Photo: Temple outside Monywa.

Burma forum

16 Days in Burma. Mandalay: Yes or No?

Posted by Jamesgos on 10/2/2015 at 23:37

I'll be spending 16 days traveling to Burma. Would like to visit Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake and Ngapali Beach (I'd say 14 days or so in total). With that in mind, should I also go to or skip Mandalay?

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Posted by kosoesoemdy on 11/2/2015 at 08:53

2 Weeks or 16 Days is good enough to explore Myanmar with Big 4 & Ngapali Beach. It's possible to fly to Thandwe from Bagan or Heho ( Airport nearby Inle lake ).
Mandalay is one of highlights in Myanmar.
My suggested itinerary for you is to fly into Mandalay & fly out from Yangon ;
Day ( 1 ) Arrival Mandalay & Ancient Cities around Mandalay
Day ( 2 ) Mingun Boat Trip & Mandalay City Sightseeing
Day ( 3 ) Bus or Boat to Bagan
Day ( 4 ) Bagan Sightseeing
Day ( 5 ) Bagan Sightseeing
Day ( 6 ) Mt.Popa & Salay Trip
Day ( 7 ) Day or Night Bus to Inle lake
Day ( 8 ) Inle Lake Boat Sightseeing
Day ( 9 ) Flight from Heho to Thandwe ( Overnight in Ngapali Beach )
Day ( 10 ) Ngapali Beach
Day ( 11 ) Ngapali Beach
Day ( 12 ) Flight from Thandwe to Yangon & Walking Tour around Downtown
Day ( 13 ) Yangon Full Day Sightseeing
Day ( 14 ) Fly back Home

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Posted by antoniamitchell on 11/2/2015 at 13:42

Fraid I disagree with the poster above. 4 places in 14-16 days is plenty, so I wouldn't try and fit in any more.

What you've got to keep in mind, is that distances in Burma are long, ground transport is slow (and often a bit rickety), and internal flights are very expensive. Do you really want to be spending the entire day (or a mostly sleepless night) on a bus every 2-3 days? And the more you travel about from place to place, the less time you have to actually see and enjoy the places you're travelling to.

Plus, and this is just my own opinion here, but I thought Mandalay was a lot less enjoyable than Yangon, so it's IMHO skip-able.

Have a great trip.

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Posted by noddytravel on 1/3/2015 at 05:03

I wouldnt miss going to Mandalay, if only for Mingun and U- Bein bridge for sunset. yes the sunsets are THAT good here. the food was also incredible. i actually found it much more enjoyable than Yangon.

we had 28 days and managed to squeeze in Myawaddy, Hpa -ann, Yangon, Pathein, Nwe Saung, Pathien, Pyay, Mrauk-U, Magwe, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Yangon, Mawlaymine, Bilu Island, Hpa Ann and back to Thailand!! we could have done more but i got held up for a few days waiting on a visa in Yangon....

but, it was tiring and plenty of long bus trips. the roads here are possibly the worst i have seen in SE Asia, plus we basically only planned the trip as we went along!!


Magwe was one place that really could have had more time i think

sunset, U-Bein bridge
20150113_173234.jpg

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Posted by touradvisor_mm on 5/3/2015 at 02:32

Hi,
Here is one more idea for visit to Myanmar;
Day ( 1 ) Mandalay Arrival & CitySightseeing
Day ( 2 ) Mandalay –Mingun – Sagaing
Day ( 3 ) Mandalay – Bagan by Day Cruise
Day ( 4 ) BaganSightseeing
Day ( 5 ) BaganSightseeing (Optional Balloon Over Bagan)
Day ( 6 ) Bagan –Mt. Popa
Day ( 7 ) Mt. Popa –Elephant Sanctuary – Kalaw
Day ( 8 ) Kalaw -Inle Lake Private Boat Excursion
Day ( 9 ) Heho toThandwe – Ngapali By Flight
Day ( 10 ) NgapaliBeach
Day ( 11 ) NgapaliBeach
Day ( 12 ) Thandweto Yangon By Flight
Day ( 13 ) YangonCity Sightseeing
Day ( 14 ) YangonDeparture

Enjoy your trip in Myanmar!

#5 touradvisor_mm has been a member since 5/3/2015. Location: Myanmar / Burma. Posts: 1
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Posted by myanmarnat on 12/3/2015 at 10:09

Mandalay would not be top of my list of must see places in Myanmar, I found the city itself not that nice. However you may be interested in the surrounding attractions like another poster mentioned, for example the Ubein bridge, or Mingun (which I do recommend seeing) or further afield to Pyin Oo Lwin or even further to Hsipaw.
But I wouldn't sacrifice the other places just to go to Mandalay, although it is an easy 4 hour minibus ride from Bagan to Mandalay if you decide to do it and then another easy bus back down to Yangon on the nice new highway, or you can fly to Ngapali Beach from Mandalay.

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Posted by Alvise on 21/2/2019 at 01:35

I will sacrifice mt popa. Unless you are a avid hiker and you want to do the real mt popa hike on the vulcano I will not waste half day to go and look to monkeys and a Disney like grupmkf temple on top of a big rock. Distilling alcohol from palm you will probably see it in other place. I like mandalay for the craft people’s and Yangon for markets. We like to take night busses to move around you save on fly tickets and sleeping accommodation.

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Posted by Brad7970 on 20/5/2019 at 10:29

I wouldn’t miss Mandalay. It was one of our favourite places - the surrounding areas are interesting and the boat run down to Bagan from here is worth it. The food was good and as usual the people super friendly.

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