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It is said that Buddha himself stood on Mandalay Hill and predicted that a great city would be built at its foot in a couple of thousand years’ time. That great city was to be Mandalay, founded by King Mindon in 1857 and Myanmar's last royal capital. Immortalised in literature by the likes of Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell, Mandalay has an exotic quality that can still be found amongst its rich historical monuments, be it the monasteries, temples or the three ancient capitals that sit on the city’s outskirts. For this reason, Mandalay is Myanmar's cultural capital, and the centre of the Myanese heartlands, a bustling settlement sat on the banks of the Irrawaddy River.
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