Visiting the Royal Palace at Mandalay.
Known as Mya Nan San Kyaw (The Famed Royal Emerald Palace) this is one of Mandalay's major tourist attractions. King Mindon moved his capital to Mandalay from Amarapura in 1857 to fulfill a prophecy 2400 years earlier by the Gautama Buddha who had visited Mandalay Hill. The Palace was built in accordance with tradition to represent the cosmos with the sacred Mount Eru (the Throne Room at it's centre). The palace buildings at Amarapura were dismantled and re-assembled in situ - the centre piece
being the Lion Room where the rulers held court. This elaborately carved teak building with upturned eaves had a seven tiered roof and high tower (Pyathat) which was decorated with jewels and gold leaf. The other buildings within the palace area were all made of teak and heavily carved and decorated. The whole city was contained within a fort (citadel) and surrounded by a wide moat.
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Mandalay Fort Moat
On Htate Gate
West Gate Watchtower
The fort has 24 foot high walls and 12 watch gates - again the watch gates designed with multi-tiered wooden carved roofs. The moat is
210 feet wide and can be crossed by four bridges - altogether a huge area of some 2.5kms square.
The city was eventually conquered by the British (in 1885) and used as a military base and then later on it was almost completely destroyed during WW2 (1945) to remove the Japanese.
Royal Palace entrance
Royal Palace buildings
Royal Palace building
If heading to the Royal Palace after visiting the Mandalay Hill area it is of course possible to walk there using the East side of the moat which is along a pavement whichis lined with trees and even a few seats however this is around 2kms. Then there is the long walk from the Ticket Office to the Palace itself so especially if time is limited then a taxi might be a good idea. There is no need to retain your taxi
as there are usually plenty hanging around at the car park in front of the Palace entrance.
Note that in order to visit this reconstruction of the Palace the only tourist access is via the East Gate. Once over the Moat there are several police around and there is also a ticket office where they will want to see your Combo Ticket (which does cover Palae admission). To actually reach the Palace from there involves a long walk along a
wide straight road - as the area is still used by the Burmese military you cannot leave the road and there is nowhere to stop.
Chief Queens Apartments
Royal Palace building
Great Audience Hall
Royal Palace buildings
While the reconstruction of much of the Palace (which occurred in the 1990s) of around 40 buildings is useful to understand the scale of the area, sadly authentic materials and use of skilled craftsmen was not apparently used. This means that the buildings certainly lack something - perhaps not at all helped by the liberal use of pink painted corrugated sheets as part of the roofs. There is certainly no comparison
with the Shwenandaw Kyaung which was thankfully moved to Mandalay Hill area before the destruction - the monastery does show what it was once like at the Palace.
Our other items about Mandalay and surrounding area.
- Mandalay Travel and Touring Guide and Photos
- Mandalay Myanmar - ways to travel to the old City i.e. flights or by road, things to do and see in Mandalay, Irrawaddy River.
- Climbing Mandalay Hill in Myanmar visiting Su Taung Pyi Pagoda
- Walking up Mandalay Hill via the covered walkway looking at Su Taung Pyi Pagoda, Buddha images, shrines and stupas.
- Visiting Kuthodaw Pagoda, Kyauktawgyi Pagoda and Sandamuni Pagoda in Mandalay
- Looking at Buddhist Temples and Stupas in Mandalay, Myanmar - Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, Sandamuni Pagoda and Kuthodaw Pagoda.
- Visiting the old Shwekyimyint Pagoda in Mandalay, Myanmar
- Going to Shwekyimyint Pagoda - Shwe Kyi Myint Pagoda is the oldest Pagoda in Mandalay, also has a large reclining Buddha.
- Visiting Shwenandaw Kyaung Monastery and Atumashi Kyaungat, Mandalay
- Visiting The beautiful Shwenandaw Kyaung (Teak Monastery) in Mandalay and the adjacent Atumashi Kyaung Monastery - Myanmar.
- Inwa touring the old Monasteries, Temples and Pagodas
- Inwa - Le Htat Gyi Paya, Yadana Hsemee Pagoda, Bagaya Kyaung white Stupas, Maha Aung Myi Bonzan Monastery, Htilhingshin Paya.
- Visiting some Pagodas at Sagaing in Myanmar
- Wandering around Sagaing (Mandalay) - visiting The Kaunghmudaw Pagoda, The Soon U Ponya Shin Pagoda in The Sagaing Hills.
- Sightseeing the Old Royal City of Amarapura near Mandalay
- Daytrip to Amarapura (Mandalay), looking at the Mahagandhayon Monastery, walking over Taung Tha Man Lake on U Beins Bridge.
- Myanmar travel, touring and sightseeing guides and photos
- Our above Home Page shows all of our items about Myanmar covering Yangon, Inle Lake and Bagan.
Other destinations in the Far East which are reasonably easy to reach from Myanmar and for which we have travel and touring guides are Cambodia, Laos, China, Thailand and Vietnam - please see our above Home Page for these or visit our Resources Page