As well as being Myanmar’s last royal capital, Mandalay is the biggest commercial and cultural centre in upper Myanmar. It also a city of temples and has some of the biggest monasteries in Myanmar.
The formal royal palace and its impressive moat are near the foot of Mandalay Hill, a famous attraction in its own right offering scenic views of the city and the Ayeyarwady River.
Myanmar is an important centre for handicrafts production, known especially for its wood carvings, marble sculptures, embroidered tapestries, gold-leaf factories and cheroot rolling businesses.
Within easy travelling distance from Mandalay are the former colonial hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin (known to the British as Maymyo)
and the ancient royal capitals of Amarapura, Inwa and Sagaing.