Transportation by small truck to the top of Mandalay Hill
Experienced and fluent English-speaking guide
Day 1: Mandalay
Your English-speaking guide and driver will meet you at your hotel lobby at 8:00 a.m. and transport you the heart of Mandalay and the Royal Palace of the last king of Burma.
Surrounded by a wide moat and the original high brick walls the Mandalay Royal Palace is a modern recreation of the once grand royal city that stood on the site. The palace’s original wooden structures were lost to fires from bombings in World War II.
A 15-minute drive will take you to the Atumashi (Incomparable) Monastery originally built in 1857 by King Mindon, but later destroyed by fire it was one of the King’s last great religious construction projects. Nowadays a new building of a similar nature exists in the location.
Just a short walk from the Atumashi Monastery stands the Shwenandaw Monastery and the last original wooded structure from the Mandalay Royal Palace. This ornately carved teak building was once the personal living quarters of the King which upon his death was moved to its current location and converted into a monastery.
Later you will explore Mandalay’s only World Heritage site the Kuthodaw Pagoda, also known as the world’s largest book. Within the grounds of this pagoda are 729 carved marble slab inscribed on both sides with Buddhist teachings.
Your next stop is at one of the most holy Buddhist sites in all of Myanmar, the Mahamuni Pagoda. At its center stands a bronze Buddha image that is believed to have been cast in front of the Buddha himself. This ancient statute has today been gilded with over 15 tons of gold leaf applied by pilgrims through the years.
You will then be transported to a gold leaf workshop in the area to observe the process of how gold is pounded with heavy hammers by workers into the thin sheets of gold leaf.
Finally your last stop of the day will be the top of Mandalay Hill. From this hilltop you will enjoy expansive views of the city below, the surrounding countryside, as well as the mighty Irrawaddy River with the sunset beyond.
You will then meet your driver at approximately 6:00 p.m. to be transported back to your hotel.
Note: before you may enter this holy site you must be properly dressed with your shoulders and knees covered. You will also be required to remove your shoes and socks to enter all Buddhist temples in Myanmar.