Myanmar 3 week itinerary | The perfect 3 weeks in Myanmar guide

Southeast Asia is a traveller’s paradise but there is one country that really charmed us and takes the top spot as our favourite country in the region: Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. The country is the least unexplored and most inaccessible country in the area, and the rawness which can create challenges also provides you with so much reward. Myanmar offers so many spectacular sights to see and the people are unbelievably hospitable. Whether it’s temple searching, exploring the vibrant cities, relaxing on unspoilt beaches or trekking in the countryside, Myanmar has everything to offer. After spending 3 weeks in Myanmar, we wanted to put together the most epic guide to the country. So, without further ado, here is our Myanmar 3 week itinerary, to help you achieve some unforgettable experiences.

Lee at temples in Bagan

Why choose Myanmar?

Myanmar definitely isn’t the easiest country we’ve travelled within Southeast Asia, but don’t let that put you off. It has so much to offer and if you’re willing to go that extra mile, you’ll be hugely repaid. So if you’ve already decided to spend 3 weeks in Myanmar (or maybe longer) then we believe you’ve made a great decision. But just in case you still needed a little bit of persuasion as to why you should dedicate 3 weeks of your holiday or travels to visiting or backpacking Myanmar, then we’ve highlighted a few of the key reasons why you have to choose Myanmar as your next travel destination.

  • The main tourist route, is surprisingly well developed. Even though off the beaten track can be extremely challenging, there is a good range of accommodation and transport options between the major cities and tourist destinations.
  • Being relatively new to the tourism game, there is less of a ‘pushy’ feeling from the locals than we have experienced in other Southeast Asia countries. Actually don’t be surprised to be invited to someone’s home for a meal, without any indication of them wanting anything in return. This happened to us…
  • Undoubtedly our favourite place in Southeast Asia – Bagan – is unmissable. Make sure you get there before tourism really takes off. It will do at some point and it won’t be the same.
  • It’s super cheap. You can easily live on virtually nothing. A meal out can cost as little as 1 GBP a head for amazing curries.
  • If you’re looking for unspoilt and untouched beauty, then there is no place like it. Whether it’s the bustling cities to the beaches, Myanmar will make you want to return for more.

Our Myanmar 3 week itinerary

  • Days 1 to 3 – Yangon
  • Days 4 to 8 – Bagan + Mount Popa
  • Days 9 to 11 – Mandalay
  • Days 12 to 15 – Kalaw
  • Day 16 – Inle Lake
  • Days 17 to 20 – Ngapali
  • Day 21 – Yangon

Getting around Myanmar

Travel in Myanmar isn’t always the simplest, however check out Bookaway for the latest options. We really enjoy the 24 hour support that you get – just added peace of mind… and also many routes they offer have great cancellation policies – which is a bit of a relief, when you need to change travel plans. Trust us, during our 3 weeks in Myanmar that happened more frequently than you’d expect.

Travel Insurance for 3 weeks in Myanmar

Got your travel insurance booked? We promise to never push a brand or product we don’t personally use, and the travel cover from Safety Wing is a policy we don’t just use, but we highly recommend. They offer some of the most flexible policies, amazing customer service and are affordable too.

Check out the latest travel insurance prices with Safety Wing here.

Yangon – 3 days

One of the most vibrant cities in Southeast Asia, Yangon (also known as Rangoon) is the perfect place to start your three weeks in Myanmar itinerary. Especially given the transport links into Yangon International Airport, which is very easy to reach from other countries in Southeast Asia. Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, was also the capital of the country until Naypyidaw became the new capital towards the end of 2005.

Now you’re definitely not in for an easy ride, as it’s still a hugely developing country (and city). Traffic can be awful. There’s aren’t loads of western style food or accommodation options, but it is changing. Still, the sights, sounds and smells are so authentic that you’ll almost certainly fall in love with this city.

Rickshaw Yangon

And if you’re a digital nomad, we reckon this is a great city to base yourself out of for a bit, however the WiFi can be a little dodgy in places.

Where to stay in Yangon

Budget – for backpackers we’d recommend Scott 31st street. It’s well priced and comes with good Wi-Fi and great atmosphere

Mid-range – we stayed at the Hotel G Yangon during our stay, and definitely would stay again. It’s in a great neighbourhood with excellent food options nearby. Most attractions and downtown Yangon are within walking distance.

