The last royal capital of the Burmese Kingdom, Mandalay today is the religious heart of the country with some of the country’s most beautiful pagodas, including the highly revered Mahamuni Paya, home to a famous Buddha-image covered in gold leaf. Those interested in Buddhism will appreciate the Mahagandayone Monastery where more than a thousand monks and novices live and study. Mandalay is also home to the world’s largest book with 729 marble slabs of Buddhist scriptures at the Kuthodaw Pagoda. Famous for its arts and crafts, Mandalay is a good place to buy everything from traditional wooden puppets to hand-woven fabrics.