The name Mandalay brings to mind luxury due to the well-known hotel and casino chain, but the reality is, to put it kindly, somewhat different. Mandalay was a former royal capital of the country, though its grand palace was destroyed by bombs during World War II and the current buildings are mostly rebuilt. The city is bustling, but it is kind of shabby. The city's hill, named after it, offers great views. The most interesting sites actually lie outside the city in the towns and villages of Sagaing, Amarapura and Inwa, all former capitals as well in the country's complex and fragmented past.
Sagaing, Inwa and Amarapura