Luxury – and just around the corner from Hotel G, no doubt that the Sule Shangri-La Yangon is the place to book for luxury travellers.

Getting from Yangon International Airport

Taxi: So the good news for you Uber addicts is that the Southeast Asia equivalent, Grab, also works in Yangon. So if you’re looking to take a taxi, we’d definitely suggest that you download the app. The drive from the airport to downtown takes about 30 minutes and costs 10, 000 Kyat (about 5.50 GBP). Uber is preferable to local taxis since providing directions to the driver can be a little tricky.

By bus: There are two airport shuttle bus options (red and green routes) that operate from 5.00am to 10.00pm daily. They pick up out the front of terminals 1 & 3 and end at the Central Railway station, taking about 1 hour. Cost per person is 500 Kyat (approx. 0.25 GBP) so super cheap and easy!

Day 1 in Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda

After you’ve checked into the hotel, had a chance to relax and recuperate from the flight, we’d definitely suggest that you head to one of the most famous landmarks in Myanmar and the no. 1 attraction in Yangon: the Shwedagon Pagoda.

The pagoda is the most sacred in Myanmar and is believed to contain a number of Buddha relics. We actually went for sunrise, but found out that it was super busy with the locals going about their morning prayers. So although it was amazing for photos, there were not many shots without people, so hitting this up in the afternoon is probably a better bet. However, it can get very hot in the afternoon!

Picture of the Schwedagon Pagoda in Yangon Myanmar

You’re very likely to be approached by a friendly local guide, who’ll offer to show you around the temple and explain about the history of the Shwedagon Pagoda, as well as the Buddhist faith. We did this and it was really interesting, expect to pay a ‘tip’ of about $5.

Cost for entry is 11,000 Kyat (6 GBP). And don’t forget to dress appropriately! As this is the most important Buddhist location in Myanmar you need to make sure that your knees and shoulders are covered.

If you’re not comfortable traipsing Yangon by yourself, why not check out this highly recommended tour with Get Your Guide – which will show you some of the key sights in the city.

Location: Sanguttara Hill, Dagon, Yangon

Open: 4.00 am to 10.00pm daily

Drinks at the Alfa Hotel

Now having gone to the Schwedagon Pagoda during the day, one of the best ways to see it is from a rooftop bar at sunset. There are many rooftop bar options in Yangon that will cater to all clientele and budgets. However, it’s the rundown, slightly over-the-hill Alfa hotel whose rooftop bar would get our nod for watching the sunset.

Picture of the Schwedagon Pagoda at night, in Yangon, Myanmar

Before you go, you should know that the hotel itself looks pretty dodgy.

We nearly left before reaching the bar… it’s that kind of place, but we urge you to continue. The Sapphire Lounge bar on the rooftop doesn’t offer much either. It’s old and doesn’t have the greatest selection of drinks. But there is a good chance that you’ll have the place virtually to yourself (there were two other guests there, in a place that seats over 150). And most importantly you’ll have the best view of Yangon, all for the price of a cheap cocktail or a Chang beer.

Location: No. 41, Yawmingyi Qr., Nawaday Road, Yangon

Open: 3:00 pm to 3:00 am daily (although they were closing at about 9pm when we went!)

Eat noodles with locals

Right around the corner from the Alfa hotel are two great dining options, that will generally be full of locals. Both the Aung Mingalar Shan Noodle Shop, and the Shan Kitchen have very reasonably priced and super tasty dishes. We ate at these restaurants on consecutive nights and they are some of the best dinners we had in Myanmar.

Location: Corner of Nawaday Street, Bo Yar Nyunt Rd, Yangon

Open: 9.00 am to 10.00 pm

Note: 999 Shan Noodle Shop is one of the most famous in town, although it closes at 7.00 pm so you probably want to hit that one up when walking downtown.

Day 2 in Yangon

Cruise the circle line

A great way to see more of the city, and capture a glimpse into everyday Myanmar life, we suggest you head out on the Circle line that does a big loop of the city outskirts. Departing from the central train station (which is an impressive colonial building in its own right), you’ll share your journey with normal commuters. You’ll experience the locals eating their breakfast, and food sellers joining at different stops, with live animals and fruits of different origin.

