cafe, No. 408, Corner of 80th & 25th street (Very near Royal guest house), 09-6804928.. Definitely belonging to the cool cafe at Mandalay with good food, very friendly and attentive service at fair price. A nice escape out of furious street and dreary from a tiring day. 5/10 USD. 5-10 USD.
  • Shwe Gokai, 35th street (between 68th and 67th streets) (North side of 35th street a few shops west of 68th street). This is a Chinese BBQ restaurant famous for it's BBQ beef tongue and rice noodle soup (ba ba si). There is no english sign but it is easy enough to find as it is the only BBQ restaurant on the Noth side of 35th street. It is next to a pottery store with many clay pots in front.
  • Golden Coffee Shop, No. 80/4, 35th street Between 88th and 89th streets. Free Wi-Fi. Decently priced fruit shakes and coffees and a good array of snacks on display. Friendly staff try their best with English but best take a phrasebook if you want to do more than point at pictures on menus. 500-2000 kyat for drinks Similar for food/snacks.

Sleep

Mandalay has several tourist-friendly accommodations. Many hotels face the Royal Palace.


Budget

Most budget guesthouses are located around 25th St, between 81st and 84th Streets. There are many more than those listed here. Prices are not much cheaper than Rangoon.

  • Garden Hotel, 83rd and 25th Street (around the corner from nylon hotel), 0231884. checkin: Early check-in available.; checkout: 12:00. Acceptable digs and decent prices for Burma. Rooms are a bit worn but clean. Fantastic water pressure! Staff helpful and breakfast included. Motorbikes 8000ks. Sorta working Wi-Fi. Prices from May 2013. Staff charge 2000 kyats to book tickets but won't tell you. single fan/shared bathroom US$10, double fan/shared bathroom US$15, Single air-con/en suite US$15, double US$20.
  • Sabai Phyu Hotel, 81st and 25/26th Street, 39997. checkin: 9; checkout: 12:00. Semi-squalid, cell-like rooms on the first floor. Larger rooms with air-con and fan on floors 2 and 3. Some of the best water pressure in Burma. Free WiFi working well. Very friendly staff except the owner, who can anger very quickly. Can help with booking a bus, but will charge more than double the price at the bus company. Rooms can be unclean: e.g bedsheets not changed for new guests (in case ask for clean ones). Not all rooms have hot water. Triple room in first floor without bathroom is 30 USD, Single is US$13. Rooms in the tops are more expensive. Double US$20. Prices from Aug 2013. US$30.
  • AD1 Hotel, Eindawya Sintada Steet, Chan Aye Thar San Township (East of the Eindawya Pagoda), 02-34505/09-6502430. Great place to stay! Central location in the heart of Zeygo market. Rooftop is something special. Rooms are tacky and bathrooms dated but the price is right, also with stable free Wi-Fi (pass: ilovead.1). $15USD Single $25SD Double rate as of February 2013 The rooms on the first floor are moldy, dark and smelly. 15-25US$.
  • Peacock Lodge, 5 61st St., Mandalay, +95-2-33411. Terrific homestay B&B, with very friendly family staff. A little bit out of the centre, also has a bike rental. US$35.
  • Rich Queen, 87th Street, Bet: 26th&27th Streets, 02-260172, 0991028348. checkout: 12.00. Place is very basic but very clean. Showers have hot water which works even blackouts. There is usually no electricity from morning to 5pm though (April 2013). Quite popular in backpackers. All rooms have air con. Prices as of april 2013: 20$ single, 25$ double, 35$ triple. Free Wi-Fi in the lobby. 20-35 USD.
  • Royal Guesthouse, No. 41 25th Street (Between 82nd & 83rd Streets, Southern side.), 0265697. checkout: 12 Midday. Popular, Lonely Planet "Our Pick". This place does fill up pretty quickly, so if you want to be sure - place a reservation before arriving in Mandalay. Cheaper rooms have fan and shared bathroom (Double rate as of August 15th 2012 US$25, single rate $20) - more expensive have aircon and attached bathroom (Double rate as of February 2013 US$30). The aircon is on the government grid and so will go down during (common) blackouts. Friendly staff, and close to the Royal Palace. Bike rental (1500k per day, negotiable) available across the road. $12/ Singles with fan and breakfast.
  • ET Hotel, 83rd and 23rd/24th Street, 65996, 66547(?). Nice and clean, free wi-fi (password: et832324) tours and transport booking, friendly staff. Cheapest rooms with shared bathroom and fan are on the roof - single $10, double $15 (Aug 2012) Update (Oct 2012): single $20, double $25 and triple $35. They said they didn't have any cheaper than that, not even before. US$20.
  • Nylon Hotel, Corner of 83rd & 25th St, +95 (0) 2 33460 / 66550 / 60757, [6]. checkin: early, if room available; checkout: 12. Air Con and Fan in room - whilst the power is working the air con is really cold, Fan and lights are hooked up to the 24hr generator. Room/bathroom quality is standard for Burma at this price. Basic Breakfast and working wifi in room included. Double bed wasn't too comfy, but sufficient. No email/website, but the weblink has video and info Double ensuite $20 (May 2013).

