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Mandalay Itinerary – How To Spend 1 Day In Mandalay

The second largest city in Myanmar, after Yangon, Mandalay is located on the east bank of the River Irrawaddy in the centre of the country.

Mandalay is known as the cultural centre of Myanmar and is home to some spectacular historical and religious sites. It is also famous for traditional and beautiful handicrafts including wood carvings, marble carvings, lacquer ware, silver ware and more.

This large city has plenty of amazing tourist destinations from monasteries, temples, palaces and markets, to a famous hill and the longest wooden bridge in the world!

Building a one day in Mandalay itinerary is tough, so we’ve narrowed it down to the best bits.

How To Get Around Mandalay

Mandalay is high, if not top, of most travellers Myanmar itinerary.

So once you arrive in Mandalay, you have three main options for getting around.


You’ll hear it from everyone, and it’s definitely the easiest way to get around.

Mandalay E-Bikes are basically electric mopeds, that max out at 40km/h, and will save your legs a lot of hard work.

They can be rented from most places around town for 8,000 Kyat (full day) or 4,000 Kyat (half day).

Or if you only want them for sunrise then 1,000 Kyat per hour.


Another option is rent ordinary push bikes.

Obviously a little harder to get around, as you don’t have the help of a motor.

However if you’re feeling fit, the main roads are pretty flat and well tarmacked.

They can be rented from most places around town for 1,500 – 2,500 Kyat per day.


Another great option for exploring Mandalay is to book onto a private tour.

For those short on time, or that prefer everything to be organised for them, there are some awesome tours on Get Your Guide available to book in advance

Best Time To Visit Mandalay

The best time of year to visit Myanmar is during the months of November to February when the days are dry, although temperatures can reach 37°C.

However, this is also the busiest time of year, so if you visit just before or after these months you will avoid the crowds and still have some pretty good weather.

Remember, this is just a guide, so you may want to mix it up and add/subtract different attractions.

What To Pack

Photography Camera


Day Bag

Power Bank

Reusable Water Bottle


Lightweight Rain Jacket

Mandalay Itinerary Day 1

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Fancy taking a read of the largest book in the world? Where better place to start your one day in Mandalay itinerary than at the stunning Kuthodaw Pagoda.

You probably won’t have time to finish it, as the world’s largest book is spread over 729 in-scripted slabs at the base of this beautiful Buddhist temple.

Each ‘page’ is a marble slab, about 150cm x 100cm in size, inscribed with instructions on how a Buddhist should lead a moral life. With each one being housed in its own temple or shrine.

Built in 1857 by King Mindon Min, this golden temple lies at the foot of Mandalay Hill. However, the inscribed marble slabs were not unveiled until 1868.

Originally, each line of writing was filled with golden ink and the stones were decorated with precious stones. Sadly, when British troops invaded in the 1800s it is said that they looted the temple.

So, whilst the lines are now in black ink and the slabs are not quite as opulent as they once were, the writings are still there for future generations.

A great way to visit Kuthodaw Pagoda is as part of a Mandalay Full-Day Private Tour.

This particular tour includes visits to Mahamuni Buddha, Mandalay Royal Palace, Golden Palace Monastery and Kuthodaw Pagoda.

The great Kuthodaw Pagoda is open daily from 8am to 8pm. It is totally free to enter, however camera use may incur a small fee.

Definitely one of the most unique things you can see on a one day in Mandalay itinerary! In fact, one of the best things to do in Myanmar.

Please note that tourists must wear long and reserved clothes when visiting the pagoda.

Kuthodaw Pagoda Mandalay Things To Do In Mandalay
Kuthodaw Pagoda – The largest book in the world has to be on your one day in Mandalay itinerary

Dee Dote Waterfall

Next up on the one day in Mandalay itinerary was a slightly different choice for us.

Most people choose to stay in the city and visit either Mandalay Palace or Mandalay Hill, which are included in the Mandalay Full-Day Private Tour.

However, we hadn’t seen a waterfall in so long, so as soon as we found out about Dee Dote Waterfall there was only one option.

