Mandalay is historically known as the last royal capital of the Myanmar Kingdom. It is situated on the eastern banks of the Ayeyarwaddy River in Central Myanmar, 668 km north of the capital city Yangon. Also known as Ratanabon - nepyidaw (meaning Gem City), Mandalay was founded by King Mindon in 1857. The city is now almost 150 years old and it is the country's second largest city; the cultural heart of Myanmar where the most refined arts, traditions of dance, music and drama live on.
Mandalay is well known for its traditional arts and crafts, ivory, wood, marble and stone carvings, gold and silver crafts, hand-woven silk and tapestries.
Mandalay is also the commercial centre with rail, road, river and air linkages to all parts of the Union of Myanmar.
Mandalay offers wonderful sights to behold and has a number of nearby attractions, most historical and fascinating from cool hill resorts to exotic market places, from an ancient palace to a river ride up the famous " Road to Mandalay", or a ride in unique trishaws or horse- drawn carts.
Mandalay is 668 km north of Yangon and easily accessible. Myanmar Airways, Yangon Airways and Air Mandalay operate daily flights an hour's flight from Yangon. It takes about 12 hours by Express coaches^ and about 14 hours by rail from Yangon.