Myanmar : Top Tips For Getting Around Mandalay
Traveling to Myanmar Most tourists don’t realize how many things to do in Mandalay and that they should spend at least 2 nights in Mandalay. Once you've arrived in Mandalay, Myanmar's second largest city, there're many attractions and sites for you to visit. Northern Myanmar's commercial and cultural hub is big and there’s a lot to see, but making your way from one point to another in and around the city can be hectic and sometimes even overwhelming.
Getting around Mandalay
The former royal capital of the country, while large and flat, has a grid-based street system, making it somewhat harder for travelers to get lost. The streets of Mandalay are numbered 1 to 49 from north to south, and 50 to 90 from east to west. That said, navigating the city is certainly no stroll in the park. The downtown area includes markets, restaurants, and temples within walking distance, but if you'd like to visit sights some distance from the city center, it’s probably a good idea to use other means of transportation.
Motorbikes are not allowed in Yangon, however, Mandalay is a much larger city, more spread-out, and it is possible to ride motorbikes here. Motorbike taxis are cheaper than car taxis, so a typical ride between two destinations in the city should come to less than 5,000 kyats (US$3.50).
If you are travelling around Mandalay and its outskirts, it is easy to rent a car for the day and split the costs with family or friends. There is a lot to see outside of the city; a day trip to the picturesque town of Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular option. Depending on the car and number of people, this journey shouldn’t cost more than 100,000 Kyats (US$73) for the entire day – and can be far less if you do half-day trips.
Trishaws, once the main mode of transportation around Mandalay, are somewhat rare nowadays, although one might spot a few around crowded marketplaces. Travelers should know, though, that trishaw drivers do expect to be tipped for the hard work they put in.
Using buses or pick-up trucks are other possibilities for getting around in Mandalay, but we don’t recommend them. The entire system is dodgy, with trucks making lengthy stops and rarely leaving until they are filled to the brim.
Between the 14th and 19th centuries, Inwa (Ava), about 21 km south of Mandalay, was the capital of the country. It is still a site most travelers visit during their time in Mandalay. The former capital city boasts some truly splendid teak monasteries and picturesque pagodas.
Upon arrival at Inwa, guests board horse-carts to explore the beautiful countryside at a relaxed pace. Making their way down little dirt tracks, the carts pass through a banana plantation, a village, and some paddy fields before visiting the ancient ruins and main sites of Inwa. Exploring the countryside of Inwa is a truly memorable experience that we can't recommend highly enough.