Photo: Temple outside Monywa.

Burma forum

Itinerary for Burma in Aug/12

Posted by dakial on 2/7/2012 at 20:50

Hi all.
I've done some reading about burma and built this itinerary. I was hoping you guys could help me validate it. I have ~13 days to spend there so I focused on what I saw were the main cities/locations to visit and also will try to do long distances by plane.

This is it:

[05/08] Yangon
>Flight Singapore to Yangon Myanmar Airways - DEP:1325 ARR:1455 - 308SGD(RT)
>>Shwe Da Gon Pagoda
>>Bogyoke Aung San Market

[06/08] Yangon
>Day trip to Kyaikto (Golden Rock)
>>How to get there?

[07/08] Yangon>Bagan
>Flight Yangon to Bagan Air Bagan - DEP:0630 ARR:0750 - 83USD
>>Temples, temples, temples

[08/08] Bagan
>Baloon ride (~USD 300)
>>where is cheaper?
>Rent a bike
>>Temples, temples, temples

[09/08] Bagan
>Day trip to Mt Popa (50km away)
>>How to get there? Bus? Car?

[10/08] Bagan > Mandalay
>Boat ride (10 hours) Or Flight (30min)?

[11/08] Mandalay
>>Mahamuni Pagoda
>>>4am Waking Up Buddha Ceremony
>>Shwenandaw Kyaung Monastery

[12/08] Mandalay
>Day Trip to Pyin Oo Lwin
>>How to get there? Bus? Car?

[13/08] Mandalay
>>Ma-har-myat-mu-ni pagoda
>>Mandalay Hill
>>Ku-Tho-Daw Pagoda
>>Mandalay Palace
>>Amarapura Town
>>U-Bain Bridge

[14/08] Mandalay > Inle lake
>Flight Mandalay to Heho Air Bagan - DEP:0730 ARR:0855 - 34USD
>Taxi Heho to Inle Lake
>> Is it possible to book it with guesthouses??
>>Don't know what to see yet.

[15/08] Inle lake
> Boat trip or Hike?

[16/08] Inle lake > Yangon
> Taxi Inle Lake > Heho
> Flight Heho to Yangon Air Bagan - DEP:0940 ARR:1035 - 83USD
> Sightseeing and shopping in Yangon

[17/08] Yangon
>Flight Yangon to Singapore Myanmar Airways - DEP:1130 ARR:1605 - 308SGD(RT)

What do you guys think?


#1 dakial has been a member since 1/7/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by stoneman on 10/7/2012 at 10:03

Just to be clear, my advice is drawn from internet research for my own visit (hopefully one day). I assume you are booking your flights through a Myanmar travel agent. If so, I would sound them out regarding transport options to Golden Rock ie can they book you on a shared tour, if so at what cost, or is there a direct bus from Yangon and return.

I've only read of 1 air baloon operation at Bagan (run by 2 Brits) but my notes say it only operates between 20/10-31/3.

Day trip to Mt Popa - I have no notes but I would not rely on busses if available. I would hire a car with driver/trishaw/moto. Same with Pyin Ooh Lwin. Check out your options at your respective accommodations.

In general, your accom. at Inle Lake can arrange taxi from Heho airport (share taxi may be possible). Same applies for your return.

15/8 - definately do a boat trip as it is the main reason for visiting Inle Lake. Boats take max. 5 persons so sharing equates to cheaper cost for you.

14/8 - If you intend to do a hike or a bicycle trip do it on this day.

As to the overall itinerary I see no planning problems. Others may say you should stay here longer or there shorter blah blah blah but at the end of the day it's up to what you want to see and do within your timeframe. Hope this helps. Enjoy your trip.

#2 stoneman has been a member since 8/5/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 100
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Posted by dakial on 12/7/2012 at 14:55

Thanks Stoneman,

Based on many inputs (including yours) I changed my itinerary (below). I sent an email to the balloon guys to check if they will be flying, maybe I'm lucky. I took the golden rock trip out because I was told that now it rains a lot in that region so that trip will probably be a waste of time. People also told me that the boat trip from Bagan to Mandalay also is a waste of time since there is no much action in the waters or the shore. The flight also is cheap ($40USD).

