Mandalay has a surprising amount to offer for those seeking lesser-known sites and activities. This half day tour has been designed to reveal Mandalay from an interesting, diverse perspective.
You begin with a visit to the local jade market. Hosting up to 40,000 people at its peak, this is where wholesalers, jewellers and locals looking for something special to give as a gift come to peruse and buy jade*. After wandering through the market, you come to a lovely teahouse where you can stop to try a cup of local tea or coffee and watch the locals go about their daily business. You can also opt to eat breakfast here if you wish as it serves a tasty selection of Indian breads, vegetables, eggs and noodles. Continuing your exploration, you head to the railway bazaar, a fascinating market experience where the locals ply their trade on the railway track, scattering each time a train comes along. A vibrant cacophony of sights, smells and sounds offering a host of photo opportunities, this market is a must-see for anyone who wishes to witness a unique side of life in Myanmar.
From here, you'll jump into cyclos for a fun ride through the backstreets to the Shwenandaw Temple. Known also as the Golden Palace, it's a beautiful teak structure with a fascinating history. King Thibaw Min built the temple in 1880 after dismantling his late father's apartment, believing his spirit was haunting it. The building was also once part of the royal palace at Amarapura. Visiting at this time of the day means that you should avoid most of the other tourists.
* Please note that the market is closed on the Sabbath, which occurs four times a month according to the waxing, waning, full and new moon. The exact date of the Sabbath is not always known too far in advance, so your trip may need to be adjusted once it is known.
Please also note that lunch is not included today, however your guide will be able to recommend suitable options.