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Mandalay is a city located in the Asian country of Myanmar. It ranks second in the biggest cities in the Southeast Asian nation, just after the city of Yangon. Lying on the eastern side of the Irrawaddy River, Mandalay has an approximate population of about 1,225,553 and is among the busiest cities in Myanmar. Founded in 1857 by King Mindon, the city of Mandalay was named the new royal capital of Myanmar (then called Burma) during the Konbaung dynasty, replacing Amarapura. When the British Empire arrived and took over Burma in 1885, Yangon was chosen to be the new capital, although Mandalay remained a vital cultural and commercial center for the country. During World War II, the city experienced severe destruction due to the attacks of the Japanese. In 1948, Mandalay became part of the Union of Burma when the nation finally gained their independence,
Currently, Mandalay serves as an economic, commercial, and educational center for the Upper Myanmar region. This can be attributed to the fact that since the late 20th century, the city has seen a rise in immigration from China, which contributed to the boost in commerce and the development of the city’s ethnic makeup. In addition, Mandalay is also among the top tourist destinations in Myanmar, frequented by foreign visitors and backpackers looking to experience the rustic charm of the city and experience authentic Burmese culture.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist arriving in Mandalay for a quick stopover or spending several days exploring the city, make the most out of your schedule as possible. This means moving around freely and without the burden of your heavy gear. With Bounce, you won’t have to worry about your luggage again! Locate one of our local partners in Mandalay and drop off your bags and backpacks. Bounce will keep your things secure as you set off on your adventure.
Top Things to Do
Mandalay is a prominent tourist destination, as well as a cultural hub for the country of Myanmar. From lovely pagodas and shrines to street markets and vibrant alleyways, this riverside city has something for you to enjoy. Here are some of the top things to do in Mandalay:
Mandalay has many museums and other cultural institutions that give an insight into its culture, history, and heritage. If you want to get your culture fix, check out the following places:
Mandalay Cultural Museum: This museum is one of the best kept museums in all of Myanmar despite the decades of underfunding and lack of maintenance. Found within the complex of the Royal Palace, the Mandalay Cultural Museum is home to exhibits that tell the history of the city. Learn of the Pagan Dynasty under the rule of Kings Mindon and Thibaw. The museum houses a collection of rare artifacts dating back to the 14th century, such as sculptures, wall paintings by Saya Chone, furniture, and weapons that once belonged to the royal family. But the highlight of the museum is the huge glass-pillared bed that was owned and used by King Thibaw. (Bag policy: The museum does not pose restrictions on the size of guests’ bags. But for a hassle-free visit, leave your things with Bounce beforehand.)
Kuthodaw Pagoda: While not a museum in the traditional sense, the Kuthodaw Pagoda holds valuable treasures and is one of the must-see attractions in Mandalay. Located on the foot of the Mandalay Hill, the Buddhist stupa was built during King Mindon’s reign and is seemingly identical to the other pagodas in the city. What makes it unique, however, is that it is home to the largest book in the world. This “book” contains 729 marble slabs inscribed with religious texts and Buddha’s teachings. (Bag policy: Since the Kuthodaw Pagoda is a Buddhist stupa, it would be best not to bring your oversized bag or luggage as a sign of respect. Instead, you can store your things at a Bounce location nearby.)
Inn Wa Archeological Museum: Located in the city of Inwa, just a short drive from the city of Mandalay, the Inn Wa Archaeological Museum is a quaint but interesting facility that’s worth seeing. The two-hall museum is filled with marble Buddha statues dating back to the 19th century. There are a handful of other lovely artifacts that can be viewed here, such as photos of the inauguration of Ava Bridge and a large Buddha “footprint” from the 18th century. (Bag policy: Guests are permitted to bring luggage inside the museum but may be inspected for security reasons. To avoid any inconvenience, drop off your things at a Bounce location within Mandalay before heading out to Inwa.)
Like most Asian cities that aren’t the capital, shopping in Mandalay isn’t exactly comparable to Yangon; there are no large malls and shopping complexes. However, there are plenty of boutiques and markets that allow for an authentic and charming shopping experience. When shopping in Mandalay, check the following places out:
Jade Market: Myanmar, in general, is known for its jewelry trade, particularly jadeite. In fact, it is one of the country’s largest exports, and the best place to shop for jade is the Jade Market. Local vendors are seated in small wooden desks, often cutting their stones to produce jewelry. Expect high-quality jade products from this market, although it might set you back a couple hundred dollars, depending on what you get.
Zegyo Market: No shopping experience in Mandalay would be complete without visiting the biggest market in the city – Zegyo Market. This brightly-colored and busy market is filled with hundreds of stalls and vendors selling all kinds of products – from souvenirs and handicrafts to street food and fabrics. The market is truly a one-stop-shop when in Mandalay.
Yadanarbon Market: The oldest market in the city, the Yadanarbon market is a recreational center where you can find goods such as electronics, clothing and household items. The market also features an underground department store.
The dining scene in Mandalay stays true to its Burmese roots but also features a number of international flavors. Here are the best restaurants to try in the city:
Burmese food: Burmese cuisine is a combination of the local cuisines within the different regions of the country. The top Burmese restaurants in Mandalay are Mingalabar Myanmar Restaurant, Lashio Lay, Green Elephant Aye Myit Tar, Shan Ma Ma, and A Little Bit of Mandalay.
Chinese cuisine: Because of the massive Chinese population in the city, Mandalay has an abundance of authentic Chinese restaurants. Some of the best restaurants to try are Super 81 BBQ & Restaurant, Golden Duck, Spicy Pot, Oriental House, and Yunnan III.
Café: Mandalay has a surprisingly booming coffee scene and it is evident in the number of quality cafés found in the city. Among the top cafés to try include NOVA Coffee, OH, So Café, Koffie Korner, My Tree and GOFFEE-COFFEE.
How much does luggage storage cost in Mandalay?
The price for luggage storage in Mandalay is just $5.90/bag for the entire day.
Is it safe to store your bags in Mandalay?
Yes. Every bag is tagged with a security seal and comes with the $5,000 Bounce Guarantee. Every location is required to uphold tight security precautions. You may be asked to show ID and you will be required to use a credit card to book through Bounce in advance. With hundreds of thousands of bags stored, you can count on Bounce to handle your baggage in Mandalay.
Are there storage lockers in Mandalay?
Yes. There are storage lockers and many other luggage drop off points in Mandalay. Bounce has multiple locations throughout Mandalay where you can conveniently store your luggage with full security and the $5,000 Bounce Gurantee.
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