Building a one day in Mandalay itinerary is tough, with so much to see and do. 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
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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 Booking.com.