Our itinerary for Myanmar {3 to 4 weeks on the road}

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Myanmar, more than any other country we can remember, has managed to surprise us. So much so that we stayed longer than expected and even spent Christmas there. To be honest, our itinerary through Myanmar was a result of spontaneity and gut feeling. We hardly planned anything in advance. Nevertheless, we wouldn’t do anything retrospectively – really nothing! – do it differently.

Overall we stayed 23 Nights in Myanmar, so good three weeks. Depending on how fast or slow you travel, our route can also be completed in three weeks or easily extended to four weeks. So if you are planning to travel to Myanmar and you are looking for the right combination of adventure, nature and also relaxation at the beach then read on.

One more thing: Our itinerary for Myanmar is designed in such a way that the routes can be covered by bus or train if possible. We only used the plane if the distance was too far and/or the destination was difficult to reach (e.g. with a change of planes or only via very winding mountain roads). We thought that was perfect and can only recommend it to everyone.

1. Yangon Like many others, we started our Myanmar trip in Yangon. In our opinion, this is an excellent choice, as most international flights land in Yangon. We would recommend you at least two nights in Yangon to stay. We stayed there for three nights.

The chaos in the former colonial city can be quite overwhelming at first, but there is also an incredible amount to discover in Yangon. One of the most important Buddhist sanctuaries can be found here: the Shwedagon Pagoda. The sight of them is simply breathtaking.

In this blog article you will find our detailed travel report: Yangon: The most beautiful sights and ours Insider Tips

Our Accommodation in Yangon

Link: The Hotel Mawtin

Price: We have 35 Euros per night for a Double room paid.

Our opinion: The price-performance ratio is definitely right. The hotel is located on the western edge of the old town. You can reach a lot on foot. The rooms are relatively small, but very comfortable. The bathroom could be newer, but the bed is comfortable. Breakfast was okay, but got boring after a while. The staff were incredibly friendly and helpful.

2. Bago We didn’t even have Bago on our radar at first. But since we wanted to continue to the Golden Rock, we decided to put in a night in Bago. In Bago there are a lot of temples and pagodas, because the city is historically very important.

Among the most important sights include the Shwemawdaw Pagoda, two giant reclining Buddhas and the four Buddhas of Kyaik Pun (Kyaik Pun Pagoda) . While we liked Bago, it’s the place we’d most likely skip. The big highlights are missing a bit, but a stopover is still worth it! We would recommend you to stay one night. We started the sightseeing right after our arrival around noon – it was possible without any problems.

Arrival from Yangon to Bago From Yangon we took the train to Bago. Just 1. Kyat costs a good two-hour drive, which is really adventurous. The train rumbles along at a snail’s pace, but we would always take the train again.

You can buy tickets for the train from Yangon to Bago just buy it at the train station (Yangon Central Railway Station) before you start your journey. There are several trains every day. Ours left Yangon at 9am sharp.

Alternatively, you can take the bus. The trip takes a little less time and is a bit more expensive (but still very cheap).

In this blog article you will find our detailed travel report: Bago: The most beautiful sights and temples in one day

Our accommodation in Bago Link: Kanbawza Hinthar Hotel

Price: We have 40 Euro per night for a double room (higher category, since the cheaper ones were fully booked).

Our opinion: Our room was large and clean. We felt very comfortable there. The breakfast was mediocre and we weren’t particularly impressed by the hotel’s restaurant either.

3. Golden Rock The Golden Rock (also known as “Golden Rock”) is one of the most important Buddhist sanctuaries of the country. Locals flock there in droves. Therefore, western travelers are still in the minority. We had expected a lot more tourists.

The rock is very imposing on a mountain peak. At first we honestly found the atmosphere a little less impressive than expected . But then came the sunset and we were blown away by the mood lighting and the atmosphere.

In this blog article you will find our detailed travel report about the Golden Rock: Sunset at the Golden Rock in Myanmar

Arrival from Yangon/Bago to the Golden Rock From Bago we took the bus to Kinpun. This place is, so to speak, the “base camp” for trips to the Golden Rock. This is also where most of the accommodation is located. The 3.5 hour bus ride from Bago to Kinpun costs 7.000 Kyat. We have the bus at 9: 23 and reached Kinpun around noon.

The journey from Kinpun to the Golden Rock is then another adventurous Undertaking: On the back of a truck it goes about 45 minutes up a curvy mountain road (price: 2.000 Kyat per person). Attention: The last truck from the mountain to Kinpun departs at 801 Watch! Incidentally, we looked for other ways to get up the mountain, but apparently this is almost impossible. The narrow street is only used from one direction at a time (oncoming traffic is stopped during this time). And that’s how the truck system was established.

