I am traveling with two other friends to Myanmar for three weeks in December. I know it's at peak season, so I'm trying to get my general itinerary nailed down early so I can book a few guesthouses, but I don't really even know where to start. The new version of Lonely Planet isn't coming until August! :)
This is the very general idea I've come up with for an itinerary. I think a lot of time would be eaten up by heading over to Mrauk U, but everything I've read about it so far sounds incredible. Do you think this is too ambitious of an itinerary for three weeks? We'd like to fly directly to Yangon from the US (cheapest, from what I can tell), and end in Yangon again so we can catch a cheap flight for our next leg in Vietnam.
Day 0: Arrival to Yangon.
Day 1: Yangon
Day 2: Yangon, overnight bus to Inle Lake
Day 3: Typical sites around Inle Lake
Day 4-6: 3 day, 2 night trek in Inle area. End trek in Kalaw ?
Day 7: Kalaw to Bagan (bus possible?)
Day 8: Bagan
Day 9: Bagan
Day 10: Bagan to Mandalay by bus
Day 11: Mandalay (how long should we spend in the area? One full day?) Amarapura, snake temple.
Day 12: Flight Mandalay to Sittwe
Day 13: Ferry Sittwe to Mrauk U
Day 14: Mrauk U
Day 15: Mrauk U
Day 16: Mrauk U
Day 17: Mrauk U to Sittwe
Day 18: Sittwe flight to Yangon
Day 19: Yangon (surrounding area -- golden rock?)
Day 20: Yangon
Day 21: Depart
Any tips or thoughts are very much appreciated!! I'm not totally sure if some of these routes are possible via bus. Is Mrauk U worth the amount of time and expense it would take to get there? If so, maybe we can ditch that idea and instead cover more in the Yangon area -- Kyaikmasaw, Mawlamyine, Hpa-an??
#1 jesso435 has been a member since 27/5/2014. Posts: 5
I regret not going to Mrauk U, but there is only so much time . . . that said, my favorite part of our three week trip to Myanmar was Hpa-an , Mawlamyine down to Dawei. I especially liked Mawlamyine and riding down the river from Hpa-an to there was a spectacular day. All that you read about the boat trip in Lonely Planet is out dated and you can book from Hpa-an to M without any trouble and usually that return trip is not so full as the trip up from M to Hpa-an. Personally, I'd suggested that area over the tourist path of Inle Lake.
All that said, it is probably just a waste of time, because Mrauk U offers what you want and a good pace of travel. You'll be seeing a lot of temples with so much time in both Bagan and Mrauk U though.
Thanks! Maybe we'll skip Inle Lake and try to make it down to do the Hpa-an/Mawlamyine circuit.
#3 jesso435 has been a member since 27/5/2014. Posts: 5
Hello! In regards to Bagan to Mandalay there is a bus (costs around 7500Kyat pp) which leaves in the morning from Bagan and takes 5 hours which gets you into Mandalay early afternoon. So you could spend the rest of the day exploring the city and then head up to Mandalay Hill for sunset. That then leaves you the rest of the next day to explore the ancient cities including Amarapura, although I would suggest leaving that until last if you want to do the sunset at the U Bein Bridge. One full day is enough if you take an Ancient cities tour by taxi but you won't have enough time to head over to Mingun or explore the palace etc....
My blog might give you a few ideas of what to do in Mandalay.
And personally I wouldn't skip Inle Lake. It was by far the most enjoyable part of our trip. But then I haven't been to Hpa-an!
#4 wanderingwander has been a member since 2/6/2014. Posts: 2