Puppets on sale, near the Shwenanda Kyaung in Mandalay. Some evidence shows that the arts of puppet arrived from India, or perhaps China, in Myanmar during the 15th century. However, the art form only reached its peak in the 19th century, when it was considered more superior than live theatre, due to the skill and expertise required in manipulation.


Being a tourist centre, Mandalay has also become the best place for genuine Myanmar handicrafts, like embroideries (above, right), silk (below, bottom), tapestries, wood carvings, lacquerware, antique masks, gem stones. Most shops, however, appear to be catered for foreign tourists.