Myanmar Tour ItineraryBurma Itinerary
A Two-Week Program in Myanmar
It was my first trip to Myanmar in 2010, a year or so before the land rolled out its welcome mats with enthusiasm for non-nationals. The arrival in the town of Yangon was, without a doubt, like a journey back in history, alternately in the 1950' (when the Brits abandoned the town and much of the country's infrastructures were last modernised) and much, much longer than that - I'm speaking of age.
In any case, my journey back at the beginning of 2016 was a much more typically Southeast Asian adventure on the continent. Tourist flows swamped rides like the Bagan Temple and the U-leg bridge outside Mandalay; WiFi and ATMs were as omnipresent as in Thailand or Vietnam; and I no longer had to swap cash in shadowy backyards.
But the Mergui Archipelago was completely savage. Whatever Myanmar premonition draws you to this enigmatic, misconceived land, two week is the best period you can have. If you are applying for your Myanmar eVisa on-line, please see this example of a two week journey in Myanmar, or just use it as a guide for your own journey.
Myanmar, like its beloved neighbour Thailand, is experiencing a wet period from about May to October and a drought all year round. However, unlike most other parts of Thailand, Myanmar's north can get quite chilly, so if you want to come and see them, you may want to do so in the early and later parts of the drought.
Generally speaking, November and March are the best times to come to Myanmar. Myanmar's traffic structure is basic, but it's getting better. Otherwise, a number of domestic carriers such as Air Bagan, Air KBZ and Myanma can reach most of the rest of the UK within a few hour. Rural means of conveyance, such as the ferry between Mandalay and Bagan, are more pleasant than thematic.
Myanmar is inexpensive, which means you can sleep in all but the most beautiful places without going bankrupt. It is unlikely that you will be spending more than $50 per overnight for three-star residential housing in Yangon, Mandalay or Bagan, at a much lower cost in the countryside. Myanmar, as I have often indicated, is very inexpensive.
It' s not as inexpensive as my first visit in 2010, but it is not as hard to go there either. I' ve often said that Yangon is the capitol of Myanmar, which is not really the case - this honour goes to Naypyidaw, a town whose name I can't state.
However, Yangon is the biggest town in Myanmar and the most important global gate, so you have to stay here for some while. Yangon's key feature is the Shwedagon Pagoda, a sparkling gold play area built in the Buddha period - just like the Buddha itself.
It is one of the most fascinating places in Myanmar, whether by sun or moon. The Sule Pagoda (in the centre of Yangon), St. Mary's Cathedral and Musmea Yeshua Synagogue are other beloved places of the town. If you use your stay here to get to know God, or if you are exploring the countryside and the story by a visit to the house of Aung San Suu Kyi or Lake Kandawgyi, I suggest you to stay 1-2 of your two week in Myanmar in Yangon.
Coming from Yangon, take a night-trip, coach or airplane northbound to Mandalay, Burma's second biggest town. Like Yangon, a large part of Mandalay's present-day inner town is in ruins, although the palace on a huge lakeside in the centre of the town is quite impressive. Some other great Mandalay sites are Mahamuni Paya, home to one of the greatest Buddhas I have ever seen in my entire lifetime, and Mandalay Hill, overlooked by a convent and one of the most beautiful sunsets in Southeast Asia.
andalay is also surrounded by a group of very enchanting small towns: Inwa on the other side is a Bucolian city on a riverside that illustrates how remote Myanmar is from the whole country. andalay has a little more to offer than Yangon, so I suggest you spend about 2-3 nights in Mandalay - longer if you can!
At this point in the route I should say that Mandalay was unfortunately as far as I came during my journey to Myanmar - on my first journey anyway. Fortunately, when I got back in 2016, I was much more cautious about what I was eating, and I made it down the Irawaddy River to Bagan, a city near about 2,000 sanctuaries.
There was not much opportunity to cycle through the temple as I had imagined during my first journey, but I managed to make a ballooning over Bagan, which was unbelievable. In Myanmar in Bagan, I suggest you spend 2-3 of your two week stay, one of them on an Irawaddy River cruiser, to get there - almost as amazing as Bagan itself!
It is at this point of a two-week tour in Myanmar that most travellers set off to the far east of the land to a place known as Inle Lake. Can' t make a remark because I forgot to visit Lake Inle during my first journey with poisoning, and I jumped it during my second one.
But I can't really believe that it is more attractive than Myanmar's Mergui Archipelago, a completely unexplored chain of Andaman Sea islets about 100 leagues from Phuket. While I believe that it is technologically possible to be independent in Mergui from the town of Kawtheung near the Thai boarder, this part of the globe on board one of the Burma Boating-ask boats is much better to experience if the SY Raja Laut is available at the time of booking!
It is recommended that you spend 5-7 of your two week stay in Myanmar in the Mergui Archipelago.