Sunset at wall of Mandalay palace

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Mandalay Palace


The 1990s reconstruction of Mandalay's royal palace features more than 40 timber buildings constructed to resemble the 1850s originals. Climb the curious spiral, timber-walled watchtower for a good general view. The palace's most striking structure is a soaring multilayered pyramid of gilt filigree above the main throne room. Parts of the complex are in need of repair.

Palace access for foreigners is only via the east gate, and you may be asked for ID.

If cycling or motorcycling, you must dismount as you pass through the gate and, due to army sensibilities, all visitors are required to stay on the direct access way and palace loop road. From this road you can see (but technically should not approach) the tomb of King Mindon, a large drum tower, sheds containing more than 600 stone inscription slabs and a small aeroplane on some rocks in the trees.

The westernmost building within the palace oval contains a minor culture museum in which the most intriguing exhibit is King Thibaw's dainty, glass-pillared four-poster bed.

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