Mid-range

  • SMART Hotel, No. 167, 28th street, btw 76th & 77th Mandalay, +95 2 32 682, [7]. Newly built hotel (as of 2013) just south of the Mandalay palace Comfortable and clean but simple rooms, with a great breakfast spread and fast wifi. Within walking distance to the Too Too restaurant (that is popular among tourists though honestly not very good). Helpful staff will help arrange tours to Sagaing, taxis, and shows. Reasonably priced at $70/night.
  • Zegyo Hotel, 84th Street (Between 27th and 28th Streets, next to Zegyo market), +95-2-39494, 39495, 39990, 39991 (, fax: +95-2-39992), [8]. Near busiest Market,of Mandalay. Clean rooms. Bungalows at the top of Building.
  • Mandalay City Hotel, 26th Street (Between 82nd and 83rd Street), +95-2-61700, 61701, 61702, 61703, 61704, (, fax: +95-2-61705), [9]. Warm Staff, Low Price and Clean Guestrooms are the three qualities most often cited by guests
  • Hotel Mandalay, 78th Street (Between 37th and 38th Streets), [10]. Next to shopping center with a large and modern supermarket on the ground floor. Hotel rooms are extra large however rooms are old and run down. Bed is hard and internet connection is poor and very slow. The room is decorated fully by wooden furniture and has nice views of Mandalay city from the top floor. The capsule shower is interest but water pressure is okay. Price at May 2013 with breakfast is $95 USD. No credit card facilities.

Splurge

  • Sedona Hotel Mandalay (Mandalay Sedona), No. 1 Junction of 26th and 66th Street (opposite to the South-East corner of Mandalay moat), +95-2-36488, [11]. A Singaporean-owned hotel built blending traditional Burmese and modern architecture that faces the Royal Palace and Mandalay Hill
  • Mandalay Hill Resort, No.(9), Kwin (416.B), 10th Street Atthe foot of Mandalay Hill (Near Mandalay Hill), +95-2-35638 (, fax: +95-2-35639), [12]. Peaceful location, clean rooms.

Stay safe

Mandalay is a haven for drug kingpins and is a main trading centre of illicit drugs. In 2005, an explosion occurred at Zegyo Market. That being said, Mandalay is generally a very safe city.

Get out

  • Amarapura - buses leave from the corner of 29th and 83rd regularly.
  • Bagan - Ferry departs at 7.00 am, costs 40US$ (as of April 2013). Daily service (arrival 5pm). Read more in Get-in section on Bagan's page.
  • Pyin U Lwin - shared taxis come pick you up (6500 kyat back seat, 7000 front, 1.5 hours). Pickups leave from the corner of 27th and 82nd (1500 kyat, 2 hours)
  • Mingun - boats leave from the Mingun jetty (all drivers know it) at 9am and return at 1pm. 5000 kyat return
  • Hsipaw - Bus leaves at 6am and 2:30pm (5000 kyat), 5 hours. Duhtawadi Express (31st between 81st&82nd Street) ph:0261938
  • Yangon - Overnight buses at 7pm and 9pm (10,500 kyat), leaves from the Highway Bus Station, 10 hours.



This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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