Myanmar Itinerary: Two Weeks in Travel Paradise

Myanmar is rapidly becoming one of Asia’s most popular travel destinations. As the country continues to open up to international visitors, there has never been a better time to visit. Travelling in Myanmar unveils a unique combination of hidden beauties and burgeoning tourism hotspots, all whilst enjoying a welcoming culture. Whether you wish to watch the sun rise over misty temples, take slow river boat trips, or calculate a way to make your way through fragrant marketplaces, Myanmar can provide.


In Myanmar it is common to feel like the only tourist -- local-dominated restaurants far outnumber tourist-centred restaurants (even around attractions), and many places are most effectively reached using public transport. Strolling through the chaotic streets of Yangon or Mandalay still garners curious stares from locals, and even simple things like cash and Internet can prove problematic.


Myanmar is easy to get to from other Asian destinations, and trust me when I say that it is well worth visiting. This enigmatic country captures the heart and invigorates the soul.


However, there is not all that much information out there about travel in the former country of Burma. After my experience there I have compiled the ideal Myanmar itinerary for two weeks in this travellers’ heaven. Two weeks should be enough time to see the major sites as well as some more unique experiences.




Arrive Yangon (3 nights)

myanmar itinerary
The mesmerising Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon


Yangon is Myanmar’s most well known city for tourists. Large-scale golden pagodas jut out of the bustling metropolis of interwoven streets and fearless motorcyclists. It creates an atmosphere of wonder and occupies the mind. Most of the sights here involve temples and pagodas, but there are also some beautiful lakes to wander around and museums to explore. For a great guide about Shwedagon Paya, you can check out this post


Yangon is the perfect place to begin your itinerary because there is plenty available here to introduce you to the culture, atmosphere and people of Myanmar. Yangon is generally a more traveller-friendly city to wrap your head around than Mandalay so it’s a good place to start.


3 nights in Yangon will give you time to adjust, settle in and see the sights.



Trekking in Kalaw (trekking, 2-3 nights)


myanmar itinerary
The hikes around Kalaw will take your breath away and display a unique side to Myanmar


After you have adjusted to life in one of Myanmar’s cities, it is time to change things up and head on a trek. Kalaw is a small town close to the famous Inle Lake and provides spectacular hikes through the Myanmar countryside. There are several companies which lead treks from Kalaw and the most popular product is the 3-day trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake.


The transport to Kalaw can take a while so it is a good idea to allocate a night to spend in Kalaw itself before commencing the trek. There are several guesthouses available to choose from.


The trek is rather long to Inle Lake but is not too strenuous. Getting out and doing this trek gives you the opportunity to see a side of Myanmar that many miss. The accommodation is usually homestays so not only will you be more comfortable than camping but you will get to experience how the locals live.



Inle Lake (2 nights)


myanmar itinerary
A skilful fisherman on Inle Lake


If you’re in love with those photos of fishermen in Myanmar balancing delicately in their boats complete with woven hats and nets, then this is the place for you. Inle Lake is a tourist hotspot in Myanmar but must be seen.


The enormity of the lake means that there is plenty to do. Jump on boats and see how life on the water unfolds, or watch the fishermen from the safety of the shore.



Bagan (3 nights)


myanmar itinerary


Bagan is easily Myanmar’s most iconic destination and there is no refuting why it holds this title. Out of the dusty basin rise over 2000 unique temples -- nearly all available to explore.


Despite being Myanmar’s most popular destination, it is ridiculously facile to escape tourists and feel alone here. The area is still not set up for tourists like other South East Asian icons such as Angkor Wat, and it is easy to explore the area without even being given the option of buying a ticket (even if you actually did want to pay!). Without official ticket booths at all the entrances, proper roads and all the bells and whistles, Bagan can sometimes feel like you’re just discovering it.




Rather than horse and cart or tour bus, it is best to grab bicycles or e-bikes from some of the locals and ride around the complex. You get total independence and the exercise does you good too. Hot air ballooning is a popular touristic experience in Bagan but is eye-wateringly expensive ($400 each, anyone?). If you can afford it then totally do it, otherwise you can watch the balloons from a distance which is equally spectacular.


