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Mandalay

Holiday Types

At Asia Senses Travel we’re adventurers at heart. Our journeys are all about discovering new places and cultures while creating unforgettable memories through physical activity and breathtaking scenery.

Visit mandalay

Captured by the British from the last of Burma's kings, Mandalay conjures images of a bygone Southeast Asia at its most elegant and genteel. Made famous in a host of films, popular songs and books by Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell, Frank Sinatra and more recently even Robbie Williams, Mandalay has become a household name, even if most people don’t actually know where it is. Arriving in Mandalay tends quickly to dispel such thoughts, however, as visitors are faced with a grid of congested streets dominated by the walls and moat of the huge military base that surrounds the old royal palace.

Despite this, it would be a shame to rush through too quickly without giving the place a chance to grow on you. There’s Shwei-in-bin Monastery, a regal teak structure that is a rare example of traditional Burmese design; the once-mighty Inwa, now a sleepy backwater scattered with stupas that you can visit by horse and cart; the iconic Mandalay Palace, a reconstructed, restored complex that was once home to a line of Burmese kings; and the surreally elaborate Kuthodaw Pagoda, a white marble structure dating from the 1800s. One of the cultural and spiritual centers of the nation, Mandalay can also be enjoyed as the start or end point of a cruise on board The Road to Mandalay.
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The major destination on travellers’ itineraries after Yangon, the sprawling, bustling city of Mandalay today is northern Burma’s commercial, cultural and administrative capital as well as home to some 1.5 million people.
Sint Sint Win
Myanmar Travel Specialist

Best Time to Visit Mandalay

Best time to visit Mandalay is between late October and February, with warm dry days bringing in the bulk of the country’s annual visitors. However a visit in the 'green season' (the months immediately either side of these high season dates) can reward those looking to explore key sites in more solitude.
Max Temperature(ºC)
Jan
27
Feb
30
Mar
35
Apr
37
May
36
Jun
34
Jul
33
Aug
33
Sep
32
Oct
31
Nov
29
Dec
26
Rainfall (mm)
Jan
1
Feb
1
Mar
5
Apr
29
May
139
Jun
121
Jul
85
Aug
116
Sep
147
Oct
120
Nov
40
Dec
8
Month
Daily Max Temperature
Monthly Rainfall

JAN
27ºC
1mm

FEB
30ºC
1mm

MAR
35ºC
5mm

APR
37ºC
29mm

MAY
36ºC
139mm

JUN
34ºC
121mm

JUL
33ºC
85mm

AUG
33ºC
116mm

SEP
32ºC
147mm

OCT
31ºC
120mm

NOV
29ºC
40mm

DEC
26ºC
8mm

Festivals, Events and Seasonal Reasons to Visit

  • 01

    Mahamuni Pagoda Festival (February): This two day festival falls on the full moon day of Thabodwe, with thousands making the pilgrimage to the pagoda. Incense sticks are burned for the Buddha image, and glutinous rice contests are held.
  • 02

    Taungbyone Nat Festival (August): A major gathering place for spiritual mediums, this festival attracts pilgrims and visitors in their thousands to make offerings and enjoy dances and other celebrations in honour of two famous Nats.
  • 03

    Yadana Gu Nat Festival - Amarapura (August or September): An eight day festival led by spirit mediums said to be possessed by Nats during the ceremony. Ritual dances and songs are performed and visitors make offerings of food, flowers and money to the Nats.
  • 04

    Bo Bo Gyi Nat Festival - Amarapura (late September or early October): A ten day festival attracting large numbers of pilgrims to the pagoda on the shores of Taungthaman Lake, next to U Bein Bridge.
  • 05

    Rice Donating Ceremony - Sagaing (mid-September): Monks and nuns inhabiting Sagaing Hill receive donations of rice sent from around the country.
  • 06

    Yadana Gu Nat Festival - Amarapura (August or September): An eight day festival led by spirit mediums said to be possessed by Nats during the ceremony. Ritual dances and songs are performed and visitors make offerings of food, flowers and money to the Nats.

Suggested Itineraries

Our itineraries will give you suggestions for what is possible when you travel in Mandalay, and they showcase routes we know work particularly well. Treat them as inspiration, because your trip will be created uniquely by one of our specialists. Alternatively, if you would like to include a visit to Mandalay on a bespoke touring itinerary to Myanmar, do not hesitate to contact us.

Cruises in Mandalay

RV Orient Pandaw
The RV Orient Pandaw is a charming boat, built in a traditional colonial style, with finishing touches such as old prints, maps and oil paintings on the walls creating an authentic atmosphere on board. The vessel’s shallow draught means it can access more remote areas along the river that can’t be reached by some other craft in the region.
RV Katha Pandaw
Part of the Irrawaddy Flotilla Company's high-quality fleet, the charming RV Katha Pandaw has a traditional colonial style. This was a radical new design, based on the old K class used in Burma from the 1880s on. This ship is the third Katha to run on the Irrawaddy. Smaller than some of the other Pandaw boats, with just 16 cabins, it evokes a personal and intimate atmosphere without compromising on comfort.
RV Kindat Pandaw
The original Kindat was built in 1886 by Yarrows in London and sank in 1920. She was named after a small Upper Chindwin town. Following experiments with the Katha and Angkor Pandaws, in this build we perfected this concept of a two deck shallow draft vessel and repeated the formula again with her sister the Kalaw.<br>
RV Kalaw Pandaw
Sister to the Kindat and identical in design the Kalaw was launched with her in 2014 Kalaw is named after the PS Kalaw launched in 1917 and sunk in 1942 in the War. Furnished in teak and brass throughout, the vessel exudes colonial luxury. Operating along the classic route between Bagan and Mandalay, the RV Kalaw is an excellent option for anyone seeking to explore Burma’s picturesque waterways and historic sites.<br>
RV Paukan 2015
Launched in 2015, the lovely RV Paukan 2015 is a charming floating hotel on the river which is the latest addition to Ayravata Cruises and one of the smallest cruisers on the Irrawaddy River designed to discover hard-to-reach destinations in this area, bring passengers authentic experiences for their Myanmar river cruise.<br>
Irrawaddy Explorer (RV Paukan 2014)
Irrawaddy Explorer (RV Paukan 2014) is a 5-star floating hotel which is a brand-new, deluxe, all-suite river cruiser of Paukan Cruises to set sail on all regions of Burma’ Irrawaddy River. This is an elegant boutique ship of 28 spacious outside cabins which give travellers a fascinating view on the beauty of the majestic Irrawaddy, an indispensable image for travelling in Myanmar.
RV Paukan 1947
RV Paukan 1947 is a fascinating vessel for cruising the mighty Ayeyarwady. Built in Scotland following the Second World War, she arrived in Burma in 1950, carrying cargo and passengers between Mandalay and <a href="https://asiasenses.com/place/bhamo" target="_blank">Bhamo</a>. In 1989 she was renovated into a comfortable cruise boat, undergoing a further renovation in 2003 to make her the modern but characterful vessel she is today.
RV Paukan 2012
The RV Paukan 2012, launched in September of 2012, is one of the latest Paukan Cruises ships running on Irrawaddy River. This lovely colonial style was born in the famous Ahlone Ship Yards situated on the bank of Yangon River. The lovely RV Paukan 2012 is really a gem of cruisers like a 5-star hotel floating on the river, beautifully furnished with a unique combination of modern and traditional motifs.