[05/08] Yangon

>Flight Singapore to Yangon
>[Afternoon] Chinatown
[06/08] Yangon
>[Morning] Shwe Da Gon Pagoda
>[Morning] Bogyoke Aung San Market
>[Afternoon] ???
[07/08] Yangon>Bagan
>[Morning] Flight Yangon to Bagan
>[Afternoon] Temples, temples, temples
[08/08] Bagan
>[Morning] Baloon ride (~USD 300)
>[Afternoon] Rent a bike
>[Afternoon] Temples, temples, temples
[09/08] Bagan > Mt Popa > Bagan
>[Morning] Travel to Mt Popa (50km away) How to get there? Bus? Car?
>[Afternoon] Go back to Bagan
[10/08] Bagan
>[Morning] Temples, temples, temples
>[Afternoon] Temples, temples, temples
[11/08] Bagan > Mandalay
>[Morning] Flight Bagan to Mandalay
>[Afternoon] Shwenandaw Kyaung Monastery
>[Afternoon] Mandalay Palace
[12/08] Mandalay
>Mahamuni Pagoda
>>4am Waking Up Buddha Ceremony
>Ma-har-myat-mu-ni pagoda
>Mandalay Hill
>Ku-Tho-Daw Pagoda
>Amarapura Town
>[SUNSET]U-Bain Bridge
[13/08] Mandalay > Pyin Oo Lwin
>[Whole Day] Trip to Pyin Oo Lwin How to get there? Bus? Car?
[14/08] Mandalay > Inle lake
>[Morning]Flight Mandalay to Heho
>[Morning] Taxi Heho to Inle Lake
>[Afternoon] Sightseeing
[15/08] Inle lake
>[Whole day] Boat trip
[16/08] Inle lake > Yangon
>[Morning]Shared taxi Inle Lake > Heho
>[Morning]Flight Heho to Yangon
>[Afternoon] Sightseeing and shopping in Yangon
[17/08] Yangon
>[Morning] More sightseeing an shopping in Yangon
>[Afternoon] Flight Yangon to Singapore

#3 dakial has been a member since 1/7/2012. Posts: 3

Posted by stoneman on 13/7/2012 at 06:34

Sounds like a plan dakial. For your 2 day trips do a search on - might be info from someone who visited as a day trip.

#4 stoneman has been a member since 8/5/2010. Location: Australia. Posts: 100
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Posted by Tilapia on 13/7/2012 at 09:04

Recommend returning to the Schwedagon Pagoda later in the afternoon for sunset. Try to get there for dawn, as well. Several years ago it cost $5 and it was possible to come and go all day. These are the best times to visit.

I disagree that the boat trip between Bagan and Mandalay is a waste of time. I thought it was fantastic, but it also takes at least 10 hours.

While in Bagan, the Leya Monastery ( is well-worth checking out. It's not particularly old, but it's a beautiful place, and reminded me of some of the temples I saw in Nepal.

Mahamuni is amazing!

The village of Indein, along a canal that runs off of Inle Lake, is very nice.


#5 Tilapia has been a member since 21/4/2006. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,521
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Posted by mweymes on 22/7/2012 at 21:14

I spent a month in Myanmar in May, and based on my experience, here are mytips:
1. I wouldn’t bother to do a daytrip to the golden rock, if I remember correctly it’s a more than four-hour busride, potentially six hours, so the amount of transport in one day would behorrible! It’s a lovely place to trek or chill out, but I don’t think a rushedtrip there would be that satisfying.
2. If you’re that tight on time, I’davoid the 10-hour boat ride, although I didn’t go on it myself so I’m notexactly sure. Instead, get the boat experience at Inle Lake!
3. I would cut down on the time inMandalay, and spend an extra day in Bagan. Day trips out of Mandalay are great,but the city itself a big, loud and dirty. Mandalay Hill is worth it, or oneday sightseeing, but I wouldn’t stay any longer than that.
4. I only passed through Pyin Oo Lwin but it seemed really nice and I wouldhave loved to spend some time there – I think most people chartered taxis ormotorbikes to go out there, as the buses go at strange times- I think it takesabout two hours from Mandalay.
5. As for what to do at Inle Lake-the boat trips are great, and I met people who went out for a bike ride and saidit was really nice.
Hope you have an amazing time! Eat Shannoodle soup in Pyin Oo Lwin, it’s delicious!

#6 mweymes has been a member since 22/7/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by enigmatic on 3/8/2012 at 02:52

Mount Popa can be accessed by pickup/taxi shared with other travellers which your accommodation or a travel agent should be able to book at short notice - 10,000 kyat for two sharing; rather less for larger groups. Theoretically it's feasible by local pickup transport, but probably not worth the waiting around.
One caveat: if you're hoping for distant views of Bagan's temples, you won't be able to recognise them from the top of Mount Popa - arguably the most interesting aspect of the views is how little obvious evidence of human impact on the landscape exists beyond the village in the immediate area. The monastery itself is a collection of Buddhist kitsch and souvenir shops, although the steep-sided pinnacle it's built on is interesting to look at and you'll either love or hate the monkeys.

Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin can also be done by pickup truck - around 2000 kyat (US$2.50) each way. Buses heading to Hsipaw and Lashio also cover that route but timings/availability are probably not ideal for a day trip.
To be honest I think Kalaw, en route to Inle, is a more appealing place to pass through than Pyin Oo Lwin if you want to see a smaller town left behind by the British, even if you don't do any longer treks from there (it'll probably be raining). It fits better with your short itinerary and Golden Kalaw Inn is a nice budget place to stay the night.

#7 enigmatic has been a member since 14/4/2011. Posts: 84

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