If you’re in Bagan you must make sure you commit to seeing as many sunsets and sunrises as is humanly possible. There is honestly no better place for it.


From Bagan it is possible to get to your next destination, Mandalay, by taking the slow boat up the Irrawaddy which is a worthwhile experience.




100 By 25



Mandalay (3 nights)

Mandalay is not the most thrilling place but there is still enough to keep you occupied here and it has a very different vibe to the other areas of Myanmar. Your time in Mandalay will certainly be easy on the wallet as accommodation and food is incredibly affordable.


Taking the boat from Bagan back to Mandalay will take you an entire day in itself, so you are left with two full days to explore the city. Allocate one day to visiting Mandalay proper and seeing the Royal Palace (or at least walk around it), wander through the markets, and climb up Mandalay Hill.


On your second full day, I would recommend doing the ‘three cities’ tour. Drivers and taxis all around Mandalay offer this for a pretty good price so it will not be difficult to organise. This trip takes all day but takes you to some of the most beautiful locations around Mandalay. First you will get to experience a fully functioning monastic school where you can see young monks undertaking rituals and learning the ropes. You will be able to experience the beautiful, and still rather rural, Inwa, and wander through more temples and farm land. The day finishes up with a walk along U Bein bridge which is the world’s longest wooden bridge, and a spectacular sunset. Enjoy a coconut or Mandalay beer as the sun sets behind this incredible structure.


myanmar itinerary


Comment below with any questions or comments! If you've been to Myanmar I would love to know.[icon color="#ea8a35" icon="icon-heart2" size="24px"]

Other Useful Blog Posts


Love it? Pin it! 

Lucy Owens Travel Textbook


My name’s Lucy and I’m the junior doctor and travel writer behind the blog. If you’re a fan of scratching beneath the surface of travel, visiting interesting destinations, and exploring ethically, then you’re in the right place. Focusing on purposeful budget and solo travel, Travel Textbook hopes to inspire more young people to seek meaningful adventure.


NEXT UP: Melbourne



7 thoughts on “Myanmar Itinerary: Two Weeks in Travel Paradise”

  1. Wow, you have been to a LOT of places in just two weeks! I found it so hard to decide where to go and which places to skip (sadly). I’m a little jealous you did the trek in Kalaw, cause I really really wanted to. Also have been to Mandalay just about 24 hours which seems ridiculous. The good thing is though, I loved it so much there I’m just gonna go back really soon 🙂 I just wanna add that your photos are stunning. May I ask what camera you use? Cheers and safe travels, Maria

    1. Hey Maria — yeah it does pack it in! I think I’m going to go back to Myanmar in the near future as well, it is such a special place and I can’t get enough of it.

      A lot of these photos are from stock but some are mine. I use iPhone, Canon G1X and Sony a7 🙂

      Lucy x

  2. Wow! This is perfect. Looking to head to Myanmar early July this year and your post is just pop up at the right timing. The trekking to Kalow seems interesting. Do you remember how much you paid for the tour?

    1. Glad it came at the right time for you! I can’t remember the price exactly 🙁 I think it was around ~$30 a day from memory. Cost depends a bit on how long the trek is, which company and how many people you go with I think.

      Hope you have an awesome time in Myanmar – it is an amazing country!

      Lucy x

  3. Hi Lucy,
    I am going to Myanmar in 2 months and am also coming from Australia – I was wondering whether you would recommend mastercard debit card or primarily relying on cash? Also, is it worth exchanging AUD for USD? Finally – do you have any recommendations for companies/guides to do the Kalaw to Inle trek with on a budget?

    1. Hi Georgia,

      That is so awesome that you’re going to Myanmar, it is a phenomenal place to travel! I have a full post on the money situation in Myanmar and my recommendations here: 🙂 Hopefully that helps!

      A1 Trekking and Golden Lily Trekking are great options for tours. I think most tours sit around the 20-30USD mark per day, from memory, although there may be more available now since I last visited 🙂

      Lucy x

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *