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Itinerary Myanmar 2 to 4 weeks | Hints and Highlights

This itinerary by Myanmar is an authentic South East experience Asia† When you think of Myanmar, you probably think of Bagan, but this country has so much more to offer than the beautiful temples in Bagan. Myanmar has a lot of different landscapes, from vast plains to green rice fields. We visited Myanmar during our 7-month tour through South-East Asia, but you can also visit this country for a holiday.

Plan your holiday to Asia here

Burma or Myanmar?

Myanmar was known as Burma (sometimes also Burma) until a few years ago. Today the country is called Myanmar. But more has changed in this country than just the name. This poor country, where a large part of the population lives below the poverty line, used to be a closed country where you could not just enter. Bordered by Thailand, , Laos , China, India and Bangladesh, Myanmar is well hidden in Southeast Asia. The reason that you as a tourist could not quickly take a look at this fascinating country was the dictatorship that ruled here. Since January 2011, the dictatorship has faded into the background and a new head of state.

Myanmar
Myanmar

The many cultures in Myanmar

The country has several interesting cities. The cities of Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan are becoming increasingly crowded and are therefore pictures in themselves. The many cultures that walk around here make it a colorful lot. indians, Nepalese, Chinese and of course Burmese live close together. There is still oppression, the local Muslim population is still not having an easy time. But there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.

Culture in Myanmar
Culture in Myanmar

Beautiful nature in Myanmar

You may not expect it, but Myanmar has beautiful nature reserves. River plains with dense vegetation, the abundance of forests and jungles and the tropical climate quickly form the background for a stunning journey. In the National parks you will discover several unique animal species such as the red panda and the snub-nosed monkey. You can relax on the lovely beaches. You will also find them in this mysterious land!

Travel route through Myanmar in three weeks

Since backpacking in Myanmar is not as on the map as the surrounding countries such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, we mapped out a travel route through Myanmar for you! You can easily complete this travel route through Myanmar in three weeks. Of course you can shorten, add or skip places in this itinerary. Your travel route through Myanmar probably starts in Mandalay, Yangon or Hpa-An, for the people who cross the border via Thailand. Our itinerary starts in Yangon, because we flew from Laos to Myanmar. 

The hilly region of Myanmar
The hilly region of Myanmar

Itinerary Myanmar Day by Day 

Yangon

Our journey through Myanmar started in Yangon and that took some getting used to. The city is chaotic, there is a lot of poverty and it is very dirty. It took us two days to get used to all these new impressions. Although the first impression was not immediately positive, this city is definitely worth a visit. 

Yangon, Myanmar
Yangon, Myanmar

Accommodation tip: Stay at HOOD Hostel of Htinn Yue Tan Hostel† Both are extremely well rated (9+) and private rooms can already be booked for 17 € per night.

The highlight of Yangon is the Shwedagon Pagoda† This is the most sacred pagoda in the country and therefore attracts quite a few visitors. Many people go here during sunset because the pagoda is beautifully lit up in the evening and you can avoid the heat a bit. You will never have this place to yourself, but if you don't feel the need for hundreds of people, go in the morning or during the hottest part of the day, although it can be quite hot. 

Kalaw,

You are visiting Kalaw,  because of the beautiful surroundings or because you want to do a trekking from here to the Inle Lake† From Yangon you can take a night bus to this small mountain village. It is nice and cool and very quiet. It is wonderful to escape the heat here, the average temperatures here are considerably lower than in the rest of the country. Before we start our trekking to Inle Lake, we first stay two nights in Kalaw.

Accommodation tip: Kalaw Vista Bed and Breakfast is by far the top rated accommodation (9,5) in the city and for about 30 € per night you have a private room, a beautiful garden, nice breakfast and a panoramic view about the city. It is usually sold out so book this hotel well in advance. Below is an impression of the atmosphere.

Prefer something for a smaller budget? Then we can Country Inn en Motel Amigo recommend. Both are well rated (8,5+), are centrally located and cost approx 15 € per night for a private room.

Local market in Kalaw
Local market in Kalaw

We also visited the local morning market and took a walk in the area to see the beautiful landscapes. 

Inle Lake

Local life at its best. After trekking for two days we arrive at Inle Lake. This lake is known for its fishermen, who paddle with one leg. In addition, in the Inle Lake area you can see local life at its best.

