In a nutshell
Amarapura is another one of the ancient capital cities that lies outside Mandalay and is known for a host of charming attractions including pagodas, dainty temples, and monasteries.
One of the best known spots in Amarapura is the Maha Gandhayon Kyaung Monastery which is known for its ‘feeding of the monks’ ceremony which is held daily at 10 am and involve alms and food being presented to hundreds of monks. As well as the monastery, you can also visit the Kyautawgyi Pagoda and the ruins of Amarapura Palace which is the home of the tombs of King Bodawpaya and King Bagyidaw.
Yet the main reason why people come to Amarapura is to see the famous sunsets over the U Bein bridge. This experience is considered by many a real highlight of the whole trip to Burma, do not miss it!
When to go to Amarapura
Myanmar has a dry and a rainy season and when you visit depends on the kind of weather you prefer. The dry season lasts from January to May and it can be very dusty and fiercely hot in Amarapura at that time. The wet season is from June to October and it can rain every day which can make a visit rather damp. If you want to visit when the weather is stable and cool then November and December are good picks.
Where to stay in Amarapura
Most people choose not to stay in Amarapura and instead stay in neighbouring Mandalay. It can be hard to find a hotel or guesthouse in Amarapura and as such you should book accommodation in a nearby area such as Mandalay accordingly.
Where to eat in Amarapura
You won’t find a huge selection of food choices in Amarapura, particularly compared to neighbouring Mandalay, although there are some pleasant options for when you are in town.
As with many Burmese towns, you will find a central market here and you can also find cheap street food snacks such as barbecued meats along the waterfront in Amarapura. If you want a choice of international, Thai, and Burmese fare then Renaissance Cafe is a good choice and is also part of a rattan shop that sells furniture. They have set meals which cost between MMK 7,500-13,000.
How to get around Amarapura
The sights in Amarapura are rather scattered around the city and as such you will need some form of transport if you want to explore properly. The best thing to do is hire a motorbike taxi or a normal taxi which will take you around Amarapura.
How to get to and from Amarapura
Amarapura is located around 10 kilometres away from Mandalay and you can take a regular taxi to the town for around MMK 18,000 which is a good choice for anyone traveling in a group.
Many people make their way to Amarapura as part of a guided tour from Mandalay which also takes in Inwa and Sagaing and these usually last from around 9 am to 5 pm and can be a good way to see all the sights quickly and easily.
If you do want to explore Amarapura on your own then you can get a pick-up taxi from Zegyo Market in Mandalay which costs MMK 300 and is a great option if you are on a budget.
Is Amarapura a safe place to visit?
Amarapura is a safe place to visit and most trips here are trouble free. You should still remain vigilant about your possessions however and try to leave some of your valuables in a hotel safe when you visit the town.
Some visitors have reported that the daily ceremony of the ‘feeding of the monks’ at Maha Gandhayon Kyaung Monastery can be extremely crowded and you may wish to either arrive early or make alternative arrangements to visit at another time in the afternoon when the grounds of the monastery are a little quieter.