History is full of battles, wars and destruction of places that would have stunned any traveler. Who has not dreamed of seeing the golden pyramids of Egypt, the gardens of Babylon or the colossus of Rhodes or the lighthouse of Alexandria. Either by natural causes or by wars, there will always be difficult places to recreate even after a good reconstruction. The Mandalay Palace, which although it does not give much shade to these past colossi, is one of the best reconstructions in the country and one of the places forced to visit in one of our favorite cities in Myanmar, Mandalay. Some hate him, others love him.
Exterior of Mandalay Palace
A little history
Before Mandalay Palace was devastated by an earthquake, bombed several times and burned to its guts during the Second World War was the synonym of the opulence, bourgeoisie and luxury of Myanmar. It was built in the mid-19th century by the King mindon. The Palace is surrounded by a wall and a large moat, in the traditional Burmese style.
The size of the walled enclosure where Mandalay Palace is located is colossal, it can easily take more than an hour to surround the entire enclosure. Each face of this large quadrilateral measures more than one kilometer.
We opted for a motorcycle to be able to surround the entire Mandalay Palace, although there is the possibility of surrounding it with a Rickshaw pulled by a local by bicycle, but we do not recommend it, it is so great that you see how the poor suffer.
Much of the enclosure is a military enclosure, which is why tourism is prohibited. You can only access on one side, the east entrance, once passed through a checkpoint and travel more than 500m to reach the palace, located in the middle of the walled complex.
The entrance resulted very expensive For what this palace can bring, 10,000 MMK, as if the Prado will be treated by a complex that is 90% rebuilt, yes, it really seems and the aesthetic is very different from everything that is left in Myanmar.
The visit does not have to last more than an hour. It becomes barefoot, and one of the most colorful buildings is a tower with a spiral staircase of Solomon appearance. From this tower there are views of the entire Palace and part of the military complex.
Mandalay Marionettes, next to Mandalay Palace
It is one of Myanmar's classic shows, right next to the Palace, about 10 minutes from the east entrance. Although the entrance is the most expensive in the city, about € 20, it is worth it. You can pay by card, synonymous that it is intended primarily for tourists.
You can get an idea with a video from our YouTube channel:
This puppet show recreate stories based on Jataka and the Kamazat with certain touches of humor and enlivened by a gentleman more than friendly over 100 years old. The company is made up of people of all ages and has made several tours around the world. A little piece of Myanmar art in this lost corner of Mandalay.
You can say that the best time to visit the Palace is in the afternoon. This way you can take advantage of the road and go see the puppet show. A different experience
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