Shopping in Mandalay is an entirely different experience compared to shopping in Yangon. Mandalay does not have the malls and major shopping centres that the capital has to offer (with the exception of the Skywalk Mall in Yadanarbon), so shopping can be limited in this city. While the commercial stores may be lacking, the local shops are many and there are several markets to be found offering shoppers a wide array of products to choose from.
Myanmar is known for its gems, jewellery and handicrafts and all these can be purchased in Mandalay. There are countless stores and shops that sell precious stones like jade, ruby and sapphire; gold and silver jewellery are also offered in many establishments. As the country's crafts centre, Mandalay also features an abundance of souvenirs such as sculptures and Buddha images.
Myanmar is also known for its woodcraft and other handicrafts. Most tourists often bring home a Buddha sculpture with them as a reminder of their trip. In Mandalay, the Amara Waddy is one of the best souvenir shops selling sculptures.
Location: 493/25, 81st Street, between 35th Street & 36th Street.
Myanmar is a popular destination for tourists who are interested in precious stones and jewellery. In the city of Mandalay, one great place to shop for these items is the Gem Palace. The Gem Palace is considered as one of the best sources in the area. The establishment also sells timepieces, eyewear and sterling silver pieces.
Location: No. 376, Corner of 33rd Street and 83rd Street, Chan Aye Thar San Township.
Like the Yadanarbon Market, the Kai Tan Market also has five floors. This shopping destination, which opened in 1997, has a total of 315 shops. The ground floor is home to vegetable and fruit produce while the second floor sells mainly fish products, such as pounded fish and dried fish.
Location: 28th Street, between 86th Street & 87th Street, Chan Aye Thar San Township.
The name of this market says it all. Visitors who are fond of gems should stop by and check out the extensive selection of precious stones found in this place. Most of the shops here are wholesalers of gems, and tourists can get enjoy reasonable prices for different kinds of products.
Location: Between 39th Street & 40th Street, between 87th Street & 88th Street, Mahar Aung Myay Township.
Among all Mandalay markets, this one benefits most from its location. Because it is close to the Zegyo Market and in line with the Kai-tan Market, the 500-shop Man Thiri is frequently visited by shoppers from the other two markets.
Location: 86th Street, between 25th Street & 26th Street, Aung Myay Thar San Township.
The Mingalar Market is the ideal shopping destination for those who travel by train because it is situated near the Mandalay Railway Station. It is a four-storey building, but the ground floor and first floor are the only ones with shops.
Location: 30th Street, between 72nd Street & 73rd Street, Chan Aye Thar San Township.
The Nan-She Market is similar to the Kai Tan because it was also opened in 1997 and the main commodity sold here is also produce. However, this market does not sell anything else. The three-storey market is dedicated to selling fruits and vegetables from the rural areas to the east of Mandalay.
Location: 19th Street, between 63rd Street & 64th Street, Aung Myay Thar San Township.
This is the place to go for those interested in shopping for regional products, because the Thiri Mandalar Market is the centre of trading for all goods that come from the rural areas along the Irrawaddy River. The structure of the market itself is interesting: it consists of nine three-storey buildings and an octagon-shaped six-storey building. This market has a total of 2,318 shops.
Location: Between 22nd and 23rd Roads, East Thiri Mandalar Quarter, Aung Myay Thar San Township.
The Yadanarbon Market is the largest market and biggest shopping mall in Mandalay. The structure is a five-storey building and the ground floor alone has 1,533 shops, while the first floor houses the Skywalk Shopping Mall that has 1,310 stores. Items such as fabrics, ready-made clothes, cosmetics, kitchenware and electrical goods can be purchased here.
Location: Between 77th Street & 78th Street and between 33rd Street & 34th Street, Chan Aye Thar San Township.
This shopping destination is the oldest and main market of the city and is the place for one-stop shopping. You can pretty much find everything here, from practical items like spices, fabrics and home wares, to gems and fine jewellery. Because of the sights (ethnic people in traditional costume) and smells (ripe produce and other edible goods) of the market, you’re sure to have a memorable shopping experience here.
Location: Between 84th Street & 86th Street and between 26th Street & 28th Street, Chan Aye Thar San Township.