Picture of Yangon train station Myanmar

Note: At time of writing, some of the line was under construction and it only went a third of the way; more than sufficient for a half day. But you’ll have to take a taxi back into town. When the line is fully operational, this trip can take up to 5 hours.

Central Station Location: Kun Chan Rd, Yangon

Times: Departs every hour from platforms 6 & 7 from 6.10 am and last departure at 5.10pm

Day 3 in Yangon

Explore downtown Yangon

Kick off today by bashing the streets of downtown Yangon. If you are anything like us, you’ll believe there is no better way of seeing a city than exploring the streets, meeting some locals and really taking in everything it has to offer. And Yangon doesn’t disappoint. It is a mesmerising attack on all of your senses. Weaving your way between the lower streets, you’ll find stalls selling everything from tea to trinkets. It’s worth wearing some sturdy shoes though, since the pavements are cracked and difficult to navigate.

Downtown Yangon market

Check out the Street Alley Art

We loved stumbling into these alleys so much that we wrote a post on it, including a handy map – read it here. Essentially Yangon boasts a number of street alleys that have been recently refurbished. Stretching from 29th to 42nd street, the once rubbish dumps have been converted them into ‘garden alleys’ and provide a safe space for kids to play, and travellers to mingle with locals and take in some street art.

Yangon Street Art Swing

Refuel at Rangoon Tea House

Tea, coffee and food so good that we went back here 3 times, the Rangoon Tea House is a great place to escape the heat and bustle of downtown Yangon. You should definitely try the Mohinga Soup, it’s a famous local fish dish that is usually eaten for breakfast. We weren’t quite brave enough to try it first thing, but found it made for a delicious lunch.

Location: Ground Floor, 77-79, Pansodan Street, Lower Middle Block, Yangon

Open: 7.00 am to 10.00pm daily

Getting from Yangon to Bagan

By night bus: We really weren’t expecting much from an overnight coach, but were pleasantly surprised by the service from JJ Express. Wouldn’t hesitate to use them again. Provides both ‘first class’ and ‘second class’ options at 19 USD and 12 USD respectively. The journey takes about 10 hours.

By train: We were originally planning on taking the train from Yangon to Bagan, but have heard some horror stories about how uncomfortable it is. Expect a 17+ hour bumpy, dusty ride. So not something that we’d recommend, even for the experience.

Flights: There are daily morning and afternoon flights from Yangon to Nyaung-u Airport (next to Bagan). The flight is only 1 hour 20 minutes.

Find the cheapest options here with Skyscanner.

Bagan 4 days + Mount Popa 1 day

Set over an area of 100 km2, Bagan provides a veritable feast, with over 2,200 temples to explore. Given its size and everything that you can do is one of the reasons we’ve dedicated a whole 5 days to exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site. The town, known for its thousands of temples is really unique and possibly only rivalled by the great Angkor Wat area in terms of Buddhist temples and pagodas. It is an absolute must when it comes to your Myanmar 3 week itinerary.

Temple at Sunrise, Bagan

Note: Hot air balloon season is between October to April.

Where to stay

The town is split into three areas: Old Bagan which houses some of the older, more traditional hotels. New Bagan which has the better hostels and some newer villa options. And finally Nyaung-U which provides a good mix of accommodation but is a bit further away.

Budget: Ostello Bello in New Bagan, is a very sociable hostel, complete with games nights, happy hour and a nearby swimming pool.

Mid-range: we enjoyed staying at Villa Bagan, this boutique villa overlooks some of the temples, has a great pool and is based in New Bagan.

Luxury: If you have a bit more budget, we’d suggest the Bagan Lodge as a great option.

Day 4 to 8 Bagan + Mount Popa

Exploring Temples

Wherever you are staying will help you rent an e-scooter (these are essentially electric mopeds as no foreigners are allowed to rent normal scooters). So get up early each morning to chase the sunrise. After a few hours exploring relax in the heat of the day before heading back out to get some more Instagram-worthy sunset shots!

Ananda Temple Bagan

Here is a post about all the best temples to visit, with the best vantage points along with a map to help you get there.

There are also some great places to eat in Bagan, but with options in both Old and New Bagan, the Moon Café (Be Kind to Animals) comes out the winner for us. You must try their Veggie Burger and the green mango salad.

