Myanmar itinerary: the ultimate two-week itinerary in Myanmar!

In this blog, you will find a perfect itinerary for Myanmar (Burma). Are you going backpacking and travelling through Myanmar? Then consider using the itinerary below. We travelled through Myanmar for 10 days, but to keep it a bit more relaxed, I recommend doing the route below in two weeks. Do you have a longer time for Myanmar, for example, three weeks? Then consider adding Mandalay or the beaches of Myanmar to your trip.

Below you will find a two week itinerary and additional travel information.

Travelling and backpacking through Myanmar (Burma)

Myanmar (also referred to as Burma) is a country where tourism is only recently emerging. Like Cuba, you often hear about Myanmar saying “you must go now before it’s too late”. People are afraid of mass tourism like in Bali or in Thailand.

And indeed, you can still find that authentic experience during backpacking in Myanmar. Do realize that Myanmar is a country where there are still many civil wars. As a tourist, you can’t just go everywhere, and you don’t want to just go everywhere from the stories we heard. However, this doesn’t mean that people are not very sweet and great to meet. The nature is stunningly beautiful, the food delicious and the beautiful culture, visible everywhere! In this blog, we tell you more about the ultimate itinerary for Myanmar!

Travel itinerary for Myanmar & Singapore combined:

Our itinerary for Myanmar (Burma) is as follows:
Singapore – Yangon (Rangoon) – Bagan – Kalaw – Inle Lake – Yangon (Rangoon)

Map with an itinerary for Myanmar

kaartje 1Click here or on the map to get our whole itinerary!

We flew from Singapore to Yangon (Rangoon), the largest city in Myanmar.

Itinerary Myanmar: Yangon (Rangoon) – 2 days

You start your journey in Yangon, also called Rangoon, the largest city in Myanmar. This city is busy, big, chaotic and sometimes a bit dirty. In the beginning, Yangon is especially overwhelming! But if you look through the crowds, you will definitely find some very beautiful sights in Yangon such as the Shwedagon Pagoda.

The best activities and sights in Yangon!

Wander around in Yangon.
The largest cities in Myanmar, Yangon is a crazy mix of British Colonial and Asian. The city is very dilapidated and also quite dirty, but between all the crowds you can see beautiful buildings and streets. It is very special to walk around here and let the city come over you! While walking you come across beautiful (golden) Pagodas and large markets in the middle of the street. All vegetables, fruit, meat and fish are simply displayed on the street.

Shwedagon Pagoda
This immense Pagoda is actually more of a huge temple complex. We walked through the entire complex with a local guide, so you get a better insight into the meaning of the Pagoda. You can see this Pagoda from afar, and it is especially beautiful at night. It is completely covered with gold and very high. In the evening you can see the golden glow and sparkle from all over the city. As a tourist, you pay a small price for many pagodas and don’t forget to always dress appropriately (both men and women shoulders and legs covered).IMG 2987

Our favorite restaurants in Yangon:

999 Shan Noodle Shop

These are the best noodles we’ve ever had! Really amazing! The noodle shop doesn’t look great, but is really worth it!

Rangoon Tea House 
The food at Rangoon Tea House is great! So tasty and varied with a lot of Indian influence. In addition, the setting is chic and hip, although more expensive.

Where do you sleep in Yangon?

We slept in hotel Lotus Bed & Breakfast. A super nice and small hotel with wifi, aircon and breakfast. Oo and the staff of the hotel all belong to a kind of hotel training, very nice and secretly quite cute! We paid €33 per night.

Itinerary Myanmar: Bagan – 3 days

If there is one place in Myanmar that you must see while traveling, it is Bagan! With more than 4000 temples (pagodas) that are spread over the entire area, this place is very impressive! Three days in Bagan is enough, but nothing more!

The best activities and sights in Bagan!

Sunset on a Pagoda.

Bagan contains thousands of beautiful pagodas. Small, large, dilapidated or well maintained, it is very special to drive here with a scooter or bicycle. These are spread over a few square kilometres. This makes it beautiful to look over this landscape from a higher point. We went to a somewhat larger Pagoda at sunset, climbed up and enjoyed this beautiful view.

A hot air balloon ride above the Pagodas
It’s also great to take a hot air balloon ride at sunrise, then see all of these beautiful temples from above. We did not do this, it costs about €350 per person, and we thought that was a bit too expensive, but for many people, this is really a highlight. Click here to book a hot air balloon flight in Bagan.

Burmese massage:
Nothing makes me happier than a massage! In countries like Thailand or Indonesia, a massage is offered on every street corner. This is not the case in Myanmar. But massages are certainly given in Myanmar and wow are they good! For ultimate relaxation in Bagan, among others, we have taken a traditional massage at our hotel. Huge recommendation!Myanmar Bagan photography

Where do you sleep in Bagan?

