Myanmar itinerary 7 days is a popular choice of many travelers. As this is a reasonable time frame to see most highlights of this country. This portion may also be a good part to add on a longer trip in Asia. Most international flights land and depart to/from Yangon international airport then at least 1 or 2 nights will be spent at this city. The most well-known destination is definitely Bagan – home of numerous ancient temples. For nature and culture lovers, Inle Lake is also another interesting place.
First, let’s explore Yangon. Many friends of mine think that Yangon the the capital city of Myanmar, yet this is no longer true. The current capital is Naypyidaw. Yangon the biggest city in the country. Not like other developing nations in South East Asia where motorbikes are the main vehicle, you will not see any motorbike in Yangon. There are cars and bikes allowed only. It is not very far from Yangon international airport to the city center but you may expect to ride for almost an hour due to traffic jam.
The very first impressions, as soon as you land in Yangon, is Longyi – Myanmar traditional clothes and Thanaka. The men at the airport wearing long dresses and both men and women draw something white/beige on their faces. I like wandering around the city square to see the British colonial buildings and watch the locals but not actually stepping in any certain places.
A perfect Myanmar itinerary 7 days will always include the Shwedagon pagoda – one of the most famous pagodas in Myanmar. It is considered as the symbol and pride of Yangon. This place is open daily from 4 am until 10 pm then you can visit it even during the daytime or in the evening. The current entrance fee for tourist is 10,000 Kyat per person (approximately USD 8). If time permits, you can stay in this pagoda for the whole day without getting bored. You will have the chance to see how locals pray to get a baby boy. Also you can watch the monks meditating or witness people kneeling in prayer evening during the heavy rain.
The next place that need to be added in your 1 week itinerary is Bagan Myanmar. The most convenient way to travel to Bagan from Yangon is a short flight (1 hour and 10 minutes). You can do some searching on the internet to find photos about Bagan – a very unique place that hard to be found in other parts of the world. The home to thousands of pagodas, temples and stupas. It is good to have a knowledgeable tour guide who provides you with interesting facts about history, religion, cultures while visiting main temples.
Also, for photo lovers – sunrise and sunset in Bagan are not to be missed events. Climbing up the temples is no longer allowed for safety reasons and heritage preservations. Driving up to a hill to have a panorama view of Bagan is a good way now. If you are in Myanmar tours from late March to early April, hot air balloon is Bagan is a lifetime experience. Yet, the rate is relatively high, more than USD 300 per person for about 45 minutes flight.
Last but not least, for those who want a real taste of local life in Bagan, Nyaung U Market worth a stop which is crowded mostly by the locals. Personally, I found it very joyful and interesting to see Burmese traditional products and the local buying groceries. Our group had a free day in Bagan so we hired electric bikes at the hotel to explore the place on our own. Passing through temples to temples and stop for photos, for a local milk tea is another great day.
The last stop that should not be missed during an ideal 1 week Myanmar itinerary is Inle Lake. The lake is covered by surrounding mountains and very huge. A boat trip on the lake is the main activity in Inle Lake. The most common image that you will find on the lake is Intha fishermen who stand up on one leg to catch fish – a very unique experience. There are several stops during the boat trip including silver making village, long neck family or boat making family so the visit on this lake may last for half day. On the way back to the harbour, we visit a floating garden where people grow vegetables for their daily meals. The engine sound is loud when the boat runs so you cannot hear or talk during the boat ride.
If you have more than 1 week in Myanmar, Mandalay is also a place that you may think about. U Bein bridge is the most famous attraction in Mandalay, still, it is getting quite crowded. For those who love beaches, a short flight from Heho to Thandwe to reach Ngapali Beach will be a perfect ending for tour to Myanmar 12 days. Spending a few days at a lovely beach-side resort before flying back to Yangon for departure is what I will do if I have more than 1 week in Myanmar. The Internet is becoming popular in Myanmar which may change the country rapidly. The sooner you visit this country, the better the experiences that you can get. Come to see locals when still wear longyi, using Thanaka for skincare.
Huyen Nguyen – Travel Specialist