Technically it’s not ‘in’ Mandalay, and doesn’t make it to most people’s Myanmar itinerary, but it’s well worth the hour drive that it takes to get there.

We’d recommend hiring a driver for the afternoon, or paying for taxis each way. The cost of a Grab Taxi from Mandalay to Dee Dote Waterfall is approximately 120,000 Kyat one way.

So if you can squeeze it into your one day in Mandalay itinerary, Dee Dote Waterfall is genuinely one of the bluest waterfalls we’ve ever seen!

Dee Dote Waterfall Mandalay Things To Do In Mandalay
Charlie about to cool off at Dee Dote Waterfall

U Bein Bridge For Sunset

The final stop on our one day in Mandalay itinerary is another record breaker and popular tourist destination.

The U Bein Bridge is the oldest and largest teak wood bridge in the world!

An absolute must-see for sunset, however, be prepared for the crowds. The 1.2-kilometre bridge was built around 1850 and attracts thousands of visitors per day.

One of the most popular ways to beat the crowds and see the bridge in all its beauty is via a boat ride, which is included in the highly rated Ava & U Bein Bridge Sunset Bike Tour.

Discover the ancient capitals of Ava and Amarapura by bike on this guided tour. Travel along small paths to see small villages, meet friendly locals and see historic monuments.

After sunset, once you make your way back towards the exit, you can browse through the U Bein Bridge markets. The perfect way to end a one day in Mandalay itinerary.

Entrance Fee: included in pass ticket of Mandalay

Opening Hours: 24hr

U Bein Bridge Mandalay Things To Do In Mandalay
A packed out U Bein Bridge but a must see in Mandalay

Where To Stay In Mandalay


Hilton Mandalay

Nestled in landscaped gardens, Hilton Mandalay features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi in all areas and free public parking.

Situated in a prime location facing breathtaking views of Mandalay Hill and the Royal Palace, a variety of on-site dining options, a fitness centre as well as an outdoor swimming pool also await guests at Hilton Mandalay.

The hotel is a 10-minute drive to Mahamuni Pagoda. It is a 1-hr drive from Mandalay International Airport.

All rooms come with a flat-screen cable TV, safety deposit box and refrigerator. Featuring a shower, private bathrooms also come with a hairdryer and free toiletries.


Hotel Venus

Located in Mandalay, 200 yards from Sri Ganesh Temple, Hotel Venus offers accommodation with free WiFi and free private parking.

This 1-star hotel offers a concierge service and valet parking.

The accommodation provides a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.

At the hotel, each room comes with a desk, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Guest rooms at Hotel Venus include air conditioning and a wardrobe.


Ostello Bello

Set 550 yards from The Mandalay Palace, Ostello Bello Mandalay features a bar and restaurant.

Guests can enjoy the music at the rooftop. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.

All rooms include a shared internal bathroom fitted with shower facilities. A flat-screen TV is available in the private rooms.

There are also coffee/tea, board games and books. Trip excursions are available to book at the tour desk. Laundry services are also available. There is a 24-hour front desk at the property.

For more places to stay in Mandalay, you can check the latest prices on

Planning Your Trip

Book Your Flight

Use Skyscanner to find a cheap flight.

They search websites and airlines around the globe to find you the best possible routes and prices.

Book Your Accommodation

Use to find the best accommodation deals.

They consistently return the cheapest rates on everything from guesthouses to hotels for all of your budget needs.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Use SafetyWing to find the best travel insurance for you.

They provide travel and medical incident insurance built specifically for digital nomads.

Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations.

Book Your Tours & Activities

Use GetYourGuide to book your activities in advance.

They sell the best tours, excursions and activities to attractions around the world.

Conveniently book, download and access your tickets on the move all from your mobile.

Book Your Rental Car

Use to find the best deals on rental cars in the area.

They compare all major car rental companies and allow you to easily book the perfect vehicle for your trip.

Buy Those Last Minute Bits

Use Amazon to buy everything you need for your adventure.

They offer next day delivery and you can use my travel packing checklist to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.

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The Perfect One Day In Mandalay Itinerary