If you’re traveling with kids, you know planning ahead is key. Here are some great ideas for your trip with kids in Mandalay.
Yadanapon Zoological Gardens
This 53 acre zoo is located at the base of Mandalay Hill near the fortress walls. It has some attractive gardens and over 300 animals, including tigers, leopards and elephants. It plays an important role in the conservation program of the highly endangered Burmese Roofed Turtle. This place is perfect for kids, especially little ones, to discover the wild animal world.
The marionette show
A highlight is a traditional Mandalay marionette show, which is typically on the itineraries of most visitors to the city. The kid will be attracted by the colorful and lively performances. The marionette show does a great job of showcasing traditional puppetry, dance, and live music. It lasts an hour and is divided into several short segments, each of which holds your attention while providing a different style of entertainment from the rest, from a slapstick skit to a serious story to a dance-off between a puppet and a human. For a few moments during each performance a curtain rises long enough to let you appreciate the puppeteers’ skill, but not so long as to detract from the entertainment value of the puppets themselves. After the show, the master puppeteer came out to shake hands with each audience. The show is at night, but the theatre is open during the day to sell tickets.
Visiting the many workshops
Visiting Myanmar with children provides families the opportunity to share cultural experiences together, by taking walks through side streets and cycling together through smaller towns in the outlying areas to view the daily lives and activities of the locals. Visiting workshops is also a good chance for the whole family to learn about puppet making, lotus weaving, lacquered making, silversmiths etc..There’s a lot of beautiful handcrafts to bring back from Burma as a travel gift, for very good prices.
City Park is a half theme park, half actual park found near the banks of the Arrawaddy River. Locals can choose between rides, “5D” attractions, as well as massage chairs, video games and other various attractions. This is also a suitable place for children.
Things not to do
The U-Bein Bridge: This spot would frighten little kids because as there are big gaps between some of the planks and there are no railings along the sides. It’s hard for kids (and some older ones) to keep balance and pass the bridge safely. The boat to Mingun also doesn’t have decent railings, so avoiding that with young kids may be a good decision, too.
Riding horse and cart: Animals seem to be appealing to kids, so kids may find the horse and cart rides fun, but they are also too flabby for a family and lying room only. Energetic kids would get uncomfortable and bored of it quickly.
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