We stayed in hotel My Bagan Residence by Amata. This was our “luxury” hotel during our time in Myanmar, and wow was that wonderful! It is midway between old and new Bagan. We found it very special that as soon as you walk out of the hotel, you see small Pagodas all around you. So beautiful! Besides the environment, breakfast is also delicious! We stayed here for €75 a night.

A nice restaurant in Bagan: The Moon – Be kind to Animals

This is a delicious vegetarian restaurant in the middle of Bagan. Food is tasty and the atmosphere is great fun!

Itinerary Myanmar: Kalaw – 2 days

Kalaw is the base when you go hiking in Myanmar. From Kalaw, you can walk in a couple of days to Inle Lake. Kalaw is a small village where there is not much to do. There is a market and the nature around Kalaw is beautiful with hills full of flowers. The people are very friendly. Two days is more than enough to see Kalaw and arrange a nice hike.

Where do you stay in Kalaw?

We stayed in the nice Unique bed & breakfast. This is a cute homestay just outside the centre of Kalaw. The breakfast was nice and the people so very sweet. Oh and the view is really so great! Only € 30 per night.

Itinerary Myanmar: Hike from Kalaw to Inle Lake – 3 days

A must for your Myanmar itinerary is the hike between Kalaw and Inle Lake. This two-day trek was the highlight of our Myanmar trip! We had a very nice group and the sweetest guide there was! You can choose to walk for two or three days and sleep in local villages. We opted for a two-day trip, which was perfect, but afterwards, I would have liked to walk a day longer. During the tour (about 8 hours of walking per day) the guide will tell you everything about the environment, people, but also the culture and politics of Myanmar. The food you get along the way is great!

There are several small companies that offer this trek, we can absolutely recommend Ever Smile. If you do this trek, please do say hi from us! Costs are between €30 and €45 per person including overnight accommodation, food and luggage transport. That is very little money, so do not forget to leave a nice tip for the guide.

Itinerary Myanmar: Inle Lake – 3 days

Inle Lake is a beautiful lake that lies between the mountains in central Myanmar. Nyaung Shwe is the village that is the base for tourists in Inle Lake.

Activities and places of interest in Inle Lake

A boat trip on Inle Lake
The special thing of Inle Lake is the fishermen with ancient techniques and the floating markets, gardens and villages. And this is, of course, best seen by taking a boat trip on Inle Lake. Click here for more information about a boat trip along the floating markets.

Wine tasting Inle Lake.
You are certainly not going to drink the tastiest wine ever … okay, to be honest, you are going to drink really dirty wine here. But the view you drink with this dirty wine is great! And the fact that you have a wine tasting in Myanmar is also just an incredibly fun experience.

Cycling around Inle Lake.
We would have loved to have done this, unfortunately, the two days we were here it only rained very hard. It seems to be beautiful! Click here for a cool bike ride around Inle Lake.

What did we do with the rain? With friends of our trek and a lost Japanese, driving us in a tuk-tuk with a bewitched driver, all around Inle Lake. A great day, the rain kept pouring out of the sky, and we were sometimes afraid that our tuk-tuk driver didn’t love life very much, but driving through beautiful scenery with loud music and fun people is crazy. Typical weird travel moment!

Nice restaurant in Inle Lake: Inle Heritage

This is really the highlight of our trip. The food in this restaurant was so delicious, the view so beautiful and the people so very sweet. We would like to eat here every day. The restaurant is located a little outside the village of Inle Lake and can be perfectly combined with, for example, a visit to the vineyards around Inle Lake. Oh yes, you can also spend the night here and do a cooking course. Phew ok, we just have to go back to Myanmar, just for this special place!

Itinerary Myanmar: Yangon – 1 day

On your last day, you travel back to Yangon to travel home from there to the next country. A day in Yangon is nice to have some slack. Nothing more to see or visit? Then consider relaxing in the pool of Rose Garden hotel for an afternoon!

Other destinations and places of interest for your itinerary through Myanmar!

If we had had more time, we would certainly have stayed longer in Myanmar. The following places are high on my wish list to see again:

Mandalay: the U Bein Bridge!

This city is not very special, it is busy, big and full. Mandalay is the second-largest city in Myanmar. What makes Mandalay worthwhile are the beautiful temples, nature and of course the famous U bein bridge that is located near Mandalay.

Pyin Oo Lwin: nature, waterfalls and coolness!

Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular backpacker spot two hours’ drive from Mandalay. Because of the altitude, it is a lot cooler here than in Mandalay, and nature is completely different here. You will find the famous Kandawgyi, the beautiful national garden of Myanmar. You can clearly see from the picturesque buildings that this village was founded by the British. In terms of nature, the Dee Dote waterfall is really worthwhile in the area of ​​Pyin Oo Lwin!

Hsipaw: hiking!

