Skinny Buddha


Built in 2011, this remarkable 75ft-tall seated Buddha, with either most of his ribs or a 14-pack showing, is a 'meditation image' that falls stylistically somewhere between manga cartoon and Cubism. This Buddha gets marks for being a fairly unique representation amid Mandalay's thousands of almost identical representations of the Enlightened One.

The small complex has several other interesting images, including a good-sized sleeping Buddha.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mandalay attractions

1. Moat & Fortress Walls


Viewable only from the outside, a 230ft-wide moat and well over 4 miles of crenellated 26ft-high walls form a vast square around the site of the former…

2. Mandalay Palace

1.63 MILES

The 1990s reconstruction of Mandalay's royal palace features more than 40 timber buildings constructed to resemble the 1850s originals. Climb the curious…

3. Shwenandaw Kyaung

1.68 MILES

This fine teak monastery-temple is noted for its carvings, particularly the interior gilded scenes from the Jataka (past-life stories of the Buddha). The…

4. Culture Museum


Within the palace complex, this small, neglected museum holds poorly displayed relics gleaned from the old Burmese royal family. The most intriguing…

5. Atumashi Kyaungdawgyi

1.75 MILES

This unusually shaped temple is a series of diminishing stupa-dotted terraces over an arched base decorated with peacock motifs. When built in 1857, it…

6. Gold-Pounders’ District

1.83 MILES

Those 1-sq-in gold-leaf sheets that worshippers piously place on sacred buddha images are laboriously hand-pounded in dozens of specialist workshops in…

7. Sandamuni Paya

1.94 MILES

At this shrine, you'll find 1774 ensconced marble slabs inscribed with commentaries on the Tripitika (Buddhist scriptures). Along with the stone slabs at…

8. Central Mosque

1.96 MILES

This mosque is not a tourist attraction per se, but it has been the site of tense confrontation when anti-Muslim anger has been stoked in the past. The…