Mandalay is well known for literature and history. Being a resident of Yangon this weekend trip offered a good change of scenery.
It was primarily a business trip with a few extra days added for rest & recovery.
I stayed at the Mandalay Hill Hotel and both the hotel and the city gave me a pleasant welcome.
We took the care for a nine hour plus ride all the way from Yangon. I wouldn’t recommend it. It is a waste of time and unnecessary risk exposure in the monsoon rains, not to add that we departed at midnight to reach for the morning meeting. We did a few stops along the way including a nice tea break around 4 am at Shwe kayar Gyo.
Reaching Mandalay we did a breakfast stop to enjoy the famous motee of Mandalay. Two places are strongly recommended: Shwe Yaung Linn and Soe Soe.
Checking in at Mandalay hill hotel was the first time that I felt genuine service in Myanmar. The whole stay was warm and pleasant. I was luckily upgraded to the suit and could enjoy both a living room and a balcony with view of the Mandalay Hill.
Twice we were stunned by the staff’s willingness to support without hesitation, one evening we were late and desserts already taken away. Immediately the and arranged what they could. The following morning missing the breakfast and arriving 30 minutes late they still put together a breakfast for us.
The are of the hotel is like a resort repairs being in the city. From your too. You see both the golf course and the Mandalay Hill. The pool is large and good for laps. Thanks fact that it is nature around adds to the experience.
Evening time a good alternative is The Square BBQ restaurant not far away. The grilled meat is better than the other dishes and goes down well with cold beer while listening to the live music band.
Another lunch or dinner option is the Mingalarbar restaurant. It’s soya bean pork curry is nothing short of amazing.
Things that comes to mind spending a few days in Mandalay is that
– people seem to be much more friendly and relaxed
– traffic flows well and the convenience of motor cycles takes away the need of taxis and buses causing havoc on the streets as in Yangon
– Street food is on a different level compared to Yangon. Clean and good.
All in all, a nicer weekend destination that you might think, especially if you do short travel to the outskirts.