Inle Lake
Inle Lake

The population lives on and around the water and that is a special sight. From floating villages tot floating gardens, everything happens here on the water. During your stay you can do a boat tour on Inle Lake, which you can arrange at your hostel and/or hotel, but you can also meet a local fisherman on the river. During the tour you will visit different floating villages, gardens, but also a local market, the Long Neck tribe and a local school.

Mandalay Hill,

Mandalay is surrounded by four Imperial Cities and is the second largest city in Myanmar, but despite that we found it much more pleasant than in Yangon. Mandalay and its surroundings has a lot to offer. We therefore recommend staying there for at least two nights.

Mandalay, Myanmar
Mandalay, Myanmar

Accommodation tip: Aurora Hotel & Downtown @ Mandalay are both very well rated (9+). A private room including breakfast can be booked in both hotels for approx 18 € per night.

You can fill one day to explore Mandalay. Here you have several temples that you can visit and before sunset you go to the U-Bein Bridge† A beautiful sunset guaranteed. The next day you can discover the four royal cities with a scooter or a taxi. Our favourite: Hsinbyume Pagoda in Mingun.

Pyin Oo Lwin - Gokteik Viaduct

During our trip through Myanmar we wanted only too much to see the fantastic train journey between Mandalay and Hsipaw to make the highest viaduct, the Gokteik Viaduct, from Myanmar. Due to a travel warning* for Hsipaw at the time of our trip, so we could not travel to Hsipaw. We have therefore chosen to cover part of the well-known train journey in one day, which is therefore also possible. 

From Mandalay we took a taxi to Pyin Oo Lwin, which is an hour's drive from Mandalay. Then we are here on the train to Nawng Peng gone. This is the next stop after the Gokteik Viaduct, and then we took the train back to Pyin Oo Lwin. It was a long drive, but it was well worth the trip. 

Gokteik viaduct - bizarre construction
Gokteik viaduct – bizarre construction

We recommend that you occasionally use the travel advice to check. Although we have never felt unsafe for a moment, there are sometimes conflicts between various groups. Check the most current travel advice from the Dutch government here .

Bagan

For us, perhaps the highlight of Myanmar, Bagan. This place is magical. Bagan consists of three parts: Old BaganNew Bagan en Nyaung U.

Accommodation tip: We stayed with Sky View Hotel, slightly outside the center of Nyaung U and that was lovely. For a private room including breakfast you pay about 18 € per night.

Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, Myanmar

To discover Bagan do you rent an e-bike at your hotel† This way you can drive around and look for the most beautiful temples. We went out without a map and just drove around. There are some well-known temples, but you will never be alone there. So it is more fun to just look for temples yourself and you usually have those places all to yourself. 

Another way to discover Bagan is through a air balloon† Every morning (from October to April) it is possible to take a hot air balloon ride during sunrise to worry about the temples. This was the absolute highlight in Myanmar for us. 

End of the Myanmar itinerary

We also ended our journey in Yangon† from Yangon we flew on to our next destination: the Philippines (travel tips for the Philippines can be found here, by the way). If you still want to visit the beach in Myanmar, you should Bagan to Ngapali can go. This is a city on the coast of Myanmar, with vast beaches

Travel route combine Myanmar with Thailand or Laos?

Thailand,
From Thailand, Is it possible to cross the border into Myanmar by land. For this you will have to travel to the place in Thailand There is Sot† You can easily book tickets for this online via 12. go Asia† From There is Sot can you cross the border to Hpa-An† We have not been to this city ourselves, but we have heard from many travelers along the way that it is definitely worth making a stop at this place. Knowing more? Then read our travel route through Thailand.

Laos
It is not possible to Laos to cross the border into Myanmar. These border posts are closed to tourists† So if you want to visit Myanmar from Laos, you can only fly. The best option is to fly from Vientiane† Then you can choose to fly to Yangon to Mandalay. However, the cheapest option will always be Yangon.

Plan your holiday to Asia here

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Ilse & Nick

ILSE & NICK - OUR TRAVEL LIFE
♥️ Travel addicts from #netherlands
? Chasing adventures & creating memories
? Home, dreaming where to go next
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Ilse & Nick

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