Our accommodation at the Golden Rock Note: You can either stay overnight directly at the Golden Rock (i.e. within walking distance) or in the “base camp” in Kinpun. Up on the mountain at the Goldener Fels you are very flexible in terms of time and can easily watch the sunrise and sunset. This is difficult for those who live in Kinpun, as they depend on truck travel times. For example, we saw the sunset but couldn’t stay until the sun was completely gone. The last truck into the valley drives at 330 Watch. Disadvantage of the hotels on the mountain: These are quite expensive.

Link: Golden Sunrise Resort (located in Kinpun)

Price: We have 33 Euros per night for a double room.

Our opinion : Our room (lowest category) was on the ground floor and was damp and dark. It’s a pity really, because we really liked the idyllic complex and the staff were very, very friendly. The breakfast was also above average for Myanmar standards. So it’s best to take a room in a higher category, then it should (hopefully) be better.

4. Hpa-an After the first googling it was clear that we absolutely had to rocky landscape around Hpa An want to see with your own eyes. And we have not regretted it at all. On the contrary: Hpa An was one of the most beautiful stops on our journey through Myanmar.

The most impressive thing for us was the hike to the summit of Mount Zwekabin. From the top you have a gigantic view over the karst rocks. We also enjoyed exploring the villages in Hpa An with the rented scooter. And then there are plenty of caves to discover. We stayed 2 nights in Hpa-an, but would have liked to stay longer.

You can find our detailed travel report about Hpa-an in this blog article: Sunrise on Mount Zwegabin

Arrival from Golden Rock to Hpa-an From Kinpun we took the bus to Hpa-an. The 3.5 hour drive has 7.000 Kyat cost. The price also included the transport from Kinpun to Kyaikto (approx. 25 minutes in an open shared taxi). Because the bus comes from Yangon, it doesn’t make a detour to Kinpun, but stops in Kyaikto.

Our accommodation in Hpa-an Link: Keinnara Hpa-An

Price: We have per night for a bungalow 140 Euro paid.

Our Opinion: The Keinnara Hpa-An is currently (as of February ) definitely the most beautiful and expensive accommodation in Hpa-an. We felt incredibly comfortable from the first moment. There is only 19 “Cottages”, all of which are very spacious. The complex is a little oasis and the pool with a view of the karst rocks is one of the highlights. The breakfast is served a la carte and is gorgeous. If you want to treat yourself to a bit of luxury, then we highly recommend the Keinnara Hpa-An.

5. Taungoo Taungoo has been on our radar since Romeo’s brother Moritz was there a few years ago and was so enthusiastic about it.

Here you can find the blog article in which we asked him all the questions about Taungoo: Elephants in Taungoo

Near Taungoo in the jungle Elephants used as workhorses to create wood from the forest. There is no doubt that you can take a critical look at this (and we do too). Ultimately, however, it ensures the survival of the people here. The locals also have a very close bond with the elephants. And: The elephants are not kept captive like in the zoo, but released back into the jungle every day at noon. There they can move freely. Ultimately, a visit to the elephants is anything but a tourist attraction. You are simply “up close” to everyday life and people’s lives.

Arrival from Hpa-an to Taungoo
From Hpa-an we took the night bus to Taungoo (8.500 Kyat per person). Departure from Hpa An starts at 12 Watch. The journey takes 8 hours. Arriving in Taungo, we still had to get to our guesthouse at 2 a.m. Despite negotiating was under 6. Kyat for a motorcycle taxi (Travel time approx. Minutes) nothing to do.

Our Accommodation in Taungoo Link: Myanmar Beauty Hotel II

Price: We have 25 Paid in euros per night for a double room (higher category).

Our opinion: Although the furnishings with the very dark teak wood are simply not to our liking, we felt very comfortable in the room. The accommodation is very family-run and the staff strive to ensure that you have a pleasant stay. We can definitely recommend that you book a room on the upper floor with a view of the rice fields. Unfortunately, during our stay (December 2017), construction work was underway, so that the construction noise spoiled the idyll a bit.

6. Bagan No question: Bagan is the ultimate tourist magnet in Myanmar. And rightly so! Because the place with the thousands of temples and pagodas is just so magically beautiful that it is difficult to describe in words.

We have it amazing enjoyed driving the e-scooter from pagoda to pagoda, climbing some of them and finding the most beautiful spots for sunrise and sunset . We stayed in Bagan for three nights. During that time we saw a lot, but we were really on the go the whole time.

In this blog article you will find our detailed travel report: The Temples of Bagan

Arrival from Taungoo to Bagan

From Taungoo to Bagan we experienced our most arduous night bus ride. Because the bus was on 17 and we froze the whole 6 hours driving time like in winter. In addition, the price was relatively high: We have per person 23. Kyat paid. The price included transport from Taungoo to the main road (19 minutes) already included. The night bus actually comes from Yangon and stops around 749 : Clock in Taungoo. We reached Bagan around 4: In the morning.

Our Accommodation in Bagan Link: Myanmar Han Hotel

Price: We have 37 Euro paid per night for a double room (lowest category).