Hsipaw is one of the most northern destinations in Myanmar that you can visit as a backpacker. Like Kalaw, this place is known for the beautiful hikes you can make here. It is a lot less busy than Kalaw. You reach Hsipaw, among other things, after a beautiful but exciting train journey from Mandalay. This ride takes 13 hours but is beautiful! It takes 5 hours by bus.

Ngapali: The Beaches of Myanmar

This is a coastal town. Not all of Myanmar’s beaches are beautiful, but Ngapali’s are beautiful and still relatively empty. Accommodation costs are slightly higher because there simply isn’t much on offer. In addition, keep in mind that you do incur additional travel costs, only convenient flights go here from Yangon and Mandalay. From Yangon, it takes about 12-16 hours to drive to Ngapali.

The Golden Rock (Kyaiktiyo)

This is a beautiful rock balancing on a hill. It is an important place for Buddhists and it is always busy here. Kyaiktiyo is a 5-hour drive from Myanmar. The easiest way is to drive to Bago first, and spend the night there. From Bago, it is only three hours to Kyaiktiyo.

Naypyidaw: the empty capital of Myanmar

Ever heard about that capital, that brand new capital that is completely empty? Yes, that is Naypyidaw! In 2002 Naypyidaw was built by the then regime with the idea that millions of people would live here. The strange thing is that hardly any people live, so the city is completely empty!

Myanmar: hiking in Kalaw

Transportation towards and in Myanmar

Flying towards Myanmar (Burma)

We flew to Myanmar via Singapore. You already fly to Myanmar for € 547 return. Click here for the latest flight deals and tickets to Myanmar (Burma).

Transport in Myanmar (Burma)

In Myanmar, we mainly used domestic flights to get from place to place. This was very nice, the flights were very short each time and with a good service.

We have booked tickets far in advance, especially in high season flights can fill up quickly. If you have the time and it doesn’t matter if you fly a day later, you can also book tickets at the airport. You can of course also travel around Myanmar by bus or train. Scroll down for more information on travelling by train or bus in Myanmar.

Airlines in Myanmar that I can recommend:

  • AIRKBZ (with this we flew, great!)
  • Air Mandalay
  • Golden Myanmar Airlines.

For the routes, you can best have a look on Wikipedia (that may sound weird, but trust me, Wikipedia will be a great source for once), where you will see exactly which airliner flies to where lots of puzzling! Yes … I never said that travelling in Myanmar is simple.

The websites of the airlines are certainly not advanced, however, we managed to book our flights. Flying is not cheap in Myanmar, you easily pay € 100 for a one-way ticket. However, it is much quicker than to travel by road. By the way, you only have to be at the airport half an hour before your flight and therefore lose little time travelling.

Some names of the airports in Myanmar are slightly different from their city name:

  • Yangon airport = Rangoon
  • Bagan airport = Nyaung U
  • Inle Lake airport = Heho
  • Thandwe airport = Ngapali

Travelling by train in Myanmar

Travelling around Myanmar by train is a great adventure. Perhaps not always the fastest, safest and efficient, but if you have the time you will see a lot of the beautiful landscape of Burma during a train journey. We have heard very funny stories about wagons that were disconnected unnoticed, leaving people stranded for days.

Travelling by bus in Myanmar

It is possible to travel with buses throughout the country. You can, for example, take night buses. This is a lot cheaper than flying in terms of price. You pay about 10 to 20 euros to get from Yangon to Bagan. Next time, we would prefer taking these over flying unless we wouldn’t have much time like we did this trip.

More useful tips for backpacking in Myanmar

Best travel time for Myanmar

We visited Myanmar in December, and for Myanmar, this is the perfect season. Myanmar has a cool season (November to February), a hot season (March to May) followed by the rainy season (June to October). The best time to travel is during the cool season. If you travel outside the cool season it might be too hot or too wet do for instance do a tracking.

Money in Myanmar

In Myanmar there are many more ATMs nowadays than before, but they don’t always work or accept your debit card. Keep this in mind and take multiple debit cards or credit cards with you. You can carry Euro’s or Dollars with you to exchange in Myanmar, this will give you a quite favourable rate. However, be aware that every note you want to exchange must be perfect (no cracks or creases), and that only notes of 50$ or € or higher are accepted. The local currency in Myanmar is Kyat.

Budget and costs in Myanmar

Myanmar is extremely cheap in terms of food. Overnight stays are relatively expensive compared to other Asian countries. We paid about € 40 per night (2 persons). There are not that many hostels yet in Myanmar.

Activities and travel by public transport are very cheap in Myanmar, however, flying is a lot more expensive. A realistic daily budget for backpacking in Myanmar is € 40 per person.

WiFi and internet in Myanmar

In Myanmar, the Wifi is getting better. A year ago this was different, but nowadays every hotel has pretty good working WiFi.

More blogs about Myanmar:

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