On the banks of the Irawaddy River a 6½-hour drive or 3½-hour flight north of Yangon, the second-largest city (pop. 1.5 million) has traditionally been considered the Burmese cultural capital. Visit the Mandalay Palace (pictured here, built in the 1850s and used by the last two kings of Burma), explore the intricate wood carvings of 145-year-old Shwenandaw Monastery, climb Mandalay Hill for panoramic views, marvel at U Bein Bridge (built in the mid-19th century and still the longest in the world made of teak wood), and explore traditional Burmese arts and crafts. The nearby ancient cities of Amarapura, Ava, and Sagaing are also worth exploring for their historical significance and serene landscapes.

Read more in my post Burmese, if You Please: 6 Musts in Myanmar/Burma.



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