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To quote Rudyard Kipling, Myanmar is “quite unlike any land you know about”. Yangon, the cultural hub of the country, boasts the perfect mix of colonial and contemporary architecture, while Hpa An, in Mon State, is home to Saddan Cave. Take in the colonial architecture of Mandalay during your Myanmar tour before setting sail for the little-known islands of the Mergui Archipelago.
In addition to all this, you can explore vibrant markets and try a variety of unique local dishes while in the country. Below is an overview of Myanmar tours ranging from as little as five days to those that last between ten to fourteen days.
- Helen Parkes
You can tick off the country's key attractions during a trip that lasts between three to five days. Gaze at the majestic Shwedagon Pagoda, a 2,000-year-old monument, while in Yangon and fly over the ruins of Bagan in a hot air balloon. Then head to explore Mandalay, a city that boasts numerous colonial monuments. While there, do not miss out on a hike to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano with a monastery on top.
Rather than skimming through the highlights of these three cities, you might as well stick to a single destination during your short jaunt in the country. Although this means downsizing your bucket list, you will head home with a richer experience.
To optimize your vacation, we suggest a Myanmar Itinerary of at least seven to ten days. With an extra few days to spend, you can add more destinations to your itinerary and immerse yourself in Myanmar’s proud history and distinct culture.
Spending two weeks in Myanmar is an even better option if you have time as this duration allows you to cover both the highlights as well as the lowlights of the country at a relaxed pace.
Five days in Myanmar is long enough to get the gist of the country by capturing its top attractions. Start with a city tour in Yangon and see its independence monument as well as the city hall. Next, discover the scenic Kandawgyi Nature Park and relish the captivating views of Kandawgyi Lake. While in the city, do not miss out on a trip to the Shwedagon Pagoda, one of Myanmar's most revered Buddhist sites.
Hop on a plane after that and head for Bagan, an ancient city strewn with Buddhist ruins going back all the way to the arrival of the religion in the country. See the magnificent standing Buddha images at the Ananda Temple and visit the Nyaung Oo Market. If you are a fan of handicrafts, be sure to check out the lacquerware workshops in the rural villages of Phwasaw and Minanthu.
Continue to Mandalay and take in its highlights, like Atumashi Monastery and U Bein Bridge. Visit traditional workshops around the city to learn more about bronze casting and woodcarving. Return back to tour Yangon before your trip is over and stroll across the streets of its Chinatown hunting for souvenirs and local crafts before you leave the country.
Whether you are a nature lover or an art and architecture enthusiast, a week-long itinerary in Myanmar is sure to meet your desires.
Having covered the highlights of Yangon, Bagan, and Mandalay, you can then take a road trip to the southern parts of the country to discover the spiritual side of its people. Hike to Mount Zwekabin, the greenish limestone mountain that encircles the lively town of Hpa An. Explore the breathtaking cave complexes of Bayin Nyi and Kawgun and enjoy sunset views over Bat Cave.
Head to your next destination, Mawlamyaing, the former British capital of Burma. Continue to the nearby Bili Island for some relaxation. Marvel at the Golden Rock, a pagoda that is precariously perched at the summit of Mount Kyaiktiyo. A sightseeing tour of Baga will help you uncover the rich history of this region, while a visit to the bustling Bogyoke Market will give you the chance to taste scrumptious local dishes.
Alternatively, you can also join in a cycling tour from Mandalay and head for Mingun and Monywa, taking in the beautiful views of the Irrawaddy River along the way. Make a stop at the U Bein Bridge and Mingun Bell, two of the major highlights of the country, before flying back to Yangon.
With a ten-day Myanmar itinerary, you get ample time to hit the highlights mentioned above as well as discover some more of the country. Travel to Heho and set sail across the tranquil waters of Inle Lake, stopping at Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery along the way. Admire local craftsmanship during a visit to silk-weaving and boat-construction workshops. Swap stories with the Intha people and prepare wonderful Burmese delicacies with them.
Next, catch sight of an impressive teak monastery, Bagaya Kyaung, in Amarapura and board a cruise boat to explore the Ayeyarwady River. Back in the capital, you might want to check out the Scott's Market before you bid farewell to the country. However, if you still find yourself with some time, Nan Myint Watch Tower in Inwa and Pindaya Caves are also worth traveling to.
For more insights, browse through our travel guide for 10 days in Myanmar.
A two-week tour in Myanmar allows you to probe into the country's rich cultural legacy while also fusing diverse experiences. You might want to discover Myanmar’s cities and countryside during a cycling tour that takes you through its three major cities along a scenic route with plenty of flat gorgeous scenery interspersed among modest hills. Power your way through the ten-kilometer, uphill track to the limestone caverns of Pindaya, where you can see almost 9,000 Buddha statues.
Hear the world's largest bell toll in Mingun Pahtodawgyi and set sail down the Irrawaddy River before it is time to enjoy an exotic beach adventure. Spend the last few days of your trip on the lovely, sun-soaked beaches of Ngapali. Enjoy snorkeling and feast on the best seafood in the country.
Our 2-week Myanmar itineraries below should give you cues on the best places to see in the country. Check them out for more details.