Locations: New Bagan and Old Bagan

Open: 10.00 am to 10.00 pm

Mount Popa Day Trip

As part of your trip to Bagan, it’s really worthwhile taking a day trip over to visit Mount Popa. The mountain-top temple is located about 50km southeast of Bagan. The drive to Mount Popa takes about 90 minutes, so allow yourself at least 6 hours for the duration of the trip. It’s a decent climb to the top, which you need to do barefoot (nearly 800 steps). And watch out for the monkeys, those little critters love to grab your belongings.

Getting from Bagan to Mandalay

Train: The train departs from Bagan at 9.00pm and takes 8 hrs, arriving into Mandalay Central at 5.00am. So not the most convenient timing! If it was during the day, we may have opted for this to experience the train ride and see more of the countryside.

By bus: JJ Express runs a service every alternate day between Bagan and Mandalay. The journey takes about 5 hours departing at 2.00 pm and tickets costs $7, There is also an OK bus (more a minibus service) which departs 3 times a day, at 8.30am, 1.00pm and 4.00pm also taking 5 hrs. Tickets cost 8 GBP. Friends of ours used the service and said it was okay if not a little cramped! So if you’re tall you may want to skip this option.

Flights: There are a couple of morning flight options each day, departing at around 8.30 am with flight time of 30 minutes, it’s by far the fastest option.

Check out Skyscanner for the latest deals.

Mandalay 3 days

The second largest city in Myanmar, Mandalay is a former capital of Myanmar (or back then Burma). The city provides a host of great sightseeing opportunities which we were pleasantly surprised by! Although the city’s centre has been largely built up, it has a more relaxed feel than the frenetic Yangon. We’d recommend spending at least 3 days as part of your Myanmar 3 week itinerary.

If you’re also short on time and can’t dedicate 3 weeks to Myanmar, Mandalay is well connected to Thailand with direct flights to Bangkok and Chiang Mai. So a good option as a departure point from the country.

Where to stay

Budget: Similar to it’s sister hotel in Bagan, Ostello Bello is one of the best hostels in the city. It has a great rooftop bar where you’re guaranteed to meet fellow travellers, food is good and rooms are clean.

Mid-range: Located close to the Mandalay Palace, The Hotel by Red Canal offers fantastic rooms, spa, pool and all the amenities you’d expect.

Luxury: Obviously you can’t go wrong with a Hilton. And the 5* Hilton Mandalay is no different. A great option if you can afford it!

Day 9 Mandalay

Mandalay Hill

For beautiful views of the city, we’d suggest heading to Mandalay Hill for either sunrise or sunset! The hike up takes about 45 minutes to do, and you have to do it barefoot. It’s not super challenging and at the top you are rewarded with wonderful views of the city. At the summit you’re likely to meet a number of monks who are keen on practising their English with you – this is not a scam but a lovely exercise in integration.

Picture of flowers and the view at Mandalay Hill in Mandalay, Myanmar

If you’re not keen on the walk (which we can definitely understand in the heat of the day), then you can also get a taxi to take you up.

Location: Mandalay Hill

U Bein Bridge

And if you’ve managed to make it up bright and breezy for sunrise for Mandalay Hill, we’d definitely recommend trying to get to U Bein Bridge for sunset. U Bein is a traditional-style teak bridge spanning over a kilometre across the Taungthaman Lake and was built over 150 years ago. Pretty impressive. There are a load of options to take boats out onto the lake to capture that iconic sunset shot. But it’s also good to note that the bridge can get very busy. So head to the far side of the bridge to avoid the crowds.

Picture of the water by U-Bein bridge in Mandalay Myanmar

The bridge is located about 11km outside of town, so best option is to book a Grab (SE Asia’s Uber) for the trip. It’s most likely that your Grab driver will wait for you there offering the same price for the return journey.

Location: U Bein Bridge

Day 10 Mingun Day Trip

Mingun is one of those must visit places when in Mandalay, and you should definitely set aside the best part of a day to explore it. Located about 10km away from Mandalay, the best way to reach it is by taking a boat trip along the Irrawaddy River. Although you can also reach Mingun by taxi.

The boat trip departs from the Myan Gyan Jetty and takes about an hour to reach Mingun. The boat schedule seems to alternate a bit but generally departs around 9.00am and returns back to Mandalay by the early afternoon. Boat tickets cost about $5 and can be purchased at the office next to the jetty.

Myatheintan Pagoda

On arrival into Mingun, we’d suggest that you head straight to the Myatheintan Pagoda (also known as the Hsinbyume Pagoda). This is the stunning white temple that you’ve probably seen on Instagram pics so if you can beat the other tourists there (most who will stop at the ‘unfinished pagoda’ first) you’re likely to have the place to yourself.

Picture of the white pagoda in Mingun, Mandalay

Note: As soon as you’re off the boat you’ll be offered a tuk tuk to the pagodas. They really are very walkable, so don’t believe it when they say it takes an hour to walk there – this is entirely a scam.

Mingun Pahtodawgyi

On your way back towards the boats, you will then reach the Mingun Pahtodawgyi, also known as “unfinished pagoda”. This is a pretty interesting place, and even though it’s only one third of the original height that it was planned to be, it holds the record as the largest pile of bricks in the world. How crazy is that?

Picture of the unfinished Mingun Pagoda in Mandalay Myanmar

Day 11 Mandalay

Kuthodaw Pagoda

Built in the 1850s by King Mindon Min, the Kuthodaw Pagoda is a stunning temple complex with a solid gold stupa at its centre. However the best part of the complex is the other 730 other white stupas surrounding this that house large marble tablets. These tablets outline the Theravada Buddhism’s religious canon and it is often referred to as the world’s largest book. A must visit, just to see the scale of it all.

You could also visit this as part of the trip to Mandalay Hill as it’s located close by. However, it all depends on your timings!

Location: Kuthodaw Pagoda

Open: Daily 8.00am to 8.00pm

Getting from Mandalay to Kalaw

By bus: There are a number of bus and shuttle options, including JJ Express going from Mandalay to Kalaw. These range from between 6-8 hours – check them out here.

Flights: Air KBZ has a daily flight at 10.15am that only takes 35 minutes.

Kalaw, Inle Lake and Taungyi

The area around Kalaw, Inle Lake and Taunggyi is really all about hiking and trekking and, since we love the great outdoors, we highly recommend you do a 2-3 day hike to take up your time in this region. Ideally we’d suggest you do the Kalaw to Inle Lake itinerary, since there are a few other things for you to do in Inle itself.

Picture of hikers in Inle Lake, Myanmar

Photo credit: Claire Warren

Where to stay

We think the best options in Kalaw are:

Luxury: There are only two properties that are really worth it in this range, and our pick is Kalaw Hill Lodge, set up in the hills in beautiful surroudnings.

Mid-range: Traveller’s favourite in Kalaw is currently Mya Yar Pin Kalaw, a small hotel which offers lovely rooms, a small fitness centre and a great breakfast, usually included.

Budget: For about 10 GBP you’ll get a very clean, well-furnished private room, with very friendly staff at Thitaw II hotel – an absolute steal!

As for Inle Lake, most travellers stay in the Nyaung shwe township area, so all our recommendations are here:

Luxury: There are only a handful of options, but it seems that Villa Inle Resort, boasting a pool, beautiful rooms and fantastic ratings comes out tops.

Mid-range: Best pick is definitely Inle Cottage Boutique Hotel. Delicious breakfast, a great location and super-friendly staff mean this is a great mid-budget option

Budget: We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. Ostello Bello operates the best hostels across Myanmar, and so their Nyaungshwe branch is no different.

Day 12 – 15 Kalaw to Inle Lake

We didn’t have the pleasure of trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake ourselves, but our good friends did a 2 day hike here.

The hiking – while classed as moderate – takes you through the unspoilt hillsides of Myanmar, as you watch water buffalo help farmers till the rice fields, and little children play in cold river streams. You stop in villages to speak to the people there, see a traditional school in action, eat sumptuous vegetable stew with a local mother-cum-chef and take in incredible vistas from viewpoints across the area.

Picture of buffalos in field in Inle Lake, Myanmar

Photo credit: Claire Warren

There are a number of good companies that you could use but the most reputable one (that comes highly recommended by our friends and other bloggers alike), is Uncle Sams.

Day 16 – Inle Lake

There is more to do than just wander the hills in Inle though, so you could easily spend a full day and one night here, if not more.

A trip to Kakku

It’s about a two hour journey out of Inle Lake itself but well worth the trip. Kakku is one of the most incredible sights – a forest of over 2,500 colourful stupas sprawling over about a square kilometre. The first stupas date back to about the 16th century but the field of stupas has been added to over time, as pale pink or bright beige stupas were added alongside buddha statues and carvings.

Picture of the Kakku Stuppas, Myanmar

Entrance is about 4, 500 kyat (2.50 GBP) but in most cases you also need to pay a local tour guide (approx. 7, 500 kyat / 4 GBP) to take you around.

Lazing on the lake

Now you could also do this trip at sunrise but we love sunsets, and sunset on Inle Lake is something incredibly special. Take the afternoon out on a boat tour, as one of the best experiences you’ll have. Your driver will take you up and down the river, seeing how locals interact and go about their day, introducing you to fishermen all balancing the try and steer fish into their beautiful and unique net cages. You’ll see their floating gardens, which boasts fruits and herbs and vegetables all pulled together with bits of bamboo as they float atop the water.

The tour also usually provides a few options to visit factories and workshops dotted alongside the route, including things like cigar-making or even goldsmiths. You might then encounter one of the ‘longnecked’ women who work in these tribes; the women who put golden rings around the necks to lengthen them. We have found this custom a little unnerving in the past but it might be something you’re interested in seeing firsthand.

The cost is about 14,000 Kyats (about 7.50 GBP)

Last, but not least, head to the Red Mountain Estate Vineyards for a glass of wine and incredible views – you could even skip the lake and take in the last rays of the day with a delicious glass of wine in your hand!

Getting from Inle Lake to Ngapali

There is really only one way to transit from the Inle Lake region to Ngapali’s coastline – via air. This means taking a hour-long flight from Heho airport (which is situated between the hotspots of Inle Lake, Kalaw and Taunggyi), to Thandwe airport, a few kilometres from the resorts dotted across the Ngapali beach area. Most flights are in the morning, so plan this for the morning of your 17th day.

Check out the latest flight options and prices here.

Ngapali 4 days

Day 17 to 20 Ngapali

Myanmar travel isn’t always easy, so the next few days are all about relaxation. And we couldn’t have chosen a better spot for it. Ngapali beach is untouched paradise. Think Thailand’s beaches 20 years ago and you start to get the picture – pristine, deserted, gorgeous to swim in.

Aerial picture of Ngapali beach in Myanmar

We’d suggest spending a few days just walking on the beach, snorkelling in the clear waters or lying in your hammock, reading a good book. There isn’t much to see in Ngapali but it offers a beach holiday like no other!

Where to stay

Luxury: Try the Amazing Ngapali Resort. This resort is absolutely perfect for a beach break – it has it’s own stretch of private beach, a highly-rated day spa and a great food and beverage selection.

Midrange: Smack bang in the middle of the range is Yoma Cherry Lodge. Most rooms have their own terrace, all come with flat screen TVs and free wifi, and the location is idyllic.

Budget: A great little guesthouse, our pick of the bunch is Kipling’s Bay Guest House. Impeccably clean, well situated and with a lovely personal touch, this is a wonderful option.

Getting from Ngapali to Yangon

The best way to return to Yangon is definitely via air. There are a number of daily flights with operators like Myanmar National Airlines and Yangon Airways, connecting the two points (Thandwe to Yangon).

Yangon 1 day

Day 21 Yangon

You’re back where you started, hoping having explored the many marvellous corners of Myanmar. While you’ve explored quite a bit of Yangon, if you do have some time today we have one more recommendation for you:

Kandawgyi Park

Yangon is a frenetic city and the best way to escape the busy pace is to take a stroll around the best park in town, Kandawgyi. The park hosts a huge lake in it’s centre, and surprisingly is not really frequented by tourists. We encountered virtually no one doing a lap of it. The park is also a great example of why we think Yangon is still so unspoilt: there are loads of untapped tourist opportunities in the city (like they could charge for boats trips). But they aren’t exploited and this really adds to the city’s charms.

