During the reign of the Konbaung Dynasty, the city of Mandalay served as proof of the splendour of the Golden Age in Burma. When the Second World War occurred, the city and the Royal Palace were damaged in the fighting but were soon reconstructed. Today, Mandalay serves as the cultural centre of Myanmar and is home to several Buddhist monasteries and exquisite examples of Myanmar masonry. While the city is historically relevant, it remains fresh and contemporary with modern hotels and establishments.

Established in 1857, Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar. It is found in the upper part of the country, located on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River. Mandalay is where the Royal Palace of the Konbaung Dynasty is located, which was the last monarchy and independent kingdom of Burma. In 1886, present day Myanmar was conquered by British colonial forces. Ratanapunja was the ancient name of the city. It was given the name 'Mandalay' based on the 236-metre high Mandalay Hill, which is currently one of the most popular tourist destinations in the city.

Like other cities in Myanmar, Mandalay is home to many pagodas. It is to be expected, as Theravada Buddhism is the predominant religion in the country, with 80% of the population practising it. There are also monasteries to visit in Mandalay, some of which are impressive in their architectural style and construction. Most of the attractions in the city offer tourists a spiritual, if not enlightening, experience.

Mandalay is not only a city of temples and monasteries; it can also be considered as city of royalty. The other attractions in Mandalay are reminders of the time when Burmese kingdoms were still in existence. This is the city where the Royal Palace can be found, as well as other structures built by the kings. However, the best attraction in Mandalay is not made by man. Mandalay Hill is the most famous attraction of the city, a necessary stop for any tourist who arrives in this part of Myanmar.

Visitors wanting to enjoy the night life in Mandalay may be disappointed with what the city offers. Unlike Yangon, Mandalay has very limited options when it comes to night time entertainment and drinking as the city does not have pubs and bars. However, just because there are no beer stations, it does not mean that the city is not alive at night. The night life in Mandalay is quite unique, especially when compared to other cities.

Instead, Mandalay has satire and puppets. The city has its own version of the 'West End' with the Moustache Brothers, who combine comedy, tradition and political commentary. Theatre arts are also represented at night thanks to the Mandalay Marionettes. The absence of pubs does not mean the absence of beer, which can still be enjoyed in the city with some restaurants serving both local and foreign beer.




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