Established in 1857, Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar. It is found in the upper part of the country, located on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River. Mandalay is where the Royal Palace of the Konbaung Dynasty is located, which was the last monarchy and independent kingdom of Burma. In 1886, present day Myanmar was conquered by British colonial forces. Ratanapunja was the ancient name of the city. It was given the name 'Mandalay' based on the 236-metre high Mandalay Hill, which is currently one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.
During the reign of the Konbaung Dynasty, the city of Mandalay served as proof of the splendour of the Golden Age in Burma. When the Second World War occurred, the city and the Royal Palace were damaged in the fighting but were soon reconstructed. Today, Mandalay serves as the cultural centre of Myanmar and is home to several Buddhist monasteries and exquisite examples of Myanmar masonry. While the city is historically relevant, it remains fresh and contemporary with modern hotels and establishments.
Like other cities in Myanmar, Mandalay is home to many pagodas. It is to be expected, as Theravada Buddhism is the predominant religion in the country, with 80% of the population practising it. There are also monasteries to visit in Mandalay, some of which are impressive in their architectural style and construction. Most of the attractions in the city offer tourists a spiritual, if not enlightening, experience. Mandalay is not only a city of temples and monasteries; it can also be considered as city of royalty. The other attractions in Mandalay are reminders of the time when Burmese kingdoms were still in existence. This is the city where the Royal Palace can be found, as well as other structures built by the kings. However, the best attraction in Mandalay is not made by man. Mandalay Hill is the most famous attraction of the city, a necessary stop for any tourist who arrives in this part of Myanmar.
Some 11km south of Mandalay. It became the capital of the Konbaung Dynasty in 1783 during the reign of King Bodawpaya. Places of interest are Pahtodawgyi Pagoda, U Bein Bridge across the Taungthaman Lake, Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, Nagayon Pagoda, Mahagandayone Monastery and cotton and silkweaving cottage industries.