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Mandalay was the last royal capital of Burma, not taken by the British until 1885. It lies north of Bagan on the Irrawaddy River and was immortalised by Rudyard Kipling in his poem of the same name. The novelist, George Orwell was a police officer here for 5 years in the 1920s.

Burma’s second largest city, it is the economic hub of the north. In the last 20 years its ethnic make-up has changed as many Chinese immigrants, mostly from Yunnan Province, have settled here. The city has a bustling market where you can find just about any spice or vegetable you want and is a wonderful place for watching locals trade their produce.

A visit to Mandalay would not be complete without a visit to the well-preserved palace, which is surrounded by a moat. Nearby Mandalay Hill is the best place to take in views of the city, especially impressive seen at sunset. Mandalay Hill is also the site of most of city’s religious sites.

From Mandalay you can take a local boat up the Irrawaddy River to the village of Mingun, famous for its temple and also Hsinphyumae Pagoda with its distinct architecture. Mingun is also well known for being the home to one of the largest ringing bells in the world!

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facts and information

Time: GMT + 6hrs 30mins

Flight time:

There are no direct flights from the UK to Yangon (Rangoon). The flight time is at least 14 hours.

Language: The official language is Myanmar (Burmese). English is widely spoken in major tourist destinations.


At least 6 months from the end of your trip, and with plenty of room for entry and exit stamps. A visa is required for British travellers and most nationalities.


Yellow fever vaccination is compulsory. Recommended vaccinations include diptheria, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, tetanus, cholera & typhoid. Malaria prophylactics recommended for some parts of Burma.



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