Myanmar's second largest city, Mandalay is considered by many as the heartland of Myanmar as it was in this area where the Burmese Kings resided for centuries. Mandalay provides a unique mixture of old and new. Mandalay is a spiritual center and boasts numerous old wooden monasteries and unique pagodas which date back to life as it was under the reign of Myanmar's last King.
It is linked by air, rail, road and river with Yangon and other principal towns of Myanmar.
Mandalay, the very name evokes the splendours of the Burma of old. But, most people will be surprised to learn that Mandalay is not an old city, not even a medieval one, but rather a new city that was created by King Mingdon Min of Burma in 1857 as the new capital of the kingdom of Ava. Only two Burmese kings ruled from there, King Mingdon and King Thibaw, before the British conquest of Upper Burma in 1885. It was a city of splendour between 1858 and 1885 but most of the magnificence is gone, destroyed by the fire that consumed wooden structures and by intensive bombing by the Allies during the Second World War. The city, neatly planned with its lettered roads and numbered streets, is a British creation. The once magnificent Royal Palace and the great Atumashi (incomparable) pagoda, King Mingdon Min's finest creations, are modern reconstructions.