After we visited the Kuthodaw Pagoda, we decided to go up to the summit of Mandalay Hill to watch the sun stunningly vanish over the horizon, giving way to a thousand others.
This beautiful hill is popular for its superb valley views. It is situated at the corner of the moat of the Palace, northeast of the city center and about 240 meters above sea level.
We hired a taxi to take us around Mandalay and before he drove us back to our hotel, our last stop was in Mandalay Hill. When we arrived on top, we removed our shoes, and took the elevator to go up.
We went up 30 minutes before sunset to soak up the atmosphere, and stay until dark. It’s lovely up there! In spite of the huge crowds, we enjoyed the fresh air with spectacular 360 views of the city and the surrounding countryside. It’s a gorgeous place to witness the entire city and the palace grounds, encased by snaking rivers to one side and distant mountains to the other.
Wandering around slightly at the top of the hill, we came across many nicely decorated pagodas, stupas and monasteries that have been the pilgrimage site for Burmese Buddhists for about two centuries. We also noticed the king of the ogres with his armies at the four corners of the top terrace, and saw many creature statues such as rabbits, cockerels, and lizards which represent Buddha experiences – his birth, suffering, death, and rebirth. The temple complex at the top is worth the journey alone – it’s wonderful with gorgeous artifacts and a cool marble floor as you go without shoes.
Later, we found a quiet place. We sat there. Far in the distance, we watched the blazing yellow sun sinking low in the sky. Then the sky was dyed with the splash of colors. We savored the moment. It was romantic. It was magical. And, this beautiful sunset reminded us that no matter what happens things end in a beautiful way.
Certainly, Mandalay Hill is a fascinating historical place and watching the magnificent sunset is definitely a must see if you are in the area.
Little Lilly travel tips:
- There is no entrance fee. But you have to pay a fee for your camera and for the shoe box.
- A lot of tourists visit the hill for sunset.
- It is accessible to everyone. There is a one-way motor road, an escalator and a lift for those who are unable to climb up the stairs.
- Try to get there a while before sunset and stake your spot otherwise you’ll be knee-deep in tourists.