Myanmar is a land of distinct character and countless hidden treasures. You can spend a month, or a year here or enjoy a 5 days itinerary in Myanmar. And still be pleasantly surprised every time by the charming quirks of its people, the incomparable beauty of its landscape, and the richness of its traditions.
Myanmar just recently opened its doors to tourists. Because it has fewer visitors, the country is a breather from noisy tourist crowds, exhibiting a homey vibe while maintaining an exotic allure.
However, Myanmar’s plethora of fascinating attractions could leave tourists with the dilemma of where to start and how much time to spend. Surprisingly, you can see much in as short as five days in Myanmar.
Myanmar Travel Tips
- Travel: Flight travel is recommended as it’s so comfortable and easy. Road are not in the best condition and even if VIP buses are in a good quality it does take on average 8-10 hours between the touristic destination in Myanmar. Currently there are 5 domestic airlines serving most of the cities of Myanmar.
- Car: Car rental is not available in Myanmar for tourists and international permit is not valid without a new exam taken in Myanmar. Driving is on the right hand side but the wheel is on the left side!
- Currency: Myanmar Kyat (Ks) – USD is the main currency to bring in Myanmar along EURO. For the USD the rate is different for higher bills ( 50 & 100$) and lower for other bills. The bills must be almost new, not folded and most important without any sign or not even a little dot or stamp on it.
- Timezone: Switzerland is in the same timezone as most of Europe (1 hour ahead of the UK, 6 hours ahead of EST in the USA)
- Credit Card Acceptance: Most high end hotels & restaurants will accept all major credit cards (VISA, MasterCard); a 3,5% transaction fee usually applies. However due to ATM problems and power cuts it’s better to have cash out the economical capital, Yangon.
- Languages: Burmese – English is not widely spoken. Mostly in the tourist area and a guide is recommended for both tourist & off beaten tracks in Myanmar, especially.
- Visas: Myanmar is part of the ASEAN. Here is a detailed page on your eligibility for a Myanmar visa to enter Myanmar/Burma for 28 days / tourist visa.
- Electricity: All power sockets in Myanmar-Burma provide a standard voltage of 230V with a standard frequency of 50Hz. No need adaptor for European Travelers. USA/Canada can bring a power adaptor for local use.
Why go for a 5-Day Trip to Myanmar?
Myanmar is emerging as a popular destination. Whether you are a first-time traveler or a seasoned backpacker, you can quickly lose track of time while exploring the country. For those who plan to tour Southeast Asia within three to four weeks, spending too much time in one place is impractical.
The good news is, you don’t have to mess up your schedule. If you know where to go, five days in Myanmar is sufficient to experience many of the country’s best features. We came up with 5-day itinerary samples to help you plan your trip and maximize your stay.
Itinerary #1: Yangon Golden Rock, Bagan and Mandalay – 5 Days Itinerary in Myanmar
|Day 1||Yangon arrival and Sightseeing||Yangon|
|Day 2||Yangon to Bagan by plane and Sightseeing||Bagan|
|Day 3||Bagan to Mandalay by boat||Mandalay|
|Day 4||Mandalay Sightseeing||Mandalay|
|Day 5||Ubein Sightseeing (morning) + Alms giving in Amarapura & Departure|
Your tour starts in Yangon, the country’s capital, where you see a mixture of British colonial architecture, modern skyscrapers, bustling markets, and magnificent pagodas. Take time to see the renowned Shwedagon Paya, the spectacular pagoda complex that attracts thousands of Buddhist pilgrims. If you don’t mind traveling farther away, visit the Golden Rock Pagoda on Mount Kyaiktiyo.
From Yangon, catch a flight to Bagan, famous for its thousands of pagodas, temples, and stupas spread all over the vast plain. Witness the breathtaking panorama of Bagan at sunrise in a hot air balloon, or explore the region on an e-bike. Be sure to visit the local villages for their centuries-old lacquerware industry.
From Bagan, take a 12-hour boat cruise to Mandalay while enjoying the scenery along the Irrawaddy River. Mandalay is full of captivating places to see, including the Mahamuni Buddha Temple, Mandalay Palace, and Kuthodaw Pagoda, home to hundreds of scripture-inscribed marble slabs.
After a day of touring Mandalay, visit the historical district of Amarapura. Participate in an alms-giving ceremony at the Mahagandayon Monastery, and learn about Myanmar’s traditional cotton and silk weaving, as well as bronze casting. Be sure to walk across the picturesque U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak footbridge. In the afternoon, take a flight back to Yangon before leaving for your next destination.
Itinerary #2: Yangon, Inle Lake and Bagan – 5 Days Itinerary in Myanmar
|Day 1||Yangon arrival and sightseeing||Yangon|
|Day 2||Yangon to Inle by plane and sightseeing||Inle Lake|
|Day 3||Inle Balloon Ride in the & Kakku Day Trip||Inle Lake|
|Day 4||Inle to Bagan by flight & Bagan Sightseeing||Bagan|
|Day 5||Half day trip to Salay & Departure flight|
You have every reason to be excited about landing in Yangon on your first day. The capital city is full of spectacular attractions, including the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the Reclining Buddha, Kandawgyi Lake, and the culturally-rich Pansodan Road.
From the bustling city life of Yangon, take an early morning flight to the tranquil lake district of Inle. Go on a boat tour past floating villages and gardens. Immerse with the Intha people, shop at a 5-day market, and meet the intriguing Karen women, known for their bizarre neck rings. See the tiered Phaung Daw Oo Paya pagoda with its gilded Buddha statues, the golden-spired stupas of Shwe Inn Dein Pagoda, and the temple ruins in the jungles near Nyaung Ohak.
Spend the next day on your itinerary gliding above the majestic Inle Lake in a hot air balloon, as you watch sprawling towns and floating villages on the ground below. In the afternoon, take a trip to the impressive Kakku Pagoda Complex, home to 2, 478 stupas arranged ingeniously into straight rows in a square field. Savor good food and excellent wine while watching the sunset over the vineyards of Nyaung Shwe.
Next day, take a flight to the fabled region of Bagan and marvel at its pagodas and temples. Take a tour of the Archaeological Museum, and the Thanakha Gallery before shopping at Mani-Sithu Market for souvenirs.
Before you leave Myanmar, consider a half-day trip to the quaint town of Salay, home to the 130-year-old Yokesone Monastery, known for its elaborate wood carving and exquisite decorations. Then catch a flight back to Yangon or travel to Mandalay for your trip out of the country.
Itinerary #3: Mandalay, Monywa & Bagan – 5 Days Itinerary in Myanmar
|Day 1||Mandalay arrival and sightseeing||Mandalay|
|Day 2||Mandalay full-day sightseeing||Mandalay|
|Day 3||Mandalay Monywa sightseeing||Monywa|
|Day 4||Monywa – Pakokku – Bagan||Bagan|
|Day 5||Bagan – Mt Popa – Half day – departure|
Mandalay is Myanmar’s second-largest city and is, arguably, the country’s cultural capital. There is so much to discover in Mandalay that you should allot the first two days in your itinerary exploring the famous landmarks of the city, and the surrounding areas. Make a side trip to Sagaing Hill, famous for the gold and white stupas studded all over its slopes. Re-imagine glory days the ancient city of Inwa by exploring the ruins of the Thabyedan fortress and the Bagaya monastery, made entirely of teak wood. Don’t miss the sunset at the U bein Bridge, which stretches three-quarters of a mile across Taungthaman Lake.
Next, head for the town of Monywa, famed for its 116-meter statue of Buddha, the majestic Thanboddhay Paya, and Hpo Win Daung Complex, an imposing structure carved into a soft limestone hill.
