The wall and moat of the Mandalay Fort at the city centre. Contrary to impression, the fort was constructed as late as 1857, shortly before the arrival of the British, as the palace compound for King Mindon Min. Each side of the square fortress measures 2km in length, 8m in high and more than 2m in average thickness. After the British took over, it was naturally turned into the colonists' government house, and renamed as Fort Duffrin.


Except its very core centre, the fort still serves as a camp for the military and living quarter of their families. Passport inspection and register are still required for foreign visitors.


Red roofs of the palace (below) viewed from the 33-metre high Nan Myint Saung tower ascended by a spiral staircase (above). The entire fortress and palace, except the wall the moat, were pulverised by the fighting between the British and Japanese armies during the WWII, and was later restored. This explains the seemingly modern corrugated iron roofs.



In Myanmar, tourism is still in its infancy. The meager financial support of the historical site largely is largely derived from the $10 admssion fees (good for all sites in Mandalay) paid by foreign tourists, and a few kyats (Myanmar currency) contributed by a small number of local visitors (above & below).