Mya Kyauk Kyaung at Yankin Hill, Mandalay.

© lim_jessica/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Yankin Hill

Top choice in Mandalay

Staring distantly towards Mandalay Palace, temple-topped Yankin Hill is worth climbing for views of greater Mandalay's rice-field setting and of the Shan foothills behind. After a 10-minute climb along the obvious covered stairway, you're likely to encounter a couple of domesticated stags – feeding them supposedly brings Buddhist merit. Pagoda walkways turn south along the ridgetop, eventually ducking into a rocky cleft where devotees splash water on tacky golden fish statues that lie at the feet of a Buddha image.

Cars and motorbikes can drive almost to the top of the hill from the southeast. Some pick-up 5 (၅) services terminate near the 19th St stairway.

Around 300yd back towards Mandalay, then 300yd north, Mya Kyauk monastery has a dazzlingly distinctive brassy stupa and is famed for its water. A taxi out this way will cost around K5000 return (or around K3000 for a motorcycle taxi).

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Mandalay attractions

1. Shwenandaw Kyaung

3.74 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…

2. Skinny Buddha

3.81 MILES

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…

3. Atumashi Kyaungdawgyi

3.84 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…

4. Kuthodaw Paya

3.87 MILES

Kuthodaw Paya, aka the ‘world’s biggest book’, draws tour-bus crowds to see its 729 slabs that retell the Tripitaka canon, which is effectively part of…

5. Sandamuni Paya

4.04 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…

7. Kyauktawgyi Paya

4.26 MILES

At the heart of this large 19th-century complex is a 900-tonne buddha, 26ft tall and dressed in royal attire. Carved from a single block of marble, it…