Text page

Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia forum

Help with Myanmar itinerary!

Posted by Mellowyellow on 9/10/2015 at 09:05

Hello all!

Im currently in Railey near Krabi in Thailand and planning on going to Myanmar in a couple days via Ranong. Can anyone let me know where I can head from there? Im not too interested in beaches and would like to head up towards Yangon or elsewhere around. Also if anyone can suggest where I can visit a bit "off the beaten path" I'll have about 3 weeks in the country.

Thanks in advance!

Melissa

#1 Mellowyellow has been a member since 20/9/2015. Posts: 8

Posted by Gogomobile on 9/10/2015 at 09:36

Compared to Thailand, Myanmar is off the beaten path.

#2 Gogomobile has been a member since 14/4/2015. Posts: 412

Posted by Mellowyellow on 10/10/2015 at 00:56

Yes thats true! My point was that after 5 months of travelling Southeast Asia I don't want to see the typical stuff. Any recommendations where to head after I cross from Ranong to Kawthaung? Or any recommendations on what I should definitely not miss, besides Yangon, Mandalay, Inle Lake?

Thanks!

Melissa

#3 Mellowyellow has been a member since 20/9/2015. Posts: 8

Posted by antoniamitchell on 10/10/2015 at 01:13

Hi Melissa,

I'm not certain exactly what you mean by "I don't want to see the typical stuff" as you're also talking about the don't-miss locations, which are by definition the most popular stuff in the region. You've said no beaches, but does that mean you also don't want ruins, pagodas and temples, or scenery and trekking?

The beaten path in Burma (well, as beaten path as Burma gets, and in low season that's not very beaten at all) is Yangon (pagodas and street vibe), Inle Lake area (scenery, boat trips and trekking), Bagan (ruins) and Mandalay (pagodas and dust).

There are secondary tier tourist paths around the Golden Rock and the north (Hsipaw, etc), as well the most popular southern and east coast beaches.

Go pretty much anywhere else, and you're off the path.

#4 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 569

Posted by Mellowyellow on 23/10/2015 at 02:36

Hi again! I had previously replied but looks like it never posted... anyways now I'm in Myanmar but could use your help again... I posted on another thread but just in case wanted to post here as well. Thanks!

Hi there! I'm already in Myanmar, and so far I've spent some time in the south (Kawthaung, Meyik and Malanwyine) which I loved, then a couple days in Yangon and just got to Mandalay . I feel like I've seen enough cities and am ready for something a bit more quiet and spend some time in nature. I was originally planning on visiting the neighboring cities of Amapura and Inwa as a day trip then taking the slow boat to Bagan . From there I was going to bus to Kalaw and do the 3 day trek to Inle Lake. Then head south to Mt Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock) and then to Hpa-an and cross back to Thailand and fly from Bangkok to India.

However I'm now thinking of going to Pyin Oo Lwin and maybe Hsipaw as I heard the trekking is better/more authentic than Kalaw but dont think I have time to do all these things... so looking for a bit of guidance. I have about 2-3 weeks left in Myanmar (visa expires Nov 12) so I'm hoping someone can help out!

So my plan right now is to spend 2 days in Mandalay and surroundings (Amapura, Inwa, Sagaing) then head to Pwin Oo Lwin for a couple days. Then I have 2 options:


#1: From Pwin Oo Lwin, head back to Mandalay and take the 15 hour slow boat to Bagan and stay there a couple days. Then bus to Kalaw and trekk to Inle Lake. From there head to Mt Kyaiktiyo and then Hpa-an to Mae Sot.

#2: From Pwin Oo Lwin, head to Hsipaw and trekk there. Then head to Inle Lake (can't find if there's a bus that goes this way?). Spend a couple days at Inle Lake then head to Bagan. From there head to Mt Kyaiktiyo via Yangon and then Hpa-an to Mae Sot.

So pretty much what it comes down to is trekking from Kalaw to Inle or trekking in Hsipaw...

Thanks in advance!

Melissa

#5 Mellowyellow has been a member since 20/9/2015. Posts: 8

Posted by antoniamitchell on 23/10/2015 at 08:04

Hi,
Well, the way I see it, if you do Hsipaw you can choose how long you trek (a day trek, a multi-day trek, etc) whereas your alternate plan is tailored to a 3 day trek ( Kalaw to Inle). Also, the scenery on the Kalaw to Inle trek includes quite a lot of farmland (which may or may not appeal).

Have you read the TF description of the 3 day Kalaw to Inle trek? It's here, if you haven't yet: https://www.travelfish.org/sight_profile/burma_myanmar/central_burma_myanmar/shan_state/kalaw/3167

Based upon what you read there, you can probably decide "yes, that's exactly the sort of trek I want to experience! I'll do that" or "That's not ideal, I'd rather do shorter / more X / less Y" and then decide to do Hsipaw instead.

If it were me, I'd pick Hsipaw, but that's mostly because I like day treks (with a day off from walking before I do any more 8 hour walks), but then I'm middle-aged!!

Enjoy the rest of your trip!

#6 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 569

Posted by Mellowyellow on 23/10/2015 at 08:48

I hadn't seen that link thank you so much that actually seems perfect for me! I think ill skip Pyin Oo Lwin and head straight to Hsipaw from Mandalay and decide how much time I want to spend trekking there. Do you know if I can easily get from Hsipaw to Bagan ? I was looking forward to taking the slow boat from Mandalay to Bagan but not sure if its worth coming back to Mandalay just for that? In retrospect I should have gone from Yangon to Bagan and then to Hsipaw, but what can you do right :)

Thanks again!

#7 Mellowyellow has been a member since 20/9/2015. Posts: 8

Posted by antoniamitchell on 23/10/2015 at 13:25

Sorry, I don't know what the transport is between hsipaw and inle. is there no info on this site about it (you can use the search box to search previous questions on the forum)

#8 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 569

Posted by Mellowyellow on 23/10/2015 at 20:30

According to what I've read the boat ride down the Ayeyarwady River from Mandalay to Bagan is a must see, although it costs $15 and takes 14 hrs while the bus costs $8 and takes 7 hrs (can probably be taken overnight while the boat is during the day).

I've also read the train from Mandalay to Hsipaw is a remarkable but not too comfortable journey (through the Gokteik Viaduct) and costs $4 and takes 13 hrs while the bus costs $7 and takes 5 hrs.

I'm thinking of taking the train from Mandalay to Hsipaw (since the bus leaves at 2pm and the train leaves at 9:30am I'll get there in the evening anyways). Then from Hsipaw I can bus back to Mandalay and straight to Bagan. If I really want to I can take a half day boat ride while I'm in Bagan!

Cheers!

#9 Mellowyellow has been a member since 20/9/2015. Posts: 8


Please login to add your reply

You need to be a Travelfish member to be able to add a post to the forum. After logging in you'll be returned to this page automatically to add your post. Not a member? Join up here.