Our Opinion: The Myanmar Han Hotel was definitely one of those hotels with the best value for money. The rooms are relatively spacious, modern and clean. The staff were to die for and couldn’t have been friendlier. The “additional services” (laundry, scooter rental) were also quite cheap. A big plus: we were allowed to leave at 4: 23 Check in in the morning at no extra charge. We have never experienced that before and we were more than grateful after the tedious night bus ride! The small disadvantage of the hotel (which you can overlook) is its location: It is about to the temples Minutes by scooter.

7. Mandalay Apart from Yangon, Mandalay is a popular starting and ending point for a trip to Myanmar. We spent three nights there. We used a full day for sightseeing in Mandalay and visited Mandalay Hill, for example. On the second day we made a trip to the area and watched the sunset at the famous U-Bein Bridge, among other things.

In this blog article you will find our detailed travel report: Mandalay: The most beautiful sights and tips for a day trip

Arrival from Bagan to Mandalay From Bagan we took the bus to Mandalay (9.000 Kyats) . In our case it was a minibus with approx. 20 seats. Buses run several times a day. Ours started at noon at 12 Watch. The journey time is approx. 5 1/2 hours, so that we are against 17: 30 o’clock arrived in Mandalay.

Our accommodation in Mandalay Link: The Home Hotel

Price : We have 40 euros per night for a double room (lowest category) paid.

Our opinion: We felt very comfortable in the Home Hotel. The rooms are very comfortable, there is nothing to complain about. The breakfast buffet is ok and relatively extensive.

8th. Inle Lake We didn’t even have Inle Lake on our radar at first, because we had heard that it was now too touristy and traveling by land was too difficult . But then we just searched for flights and spontaneously booked a ticket.

Do we regret it? Not at all! The Inle Lake is scenically gigantic and it is incredibly exciting to observe the life of the people by the water. We stayed three nights (since we also spent Christmas there). If you don’t have time, two nights are enough.

In this blog article you will find our detailed travel report about Inle Lake: Our boat trip on Inle Lake

Arrival from Mandalay to Inle Lake The closest airport is Heho. From Mandalay the flight took just 25 minutes. We paid for it 37 Euro per person (with Myanmar National Airlines). It takes about an hour by car from Heho Airport to Inle Lake. The price for the ride is 35. Kyat. We shared the car with a couple from America so we only had 10.000 Paid kyat per person.

Our accommodation at Inle Lake Link: Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min

Price: We were invited to the overnight stay. A room here normally costs approx. 350 Euro per night.

Our opinion: The Novotel is beautifully situated right on the lake. The rooms (we had a bungalow on the water) are fantastic and very nicely furnished. There is really nothing missing here. The breakfast is very extensive. You can also admire the most beautiful sunsets from the hotel’s jetty. We can only warmly recommend the hotel if you want to treat yourself to a bit of luxury.

9. Ngapali At the end of our trip to Myanmar we wanted to spend a few quiet days on the beach. Although Ngapali is the most famous seaside resort in Myanmar, the beaches are deserted when compared to those in Thailand.

Ngapali consists of two beaches, where some hotels and beach restaurants are located. One looks in vain for nightlife or other attractions. The focus here is really on the beautiful beach and therefore most holidaymakers do nothing but relax. The sand is very light and fine. Most of the beach sections are very clean because they are cleaned by the associated hotels.

In this blog article you will find our detailed travel report: Ngapali Beach: A Dream of a Beach in Myanmar

Arriving from Inle Lake to Ngapali Ngapali can only be reached with difficulty and after many, many hours of travel time by bus. That’s why we decided to travel by plane. Our direct flight from Heho (Inle Lake) took less than an hour and cost per person 90 Euro. From Airport (Thandwe) you can reach the hotels after a few minutes drive.

Our accommodation in Ngapali Note: Accommodation prices in Ngapali are generally well above the Myanmar average. Especially the hotels that are located on the beach are very expensive. We therefore decided to switch to accommodation along the main road. Here, of course, you have the disadvantage that you cannot use sun loungers on the beach. Because neither loungers nor parasols can currently (as of December 2017) be rented

Link: May 17
Price: We have 33 Euro paid per night for a double room.

Our opinion: Compared to other accommodations in Ngapali, the value for money in May is 17 Guesthouse great. The rooms don’t have enough storage space, but they are big enough and clean. The owner is extremely helpful and hard-working and the staff are incredibly friendly. We felt very comfortable. Given the price, we were happy to accept that we didn’t have direct access to the beach. Another tip: Ask for a room on the upper floor, they are brighter and therefore look a bit friendlier.

From Ngapali we then flew via Yangon back to Bangkok. There would definitely have been other stops that would have interested us extremely. These include, for example, Myeik in the south or Mrauk U in the north-west of the country. Nevertheless, we were more than satisfied with our itinerary through Myanmar and can recommend our route (also retrospectively) to anyone who is traveling through Myanmar for the first time.

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Have you already been to Myanmar? How was your itinerary? We look forward to hearing about your experiences!