Mandalay is the second-largest city and the last royal capital of Burma. Located 445 miles north of Yangon, it is situated on the east bank of the Irrawaddy River. The city has a population of one million, and is the capital of Mandalay Region.

Mandalay is the economic hub of Upper Burma and considered the centre of Burmese culture. A continuing influx of Chinese immigrants, mostly from Yunnan Province, in the past twenty years, has reshaped the city's ethnic makeup and increased commerce with China.

The city has many historical and religious sites to visit including the Royal Palace Monastery, the Mahamuni Pagoda and the Kuthodaw Pagoda which houses the world's largest book.  Mandalay Hill is also a must to visit. Geographically, it offers magnificent views over the city and countryside and it is said to be a hill that the Buddha climbed to spend time in meditation.

Getting there: There are national and international flights into Mandalay.