7 Must-Dos in Mandalay, Myanmar
It would be fun to try doing what the local people usually do to experience local life in Mandalay as follows.
Cross U Bein Bridge on Taungthaman Lake
U Bein means Mr.Bein who built this bridge. One interesting thing about U Bein Bridge is that it is believed to be the oldest and longest wooden bridge in the world. It was made from teak wood in 1850 before the capital was moved from Amarapura to Mandalay. They used the teak wood from the old palace to build this bridge for the convenience of the passengers passing through the lake as the lake is very big.
Learn How to Wear Longyi
Longyi is the official government uniform and some officers are allowed to wear only Longyi as a uniform. Longyi is made of cotton so it is comfortable to wear in a hot city like Mandalay. So, when in Mandalay, do as the Mandalay people do. You should try wearing it while you go sightseeing and experience local atmosphere. First, you must step inside. Sometimes Longyi can be longer or shorter based on your hight. But you can adjust it to suit your hight by keeping it to fit with your waist. Fold it from left to right or the other way around and twist the rim of the Longyi two times and insert it inside the Longyi. And done!
Enjoy the top view from Mandalay Hill
It will be fascinating to have Mandalay Hill view from your own bedroom. And with a short walk from Mandalay Hill resort where you choose to stay, there are two giants land figures standing as a landmark at the southern entrance of Mandalay Hill. You can walk barefoot up to the hill top where there is a famous pagoda with the magnificent view of Mandalay and Irrawaddy River. Local people climb here to pray and enjoy the view especially in the evening time when the weather is cool down.
Ring the Mingun Bell (The World’s Second Biggest Bell)
Casting of the bell started in 1808 for the dedication to Mingun Pagoda that has never been completed. It can be said that it is the largest in Myanmar but second largest of the world after Moscow’s. Its weight is about 90 tons. You have to ring the bell three times in order to share your good merit to everyone in this world.
Ride a Boat along Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River
It is good to choose to ride a boat from Mingun to Mandalay to save time rather than taking against the stream from Mandalay to Mingun. You can feel the breeze and the nice weather.
The river is the longest and biggest in Myanmar. They refer it as “life blood of Myanmar”.
Shop at Zegyo Market
Zegyo Market is the largest and oldest market in Mandalay near the clock tower. Zegyo means “cheap price”. You can shop things such as sandals, medicines, clothes, bags. Sandals is very popular in Myanmar since it is convenient to travel around with it and you can take it off easily at the temple. It is very good quality and very cheap. Only 80 cents. By the way, do not forget that they accept only cash here.
Hang Out with Friends at Beer Station/ Coffee House
Local people usually hang out at Beer Station. You had better try Myanmar beer sometimes. Apart from Beer Station, locals also hang out at Coffee House for coffee and food. This is good nightlife experience that you must try.
How is your plan so far? Hope you plan to see, eat and do at Mandalay well before the real trip. Have a nice trip to Mandalay.