The second largest city and a former capital, Mandalay was established in 1857 and is the religious and economic hub of upper Burma. Though centred around the Royal Palace, Mandalay is a modern city, with dusty streets and busy roads filled with bicycles and scooters. Downtown Mandalay is chock-a-block full of urban sprawl, whilst towards the north of the city, you will find beautiful ancient stupas and monasteries, such as the Kuthodaw pagoda and Shwenandaw Kyaung, dotted along the moat of the palace, a walled citadel that was the last royal palace of the Burmese monarchy. Take in the full force of the thriving city from Mandalay Hill, with panoramic views that make the climb worthwhile, before venturing into the ancient cities surrounding Mandalay. 


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