On the fourth day, drive to the tiny town of Pakokku, celebrated for its tobacco and thanakha, a yellowish-white cosmetic paste. From Pakokku, travel to Bagan by boat through the Irrawaddy River. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon to relish in the magical beauty of the pagodas and stupas in Bagan.
Take a quick detour to Mount Popa on your last day. A monastery sits on the mountain peak, accessible only by climbing 777 steps. From here, make a trip back to Mandalay to go to your next destination.
Itinerary #4 Mandalay and Pyin Oo Lwin
|Day 1||Mandalay arrival and sightseeing||Mandalay|
|Day 2||Mandalay to Mingun by boat & by car to Pyin Oo Lwin||Pyin Oo Lwin|
|Day 3||Pyin Oo Lwin Sightseeing||Pyin Oo Lwin|
|Day 4||Pyin Oo Lwin – Gokteik Viaduct – Mandalay||Mandalay|
|Day 5||Ubein / Amarapura sightseeing & Departure|
When you arrive in Mandalay on your first day, be sure to maximize your time. The top destinations on our sightseeing list are Shwe In Bin Kyaung, Mandalay Palace, and Ta Moke Shwe Gu Gyi, Shwekyimyint Paya, and Kyauktawgyi Paya. But don’t forget to wander around the Goldpounder’s District and shop at Zegyo.
The next day, you can travel by boat from Mandalay to Mingun, home to the Hsinbyume Pagoda, remarkable for its white-washed terraces that appear like waves and the unfinished Mingun Paya. Proceed to the stunning hill town of Pyin Oo Lwin, where you can admire traces of colonial architecture, unwind at the National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens, or hike into the jungle to view the 120-meter-tall Anisakan Waterfall.
From Pyin Oo Lwin, take a heart-racing train ride across the Gokteik Viaduct, a railway bridge spanning 630 meters across two mountains and suspended 100 meters over a densely-forested gorge. After the bridge drop-off, travel back to Mandalay by car.
Conclude your 5-day itinerary, by touring the district of Amarapura and taking a pose at the iconic Ubein footbridge.
Itinerary #5 Yangon – Hpa An and Mawlamyine
|Day 1||Yangon Arrival & Sightseeing||Yangon|
|Day 2||Yangon – Bago – Golden Rock – Hpa An||Hpa An|
|Day 3||Hpa An Sightseeing||Hpa An|
|Day 4||Hpa An – Mawlamyine by boat||Mawlamyine|
|Day 5||Morning Sightseeing Mawlamyine & by car to Yangon|
Every sightseeing tour in Yangon is incomplete without visiting Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Market, and the splendid Shwedagon Pagoda.
On the second day, travel to the ancient kingdom of Bago and explore Shwemawdaw Paya, Kyaik Pun Pagoda, Kambazathadi Golden Palace, and Kyaly Khat Wai Monastery. Drop by the unique Golden Rock Pagoda on your way to the idyllic town of Hpa An.
Many regard Hpa An as one of the most scenic places in Myanmar. The town boasts of diverse attractions that range from the sacred Mount Zwegabin to the mesmerizing Kan Thar lake to the impressive Sadan Cave, with its pagodas and Buddhas. Spend your third day covering all these attractions.
The next day, get on a 2-hour boat ride from Hpa An to Mawlamyine. The city is best known for its string of five hilltop pagodas which include Mahamuni, the most impressive among the shrines, and Kyaik Than Lan Paya, which inspired poet, Rudyard Kipling, to write one of his famous lines. However, you can’t miss the colorful markets, the newly opened river cruises, and the fascinating Bilu Island in the Gulf of Martaban.
One of the best ways to enjoy Mawlamyine is by walking through its laid-back streets, an activity you would surely relish on your fifth day. In the afternoon, travel by car back to Yangon for your trip out of Myanmar.
If you liked one of our suggested 5 Days Itinerary in Myanmar drop us and email and we will be more than happy to assist you on your visit to Myanmar.