Mandalay is filled with a buzzing atmosphere. There is so much still to be uncovered in the city, yet it is one of the most popular cities to visit in the country. If you take the time to explore and discover the secrets hidden within, then there is so much to be enjoyed, from markets to temples and monasteries but also fantastic panoramic views from Mandalay Hill. Compared to some of the other cities in Myanmar that have a very long history Mandalay is quite new in this sense. It was built in 1857 and was erected in a grand scale which is shown by the size of Mandalay palace. When arriving in Mandalay you will find some large dusty streets based on a grid system. Around downtown, it is easily walkable, however, if you do have time to venture to Mandalay hill then this is probably best done by taxi. It is a great place to go to get some great photos and just admire the view. There are also temples too such as the Mahamuni Temple that also require a taxi or, alternatively you can hire a motorbike which will allow you to drive around a number of places downtown too. These cost around K12,000 per day. At the higher end of the spectrum, you can hire a hot air balloon for a stunning view across the city and surrounding area. These run from mid-November to the end of March and booking is necessary. Mandalay palace looks very grand from the outside with a large surrounding moat it takes advantage of you on first sight which intrigues you to want to look inside. However, unfortunately, the inside has been devastated by the first world war like many other parts of Mandalay. Although with a reconstruction of the original palace, you can still get a feel of how the palace would have been.
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