I will be in Myanmar for 14 days. Here is a tentative itinerary. What do you think?
Also, which between Kyaukme or Hsipaw be worth spending some time at?
31 July-depart to Yangon
2 Aug-depart by bus to Bagan
3, 4, 5, Aug-Bagan, Mt Popa
6 Aug-depart by boat to Mandalay
8 Aug-Ancient capitals around Mandalay
9 Aug-depart to Pyin Oo Lwin
10 Aug-Pyin Oo Lwin
11, 12 Aug-Spirit Festival?, Kyaukme/Hsipaw
13 Aug-departure to Bangkok.
We visited many of the same places in February, but our favorite place that you don't have on is Inle. You've probably heard the "too crowded" rumors around the backpacking community, but I still say go go go! It was amazingly beautiful and you can still have authentic experiences if you stay with a local guesthouse and hire local boatmen.
Our trip report here: http://erohisms.com/impressions-of-inle-lake/
#2 erohisms has been a member since 17/3/2013. Posts: 10
I intend to visit Inle and Yangon again as I would like to spend more time in the area, including trekking from Kalaw to Inle. Anyway, this is the rainy season, that's why I am focusing my trip on the ccntral plains which are the least affected.
reublim, you're going in the monsoon season, July/August are the wettest months in Asia above the equator. Good luck.
#4 mareeS has been a member since 8/12/2012. Posts: 13
Looks good. Hsipaw has more going on than Kyaukme. If you need a good guide, then follow the link at the bottom. The train ride from Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw over the Gotiek Viaduct is great.
#6 TheLeapingLemur has been a member since 20/11/2012. Posts: 13
Agree that Hsipaw has more going on than Kyaukme, it has the Shan palace and pagoda as well as the central market - one of the most ethnically diverse trading posts in all of Myanmar! All worth a visit.
The nat festivals are amazing but so hectic! I think two of them start on the 8th August this year.
#7 JGlove has been a member since 7/5/2013. Posts: 3
I haven't been myself but I have friends who have been to the Taungbyone nat festival and who say it was the highlight of their trip! I can only say that I wish I'd gone when I was there!!! Apparently it's the loudest festival in Myanmar with lots of cymbals and gongs, spirit mediums offering life predictions to visitors (my friends thought one particular medium was a tad strange...probably they didn't notice straight away that he was actually a she) expect lots of transvestites and alcohol!
#9 JGlove has been a member since 7/5/2013. Posts: 3