MANDALAY, 29 April 2015: Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism forecasts international tourist arrivals to Mandalay will reach 500,000 visits this year.
According to Mandalay Region Immigration and National Registration Department, 464,577 foreign tourists visited the city in 2014, an increase of 60,385 over the previous year.
Most of the tourists came from China, South Korea and Japan, Global New Light Myanmar media reported.
Mandalay was the capital of the last two reigning kings of Burma prior to the city being burned to the ground by an invading British colonial army that extended its influence over the country from a base in Rangoon (Yangon).
Most of the historical buildings including palaces were destroyed, but tourists can explore replicas of palaces and hill-top vantage points that usually are adorned with chedis offering superb views of the town.
The top tourist attractions in the city include the Maha Muni Buddha Image, Mandalay Hill, Yankin Hill, Taungthaman Lake, Myanan Sankyaw Golden Palace, Golden monastery, the ancient Inwa city, Kuthodaw Pagoda and Taungthaman Bridge.
Currently Bangkok Airways, THAI Smile, SilkAir, Golden Myanmar, AirAsia, China Eastern Airlines and Myanmar Airways International operate regional flights connecting Mandalay to Bangkok, Singapore, Kunming in China and Gaya in India.