Mandalay has a surprising amount to offer for those who know where to find it. This tour has been designed to reveal Mandalay from a diverse and interesting perspective.
Experience Sagaing’s spiritual side
Experience Sagaing’s spiritual side, Burma (Myanmar)
Your guide will pick you up from your hotel early this morning to visit one of the early morning markets in Mandalay before heading to the Sagaing Hills. On the western bank of the river lie the peaceful and picturesque hills of Sagaing, which from the 14th to the 18th centuries were home to the capital of an autonomous Shan kingdom. Today, this tranquil place is an important center for Buddhism, with numerous monasteries and nunneries scattered along the bougainvillea decorated lanes. You'll have chance to visit one of these religious communities at Myinmu Nunnery, which has 15 resident nuns. Here you'll enjoy a simple meal together, during which you can learn more about the Buddhist way of life. The nuns are very open to discussion and welcome visitors, making this a very informative experience for those keen to step off the tourist trail.
After lunch your exploration of the Sagaing Hills will continue. Depending on your interests you'll visit the delightful Aung Myay Oo Monastic School (where a donation of school materials is recommended) and Zayyastheingi Nunnery, which is a home to over 60 nuns. U-min Thone Se Caves (30 Caves) contains many sitting Buddha images and is a good stop for a rest with your guide to discuss your experience in the nunnery and take advantage of the stunning viewpoint. Other great viewpoints include Shin Pin Nan Kaing Hill (though this does include a fair few steps) and Soon Oo Ponnya Shin Pagoda, which offers great sunset views of the Ayeyarwaddy River and the surrounding landscape. After sunset at one of the viewpoints you'll return to your hotel.
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Other experiences in Mandalay
These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities, such as cooking classes, that will introduce you to the local ways of life.
The drive to Monywa is 140 kilometers from Mandalay and takes around four hours. It is possible to make various stops along the way which would increase the length of the journey to around six hours.