Rising 240 metres above the city, Mandalay Hill provides the perfect introduction with great views of the surrounding countryside, Irrawaddy River and urban centre. Back down below, at the base of the hill, the tour will stop at Shwe Nandaw Kyaung- or Golden Palace Monastery- noted for its intricate wood carvings, and Kyauktawgyi Pagoda to view the huge marble Buddha. At Kuthodaw Pagoda, witness ‘the world’s largest book’, a collection of more than 700 marble slabs inscribed with Buddhist teachings.
A boat trip up the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay to the riverside village of Mingun, shows the region from an entirely different perspective, specifically the lifestyles of the local people who live and work on these waters. At Mingun, there is the chance to see the world’s largest uncracked bell, Mingun Pagoda, a giant brick structure built in the late 1700s and Hsinbyume Pagoda, a white-washed temple built to resemble Mount Meru. Throughout Mingun there are small neighborhoods crafting traditional basketry. The tour returns by boat.