The best part about this palace is the lookout tower. From the four-story high perch, you can see a clear view of the palace, as well as the neighboring Mandalay Hill.
A massive red brick castle wall encircled by a large moat forms the perimeter of the royal city. Built in the mid-19th century, the fortified walls and 210-foot (64-m) wide moat set it apart from the hustle of the heavily trafficked streets that run along its sides. Army barracks just inside the walls and trees makes it seem almost like a city park in comparison to the adjacent neighborhoods of Mandalay.
During World War II, the Japanese used the palace as a supply depot, which was in turn burnt to the ground by allied bombers. Since then, the palace has had its former allure reconstructed. Like many of the rebuilds in Myanmar, the design of the palace stays true to the original form, but modern construction methods, such as the use of corrugated steel and concrete instead of teak wood, detract from the authenticity of the site. Similar to a Hollywood set, the ancient palace is built to look like something from long ago but is ultimately hollow behind its veneer.