Photo: Temple outside Monywa.

Burma forum

Suggestion for Myanmar itinerary

Posted by ssgal on 9/8/2014 at 06:31

Greetings from Jakarta :)
I have a plan to travel in Myanmar this coming October.
I have two options for my itinerary, either I go to Inle Lake or skip it.
Without Inle Lake:
Kuala Lumpur - Yangoon : flight, stay 1 night
Yangoon - Mandalay : night bus, is the schedule confirmed at ETD 21:30 ETA 06:00?, stay 2 nights
Mandalay - Bagan : night bus, is the schedule confirmed at ETD 22:00 ETA 03:00?, stay one night
Bagan - Yangoon : night bus again but I haven't had the schedule yet, anyone knows?
Yangoon - Kuala Lumpur: evening flight
With Inle Lake:
Kuala Lumpur - Yangoon : flight, stay 1 night
Yangoon - Bagan : night bus, is the schedule confirmed at ETD 19:00 ETA 04:00?, stay 1 night
Bagan - Mandalay : night bus, is the schedule confirmed at ETD 21:30 ETA 05:00?, stay 2 nights
Mandalay - Inle Lake : night bus again is the schedule confirmed at ETD 19:00 ETA 04:00?, stay 1 night
Inle Lake - Yangoon : night bus again is the schedule confirmed at ETD 19:00 ETA 06:00?, stay 1 night
Yangoon - Kuala Lumpur: evening flight
Please suggest should I need to change any routes or not to have a great bus journey :)
What do you recommend to see or do in Inle Lake that'll make me made up my mind to go there?
Thanks a lot!
Seli

#1 ssgal has been a member since 7/1/2013. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 12
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Posted by caseyprich on 10/8/2014 at 09:00

If you only have 4-5 nights you really have to ask yourself what there is that you have to see. If temples are your thing, you can easily do 2-3 nights in Bagan , and there is more to do in the area than temples. There is a boat ride on the river that can take up an entire afternoon and sunset that is nice. I'd recommend you just stick with Yangoon and Bagan with such little time. Also,taking the overnight train is an awesome experience between Yangoon and Bagan and you get more connection with the area you are passing through than you would on the bus.
If you aren't actually that interested in the temples, you could go from Yangoon over to Mawyamline, which is an area that offers a lot to do for 3 nights but also isn't as long as a trip as Bagan, you could even break that trip up with a night around the golden rock.

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Posted by ssgal on 10/8/2014 at 10:38

Hello @caseyprich
I like temples but not so many of them anymore. I've been in Thailand & Siam Reap so if those in Bagan are different then I'd like to explore them.
The boat cruise sounds lovely, I will surely try to do that, thanks for your idea.
What about Mandalay , isn't the town lovely to be explored?
I plan to go by night bus as that should cost me less but I haven't thought about taking trains in Myanmar. Will it be a good experience as well?
If I skip Inle Lake, I will travel like this: Yangon to Mandalay; Mandalay to Bagan and return to Yangon.
My concern is just if I go through Bangkok, my flight back to Jakarta shall be expensive.


Thanks :)

#3 ssgal has been a member since 7/1/2013. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 12
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Posted by antoniamitchell on 10/8/2014 at 12:24

Hi Seli,

Distances are really long in Burma, buses and trains are always late, and I wouldn't expect to get much sleep on an overnight bus or train, so I'd consider moving round a bit less than your initial itinerary ideas, if I were you. I'd recommend trying to get at least 2 nights in a real bed between every night bus, or you're going to be too exhausted to enjoy yourself!

From you two initial itineraries it looked like it was either 7 or 10 nights? I'd suggest if you have 7 nights to try to limit yourself to 2 main places, and day trips from there. With 10 nights, 3 main places is more do-able.

Casey's suggestion of Yangon over to Mawyamline sounds like a good one (although in October you might still get the tail end of the monsoon in Mawyamline). In my opinion, Mandalay's not an attractive town, and is less historically interesting than Yangon (as well as less interesting food and less important pagodas). As your time is short, you might want to consider skipping it. Another option is to base yourself in Yangon for a couple of days, then head up to Inle, or do Yangon to Bagan and Inle (skipping Mandalay). But it depends on what you enjoy doing and how long you'll actually be there for....

The temples in Bagan are great, but they are the main draw to the area. If you're not that in temples, and you're the sort of person who's happy spending a day looking at temples and is then templed-out, do you really want to travel all that way just for one day? But if you are very interested in temples and are happy to spend 2-3 days exploring them, then it's totally worth all the travel.

Inle is beautiful, and there's lots to do there - boat trips including going out to In Dein (another temple complex), hiking trips, biking around the countryside, hot springs, etc. For my money, Inle offers more variety than Bagan does.

The train in Burma is reallllllllyyyyyyyyy slow and uncomfortable - some people enjoy the experience of slowly trundling through the countryside, some people (like me) get bored and motion sick after about 4 hours. YMMV.


I don't know if any of that is helpful, as all of the above is just one person's opinion! Good luck with the planning, whatever you decide, and hope you have a great trip!

#4 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 546
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Posted by ssgal on 10/9/2014 at 01:50

Hello @antoniamitc-hell,


Thank you for your reply, sorry that I took me a while returning to this thread.
I have now decided to skip Inle Lake.
Yes, I will have 7 days starting and returning from Kuala Lumpur to Yangon.
Day 1 - KL Yangon, overnight
Day 2 - Yangon, night bus to Bagan
Day 3 - Bagan
Day 4 - Bagan, night bus to Mandalay
Day 5 - Mandalay
Day 6 - Mandalay, night bus to Yangon
Day 7 - Yangon, flight to KL in the evening.


Anyone has a recommendation for a cheap hostel in those 3 cities I'd like to visit? :)
Cheers!

#5 ssgal has been a member since 7/1/2013. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 12
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Posted by chengywong83 on 10/9/2014 at 23:35

Hi,
I recently traveled to Burma, we spent 11 days there and here's the route we took:

We arrived Yangon on the 1st day via Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur. As soon as we arrived, we took the night bus to Bagan. The journey took us about 8-9 hours. I;ve recently blogged about it, you may look for the hotels/bus booking contact in it. If you have enogh time, I think you shouldn't miss Inle Lake / Nyaung Shwe cause its really worth to be there.
Happy Planning and do let me know if you need any further details.

#6 chengywong83 has been a member since 1/8/2014. Posts: 11
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