cultural city in Mandalay Region, Myanmar


we will see

Mandalay Hill

One of the favourite sunset spots, and a good quarter-day activity. The climb is enjoyable, providing scenic views of several other attractions and Mandalay. From the base of Mandalay Hill you can either climb the stairs or take a pick-up to Sutaungpyei Pagoda at the top, but the walk is probably worth it in order to catch the scenic views along the way. The climb takes about 30-45 min and requires moderate fitness, but is not overly demanding and is in the shade. Has views of Kuthodaw and Sandamuni paya, and the royal palace in the distance. Plenty of stray dogs, shops and other interesting stops (Buddhas, pagodas, viewpoints) line the path, such as the Gothama Buddha shrine. The two main south entrances are guarded by either Nats (spirit figures) or Chinthes (great mythical lions), but there are several other entrances.Along the climb from the southern stairs near the place where these pathways merge, you come across a large statue of Buddha and his kneeling disciple Ananda, who climbed this very hill two centuries before Mingdon conquered it. Buddha is seen ominously pointing towards Mandalay, indicating that after two centuries, the capital of this region would shift to Mandalay. It is this prophecy that Mingdon fulfilled.Further up, you come across a shrine showing the various stages of a man's life: birth, youth, monk, old age and death. Interestingly, there are similarities between the birth and death stage indicating the cyclical nature of life believed by Buddhism. You can see same set of figures as an image in Shwezigon Pagoda in Bagan.At the top, accessed by escalator, is the shrine to the ogress Sandamukhi on the penultimate storey. Sandamukhi is depicted as offering her cut breasts to Buddha in a scary gesture. It is said the ogress took rebirth as King Mingdon.Additional 1,000 kyat for foreigners to enter the topmost level and see the pagoda, which can be avoided by watching the sunset from the Ogress storey. However, the open four-directional view from the top storey may be worth it, apart from the access to the toilets in this area. Footwear including socks are prohibited at the pagoda, which offers nice views of Mandalay and the surrounding plains. At sunset, Sutaungpyei Pagoda crowds with tourists, and many monks and other locals climb the stairs with the hope of talking to foreigners and practicing their English.