Mandalay was founded in 1857 as the capital by King Mindon and remained the capital city of the Konboung, Myanmar’s last dynasty. After Bagan it is the country’s richest historical landmark. The Mandalay Palace boasts finely built palace walls and a beautiful moat surrounding this fortress. Moreover, Mandalay is not only an important city for Myanmar culture, but the principle centre for Buddhism studies in Myanmar. Key places of interest in the city include various monasteries, Kuthodaw Pagoda (home of the world’s largest book) and no visit would be complete without a sunset visit to Mandalay Hill. The city is also a major handicraft centre where you can see stone and marble carvers, gold leaf pressing, tapestry workshops, cotton and silk textile weaving, silver smith workshops and bamboo fan factories. If you prefer not to actually visit the workshops you can purchase their goods at the colourful Zeycho Market.