Picture of girl at Lake Kandawgyi in Yangon Myanmar

There is an entrance fee for the park of 300 Kyat (about 0.15 GBP).

Location: Nat Mauk St/Kan Yeik Tha Rd, Yangon

Open: 4.00 am to 10.00 pm

Golden Rock

You can also take a short day trip to the Golden Rock, also known as Kyaiktiyo. This is one of the most famous places in Myanmar but can be a little tricky to reach. The Golden Rock is a small pagoda built on top of a large granite boulder, almost suspended in the air.

It takes about 3.5 hours to get there via transfer or bus – its highly recommended to book it as a tour or private driver, since the bus system to reach it is complicated.

When to go

The seasons in Myanmar are split into three, the low season (or rainy season), the shoulder months, generally dry but some potential showers and then the high season – generally the best weather but also the most expensive and busiest time.

Low Season: The rainy season is between May and September, where monsoon can bring torrential rain, especially in the south. However, we went in early June and had great weather combined with not many travellers and tourists, meaning many of the sights we had almost to ourselves! However, the plains of Bagan were scorching hot, so if you’re not great in the heat, maybe look at other months…

The Shoulder Months: Generally these are March and April, and October and November. Although the weather can be really hot in the earlier months, the rains have cooled the region in October and November. Although there is the chance that you’ll still get some heavy rains.

High Season: Between December and February are the coolest and driest. But with that, it brings the most travellers so transport, accommodation and the sights can get very busy.

What camera equipment and other gear do we use?

We’re living proof that you don’t need the most expensive gear to travel the world and take good photos. Here are some of our must have items that make it into the packing list for all our travels.

Useful Burmese phrases

  • Hello/Goodbye – Mingalaba
  • Thank you – Cezu tin ba deh
  • How are you? – Neh kaun la?
  • I’m well – Neh kaun ba deh
  • Sorry – Wun neh ba deh
  • Please – Kyeizu pyu yue
  • Yes – Ho de
  • No – Ma ho bu

Is Myanmar / Burma safe to travel?

The short answer – yes. Myanmar still has numerous conflicts but the country has cleared a ‘tourist trail’ which you’ll be following with this itinerary, which is entirely safe and – in our opinion – a must-do. Due to the harsh laws in the country, crime is very low, particularly for tourists who bring revenue to the local economy.

We hope you enjoyed our travel tips for this 3 week Myanmar itinerary; our ultimate Myanmar travel guide. Got any tips for us? Let us know in the comments or get in touch!

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  1. Jurgita
    2nd January 2020 / 2:04 pm

    Hi Lee and James, I loved your article about Myanmar! My husband and I will visit it in couple of weeks, so I got so much useful information from you guys. Thanks and greetings from member of DHL family 😉

    • James & Lee
      3rd January 2020 / 1:53 am

      Hi Jurgita, thanks so much for your feedback on our article, we’re so glad that you found it useful! Whereabouts are you going in Myanmar and for how long? Obviously, let us know if you have any questions that we might not have covered in the article as we’d love to try and help. We’d also love to hear back on your experiences and if there are any updates needed to our information. BTW – if this is Jurgita from Lithuania marketing, Lee says hello!! All the best, James and Lee

      • Jurgita
        26th January 2020 / 7:23 am

        Hi, again! Yes, the same Jurgita 🙂 It’s been a week since we got to Myanmar. We visited Yangon and spent few days at Ngwensaung beach, currently we’re in Pyay and leaving tonight to Bagan by a night train. So far so good, I love this country! People are very nice and helpful, but also still a bit shy and not spoiled by tourists. Especially here in Pyay. We still have 10 days here before getting back to Bangkok for our flight home.

        • James & Lee
          26th January 2020 / 7:59 am

          Hi Jurgita,

          We are so glad to hear that you are enjoying it! Exactly as you say it – the people are so truly kind and authentic, which makes Myanmar feel very special to us; it still feels off the beaten track. You will love Bagan! Make sure you get out super early in the mornings for sunrise and do as many temples when it is still cool, since the rest of the day you will want to hide inside from the heat until its time for sunset! Also, if you can, please do eat at Be Kind to the Moon and have the vegetarian burger or the mango salad. we are still dreaming of Myanmar and so jealous you are there. Have a fantastic time!