Mandalay Hill


Mandalay Hill; A 1,729 Step Climb to a Birthplace of Legends

The view from the summit of Mandalay Hill at sunset
Natural Height
Hiking Period
Rest Stops & Facilities
Guides & Porters
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Summary Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Summary

Before the city, Mandalay Hill was the birthplace of legends!

Mandalay Hill overlooks the city of its namesake and is an easy and very accessible climb best done around sunset. Sitting at the top of the hill, Su Taung Pyae Pagoda commemorates a visit from an early Buddha who prophesied the rise of a great city at the foot of the hill. The summit affords fantastic views of the city that was delivered, as well as the Irrawaddy, its floodplains, and the beginning of the Shan Highlands.

Climbing Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Height and Distance

Natural Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Natural Height

Summits Index:
1 / 10 (200m - 500m)

241m (790 ft)

Natural Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Hiking Period

Summits Index:
0 / 10 (2 hours or less)

It takes 1 – 2 hours (usually shorter) to climb and descend Mandalay Hill at a relatively leisurely pace, regardless of the route you choose to take. The main stairway is about 1 to 1.5km (0.5 mi to 1 mi) long.

The two less popular stairways that get you to the summit come from the North (25 mins) and West (15 mins) respectively, but these routes are steeper, and not as interesting.

Difficulty Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Hiking Difficulty

Difficulty Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Terrain

Summits Index:
2 / 10 (Easy, groomed trail; gentle slope and / or built steps)

Mandalay Hill is a leisurely and visually rich climb.

The main trail up Mandalay Hill is actually a staircase. It begins with a long covered staircase running up the hill’s southern flank. There are 1,729 steps to climb to reach the peak.

If you’re not up for walking all the way up, you can take a car or motorbike up the paved road running most of the way up the top. At the car park where the road stops, an adjacent escalator will bring you most of the rest of the way up to the summit, but it is frequently out of service. Hiring a motorbike or taxi is also an option.

Difficulty Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Weather

Summits Index:
5 / 10 (Very variable - unfriendly)

The hot season in central Myanmar is no joke. This climb is best done at a saunter outside of the hotter hours of the day, and ideally while taking in a sunrise or sunset. The biggest challenges you’ll face in climbing Mandalay Hill are avoiding the mid-day heat, or slippery patches when it rains.

Temperatures from February to May will reach above 40˚C (~105˚F) just about every day. If you’re in Mandalay in the hot season, only attempt Mandalay Hill around dawn or dusk, which also lets you enjoy the sunrise or sunset. The rainy season is from May to October.

You may be required to remove your shoes at certain points in the hike, as this is a religious site. So, be sure to do the climb at a time of day when the ground won’t burn your feet, or a time of year when the ground won’t be too slippery without shoes.

Difficulty Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Equipment

Summits Index:
0 / 10 (No climbing equipment needed, not even shoes)

No special equipment is needed for this hike.

Facilities Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Support Facilities

Facilities Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Rest Stops & Facilities

Summits Index:
0 / 10 (N/A; for short or easy hikes)

Facilities available include toilets/bathrooms, food and water at the trailhead, as well as rest stop shelters, stairs, food and water along the trail itself.

Facilities Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Guides and Porters

Summits Index:
0 / 10 (N/A; for short or easy hikes)

Neither guides nor porters are required or recommended.

Accessibility Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Accessibility and Safety

Accessibility Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Location

Summits Index:
2 / 10 (Near major city; accessible any time)

Mandalay Airport is about a 1-hour drive to the south of Mandalay Hill. Taxis from the airport can be easy, so long as you get out of the airport before they’re all taken. If you know you’ll be delayed, such as by getting a visa on arrival, it is best to arrange a taxi in advance.

Accessibility Mandalay Hill Myanmar - Safety

Summits Index:
1 / 10 (None to very little risk)

Mandalay Hill is a safe place to be, and is usually full of people, willing to help others in trouble. The only real hazards are the public restrooms, which can be quite unsanitary. Also, don’t buy water bottles that have had their cap seals broken.

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