Southeast Asia’s new-ish frontier, Myanmar has so many gems to offer travelers who are willing to stray from the well-worn route through Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam-Laos. Unfortunately, part of the less-traveled title comes with a lack of information. While you may be able to close your eyes, spin, and point at someone who can give you travel tips for the Thai islands, fewer people know someone who’s been to Myanmar to get the lowdown from- and that’s where we come in. For those of you headed to beautiful Myanmar, here’s our recommended two-week itinerary (more or less what we did, with a couple improvements).
Myanmar Itinerary: 2 Weeks
Whether you’re backpacking or jetsetting, two weeks in Myanmar is the perfect amount of time to get a real taste of Myanmar culture and glimpse the true variety between different regions. Here are our recommendations for your two week itinerary.
Yangon (2 Days)
Day 1: Arrive in Yangon.
Day 2: Yangon. Overnight bus (or evening flight) to Bagan.
(Details on what to do in Yangon here.)
Bagan (2 Days)
Day 3: Arrive for sunrise at Bagan.
Day 4: Bagan.
(Bagan itinerary and guide here.)
Mandalay (2 Days)
Day 5: Early morning bus to Mandalay.
Day 6: Mandalay. (Potential day trip), evening bus to Kalaw.
(Some inspiration on what to see in Mandalay here.)
Kalaw Trek (3 Days, 2 Nights)
Day 7: Kalaw trek to Inle Lake.
Day 8: Trek.
Day 9: Trek, arrive at Inle Lake in afternoon.
(Details on trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake here.)
Inle Lake (1 Day)
Day 10: Inle Lake (Recommended: Day trip on bicycles to vineyards)
Hpa-An or Ngapali Beach (4 days)
Day 11: Get to Hpa-An // Ngapali
Day 12: Hpa-An // Ngapali
Day 13: Hpa-An // Ngapali
Day 14: Return to Yangon for flight out.
Hpa-An and Ngapali were the only two places we didn’t go, but came very highly recommended. Hpa-An is a mountain destination with young backpackers and a laidback vibe. Ngapali, one of Myanmar’s more expensive destinations (read: rooms are usually $20-30USD/night), offers long stretches of postcard-perfect beaches with very few international tourists.
How to Get to Hpa-An
There is no direct bus from Inle to Hpa-An, and no airport near Hpa-An. Take the overnight bus or fly from Inle to Yangon, then the 7-hour bus from Yangon to Hpa-An.
How to Get to Ngapali Beach
Ngapali: Flights go to Thandwe airport, the most reliable are from Yangon. Take an overnight bus or fly from Inle to Yangon, then fly (45 min) or take the bus (14 hours) to Ngapali.
Only have 10 days?
For a 10-Day Myanmar itinerary, skip Hpa-An or Ngapali if you want to just cover the most popular destinations. If you’d rather see one of those lesser-known spots, swap out one city and do the two-day trek in Kalaw (rather than the three-day). Since the trek to Inle Lake includes a ride across the lake to reach the ending point, those on a time crunch can also cut out the extra day at the lake. Or, cut out both cities and keep everything else.
Only have 7 days?
For just a week in Myanmar, choose either Yangon or Mandalay, plus Bagan and the trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake.
For more help planning your Myanmar trip, visit the Myanmar section of our blog for individual city guides, photos, videos, and some stories to inspire you. For general Southeast Asia tips, check out our hostel guide (including everywhere we’ve stayed in Myanmar) and our packing list for women.
Questions or suggestions for our Myanmar itinerary? Share them below!
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