Finally I went through thousands of pictures from my holiday in Myanmar. In this travel blog, I am sharing with you my Myanmar itinerary of 2 weeks from North to South. (Updated 2020)
Traveling through Myanmar in 2020 – What you need to know
How to get to Myanmar?
Myanmar main airport is Yangon. As it is quite a new touristic destination, not all international companies are going to Yangon yet. A good alternative is to plan your trip to Myanmar together with a holiday in Thailand or Malaysia. From there you can fly from cheap with the local flight companies.
What to wear in Myanmar?
Myanmar is mostly a buddhist country. Best is to cover your shoulder and wear long clothes.
Is there ATMs in Myanmar?
You can find ATM’s in Myanmar but mainly in the biggest cities such as Yangon (there is one at the airport for example) or Mandalay. Very rarely you will find ATM’s in smaller cities this is why you should have cash in advance.
Do I need brand new dollars in Myanmar?
The rumor says that you need brand new dollars in Myanmar as bills with blemishes, creases, marks, folds, etc might not be accepted. This rumor is unfortunately TRUE! Indeed, we had to face is exact situation. We wanted to pay with dollar bills having a little fold and it was not possible. Also, if you need to change money, it will be only accepted, or exchanged at a lower rate if it is slightly damaged.
2 weeks Myanmar itinerary
Day 1 : Yangon
We started our Myanmar itinerary in Yangon, the capital of Myanmar. We stayed one day in Yangon. We only had time to see the Shwedagon Pagoda that is definitely a must see in Myanmar, and walk around in the city. This city was much better than expected, there is SO MUCH street food to try and the colonial architecture beside all the temples is really interesting to see. Yangon is still very authentic and there is a lot going on. It might be a bit much for some people but I liked it a lot. I wish we had planned more time to visit Yagon as there are so many things to see : Chinatown, Chaukhtatgyi Buddha Temple for the reclining Buddha statue, Kandawgyi Park for the massive golden dragon boat.
A great way to get in contact with locals is to take the circular train. It will take you to the suburbs and you will be able to see rice paddies and villages. Perfect if you don’t plan to continue your Myanmar itinerary by train!
From Yangon to Mandalay
From Yangon we took a plane to the North of Myanmar. We first stopped in Mandalay, the second biggest city in Burma. There you can see the Mahaganddhayon monastery and the U Bein bridge.
Festivals in Myitkyna
To me this sounded average interesting so I decided to go to Myitkyna, a city that is not touristic at all and we met people that had never seen foreigners in their life. This was such a nice experience, people gave us such a warm welcome and were so excited to see us that they kept taking pictures of us. There are many ethnic festivals going on in this city. hopefully you will be lucky to see one.
The next day, we took a day taxi (also accessible by boat from Mandalay) to go see the Hsinbyume Pagoda in Mingun, Mandalay. This temple is situated on the western bank of the Irrawaddy River and is famous for it’s white and wavy architecture.
Visit the temples of Bagan with E-bike
From Mandalay, we went back south with the train and visited Bagan, the most popular place in Myanmar. It is around 4000 temples around 50 square meters. We rented an e-bike for two days and cruised around the temples. Such a magical place.
In Bagan, there are 2,200 temples and pagodas. Of course you won’t be able to visit them all but you might want to check out :
- some temples that are not much known among tourist : Let Put Kan because and Dhammayazaka Temple.
- Shwesandaw Pagoda as it is the most impressive temple in Bagan
- Ananda temple for the four standing Buddha statues
- Thatbyinnyu Temple as it is one of the most popular temple in Bagan. It also has
With 2200 temples, you can imagine how this place looks like from above! The view over the horizon is magical! Unfortunately it is not allowed to climb the temples since 2018 but a great option is to go on the hot-air balloon ride.
Myanmar itinerary – from Bagan to Inle lake
Boat ride in Inle Lake
From Bagan we took a bus to Inle Lake. This is the second most popular place to visit in Myanmar. It is a village on a lake that is famous for the fishermen’s fishing technique that is unique in the world. Most fishermen don’t fish like this anymore and it is rather a touristic activity but it was still nice to see. We rented a boat for the day that took us to several places where we could see handicraft and many floating gardens.
I heard that you can visit the long neck women around Inle lake. Unfortunately we did not see them and I also did not find any information about it unless you book an all inclusive tour of Myanmar as they will include it in the program.
Not to miss in Inle Lake : Kakku
Close to Inle Lake there is a place called Kakku that is not well known but I saw some pictures on the internet and I wanted to see it for real. We drove 2 hours from Inle Lake and arrived in this place located in the mountains that concentrates 2500 Stuppas.
This was my actual highlight of Myanmar at Inle Lake.
Finishing our Myanmar itinerary at the beach in Ngwe Saung beach
After our journey through Myanmar, we decided to head off to the beach to get holidays from our holidays. We stayed in Ngwe Saung Beach. This is west from Yangon. We first wanted to go to Ngapali but everyone told us it is too expensive and the beach is not so nice. We also wanted to go to the Myeik Island / Mergui Archipelago but it is a bit difficult to access and once you are in the town next to the Islands it is not sure that you can access the islands. We heard stories that people paid 500Dollars but they could not access the Islands for many reasons.
Ngwe Saung beach was a good alternative. It was beautiful and very relaxing!
Fazit of our Myanmar itinerary
Myanmar/Burma is a beautiful country and I am glad that I experienced it. It is still very authentic and I would love to go back to see the things I didn’t have time to see. Next time I would add the Myeik Islands / Mergui Archipelago as well as the Golden Rock / Kyaiktiyo Pagoda to my Myanmar itinerary. Go on Google image to know why they are both on my bucket list!