Despite the romance in its name, many folk just pass through Mandalay, stopping off to see the Mahamuni Paya temple with its ancient, and 13foot tall Buddha, on their way.
But it's certainly worth stopping for a while to look behind the modern zones and see the strange collection of mosques, temples churches and pagodas, and the countless monasteries lining the riverside.
Many of the best places to stay in Mandalay are tucked away behind drab concrete towers, but don't be afraid to look behind them, and you'll find all sorts of wonders. Including the old moat and city walls, the reconstructed palace, the jade market, Kyauktawgyi Paya and its 26foot tall Buddha and the wonderful carved panels of the monastery of Shwenandaw Kyaung.
Mandalay (Aung Myae Tha Zan Township)
A tropical oasis in the heart of the city of Mandalay. Indulgent, secluded and packed full of charm.