Mandalay is the second commercial capital of Myanmar and the last capital of Myanmar King in 19th century. Old city wall and moat still exist. It takes about 7 driving hours from Yangon, 700 km.
Mingun, located about 11 km upriver from Mandalay on the western banks of the Ayeyarwaddy river. The places or village of the biggest bell in Myanmar, the second largest bell in the world.
Pyinoolwin, formerly known as May Myo is situated 67 Km east of Mandalay, about 1 ½ hours drive. A small charming town is decorated with beautiful gardens, old colonial Edwardian-style houses in big compound, pine trees, coffee plantations, unique horse carriage.
Sagaing lies 21 kilometers (about 40 minute) south west of Mandalay, beside the Ayeyarwaddy river. Not like Mandalay, Sagaing is charming and peaceful town with dotted pagodas on the Sagaing hills along the river.
Amarapura, just 11km south of Mandalay was the capital during the reign of King Bodawpaya in 1783. Also the first place of the British embassy in Myanmar.
Another interesting place not very far from Mandalay is the town, Monywa. Its about 136 km to the west of Mandalay.