Myanmar is a magical and intriguing country that is well worth exploring on the tour of SE Asia.
Any travellers planning to send two weeks in Myanmar will easily have enough time to navigate the country and see the must-see sights. Here is a 2 week travel itinerary to Myanmar:
Yangon – Day 1 & 2
A typical Myanmar tour package starts in Yangon, which is easily reached by air with the arrival at Yangon International Airport. From the airport, the journey to the city centre is about 60 minutes and costs about $6 by taxi. But make sure to agree a price before starting the journey to agree on a fair price. Yangon has plenty of food markets, bars and restaurants to spend the evening, or if there is time, it is worth making a quick visit to the Sule Pagoda.
On the first full day in Myanmar, you will have the opportunity to explore Yangon's many green spaces, markets and pagodas. A few of the top highlights include the Kandawgyi Lake, Schwedagon Pagoda and Bagyoke Market.
Start the day early with a visit to Bagyoke Market, which has been in existence since the 1920s. This market is best visited early to avoid the brutal mid-day heat. With literally hundreds of stalls in the market, there is plenty to see and buy, such as pieces of jade, jewellery, handicrafts and clothing. Also, a food market is located nearby and lined with sellers offering fresh vegetables and vibrant fruits.
An iconic site to explore in the city is the Shwedagon Pagoda which makes a wonderful place for night-time photography when the main stupa glows once lit in the evening.
The Kandawgyi Lake is a great place to relax after a busy day in the city. Plus, the Karaweik Palace is nearby which is an extravagant restaurant that not only serves the delicious meals, but also puts on a royal cultural show.
Bagan - Day 3, 4 & 5
Bagan is the next stop on the Myanmar customised tour itinerary and easily reached via the overnight bus with a journey time in the region of 9 hours. However, the journey is relatively inexpensive at $9.50/$14 per person (depends on the bus service).
Set aside a day or two to explore the thousands of nearby temples. Tourists can explore the temple, monasteries, and stupas on a guided tour or travel independently. Solo travel is often favoured and easily organised with a hired electric bicycle or scooter and a map of the top structures to visit. The cost of hiring a bicycle for the day is in the region of $3/$4.
Also, foreign travellers do have to pay an entrance fee to the Bagan Archaeological Zone, which gives access to all the temples and costs about $18.50. A great time to arrive in the region is early in the morning to catch the sun rise over the ancient temples.
While in Bagan, it is well worth visiting the Mani-Sithu Market, which makes a wonderful one-stop destination for souvenirs and gifts for friends and family at home. The countless stalls are rich in colourful displays which include textiles, lacquerware, handicrafts, flowers, fruits and vegetables. The market is open from 6AM to 5PM, but is most active early in the morning, especially before noon.
Mount Popa – Day 6
The next stop on the tour itinerary is Mount Popa which is a little different to the temples, and home to a fascinating monastery, as well as plenty of monkeys. Most tours of Mount Popa start at 8AM and finish by 3PM.
An alternative destination from Bagan is the hill town of Kalaw which is relatively easy to reach by night bus. After arriving in town there is usually enough time for a little exploring before resting up for the night in a cheap hotel and getting up early the next day to start the trek to Inle Lake.
Inle Lake – Day 7, 8, 9, 10
A great highlight of the Myanmar tours is a trekking adventure which can take place from the town of Kalaw to Inle Lake (also known as Nyaung Shwe). A trek can take two to four days and an organised tour will include a trekking guide. A two day trek is most typical for those staying in Myanmar for two weeks. A trekking tour to Inle Lake will cost in the region of $25/$30. Part of the trekking tour includes staying in a local village homestay for the night to get the most authentic experience.
Plus, the trek will give stunning views of the local surroundings, which includes the rice fields, cabbage farms, railroad tracks, and finally arriving in the mountainous region of Inle Lake. A boat tour is the finest way to explore the lake and lets the tourists see plenty of top sights such as silver-making factories, cigar factories and Thaung Thut.
On the first full day in Inle Lake, a great activity is to cycle around the lake. Hiring a bicycle for the day costs around $1 and gives the opportunity to see sights like Khaung Daing village, hot springs and spa, Tofu Palace, Pindaya Caves, Mingala Market and the Red Mountain Winery in the evening to appreciate the sunset.
Mandalay - Day 11, 12 & 13
Before starting the journey to Mandalay, the morning can be spent partaking in a local cooking class. There are many different cooking classes locally that teach the basics of preparing both delicious Burmese food and traditional Shan cuisine.
After tasting the various dishes prepared, it is time to catch the night bus for the next place on the tour itinerary: Mandalay. One of the top attractions to see is U Pein Bridge, which is great to see at sunrise. This is a great place to take photogenic memories.
Later in the day, a ferry trip to an ancient city across the river is possible and the round-trip on the ferry is just $4 per person.
Mandalay is rich in unique local markets, historic relics and more. A great way to tour Mandalay is hiring a bicycle for the day, which costs about $2 per person. There are plenty of pagodas to see, as well as the Jade market and the gold leaf workshop.
Back to Yangon – Day 14
The last day of the Myanmar travel packages involves travelling back to Yangon and leaving the country for your next destination.
Read more: Explore Myanmar in 1 week