Limited for time, or still need further convincing that Myanmar’s for you? Why not try our Bite-sized Burma itinerary, which will see you explore cosmopolitan metropolis of Yangon, the ancient stupas of Bagan and the oily waters of Inle Lake. With just over one week of immense contrast, you will be sure to go home talking about this bite-sized experience for decades.
An example of a typical Bite-sized Burma itinerary can be found below. Please note that this is merely a suggestion and all of the arrangements can be tweaked and tailored to your heart’s content. By clicking on the day, it’s possible to read more about the general logistics and featured excursions.
Day 1 - Yangon (Shwedagon)
Start your adventure with a sunset tour of Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in the country. Due to its popularity with the locals, a trip here will also provide you with plenty of opportunity to brush shoulders with people from all walks of life.
Day 2 - Yangon (colonial walking tour / Kandawgyi Lake)
Spend the first half of the morning exploring Yangon’s downtown area, a tour that will leave you feeling mesmerised as you navigate through the cracked walls and creeping vines that make up Yangon’s faded colonial grandeur. After a quick lunch break, your next stop is Bogyoke Aung San Market, home to a massive selection of Burmese handicrafts and colourful souvenirs. In the afternoon you may wish to visit Chaukhtatkyi Pagoda, a rarely frequented place of worship famous for its 66 metre long reclining statue of Lord Buddha. To finish the day, enjoy a leisurely stroll around the 150 acre Kandawgyi Lake, famous for its local life and magical reflection of Shwedagon Pagoda in the evening.
Day 3 - Yangon to Bagan (horse cart tour / sunset boat journey)
Wake up early this morning and board the early morning flight to Bagan, a destination that will be sure to wow the socks off even the most seasoned traveller. To begin your exploration we would recommend exploring some of the lesser known temples with the help of a horse drawn cart – doing so will allow you to forgo the use of a car and get a better sense of how Bagan once was. To help spread out the temple visits, we would like to recommend that you finish what will be a busy day with a short boat journey along the banks of the Irrawaddy at sunset.
Day 4 - Bagan (hot air balloon / Ananda / Shwesandaw / Shwezigon)
Another early morning start will see you privately escorted to the Oriental Ballooning launch pad to carry out a leisurely tour of Bagan’s temples by hot air balloon – make sure you charge your camera batteries as the view from the balloon’s traditional wicker basket is simply unforgettable. The remainder of the day will be spent exploring some of Bagan’s oldest and most famous temples, including Ananda, Shwesandaw and Shwezigon.
Day 5 - Bagan to Inle Lake (Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery / Red Mountain vineyard)
Board the early morning flight from Bagan to Heho Airport (the airport closest to Inle Lake). On the way to your hotel we would recommend stopping off at the Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, a charming teak monastery that was built in the early 19th century. For your next stop, how about a trip to the Red Mountain Estate Vineyard & Winery to sample some of the region’s local grape? The view from the top of the vineyard will provide you with your first glimpse of the iconic lake. Spend the remainder of the afternoon at leisure in the comfort of your hotel – if you are lucky enough to have a room with a lake view, why not pull up a chair and dive into your favourite novel?
Day 6 - Inle Lake (tour of Inle Lake's highlights)
You will be picked up by your boat early this morning and taken on a private tour that will incorporate some of the lake’s main highlights including but not limited to, the Intha ‘one-legged rower’ fisherman, the floating gardens, weaving villages and traditional workshops. Later this afternoon we would recommend renting a bike from your hotel (if available) and exploring the surrounding area at leisure.
Day 7 - Inle Lake (Samkar)
Today will see you embark upon another boat journey, this time to Samkar Lake, located approximately 2.5 hours south of Inle. The main highlight of this excursion is going to be the journey itself as you pass by picturesque landscape dominated by a mixture of luscious grassland, small villages and rare wildlife. Exploration of Samkar will start with a visit to the ‘sunken stupas’, a collection of more than 100 stupas, which for a few months each year remain partially submerged under the lake’s water. You will then continue a short way to the 500-year-old Tar Kaut temple complex, which is home to what we think, are some of the best-preserved ancient stupas in the country. Hop on the boat again for the short ride to the old city of Sagar, which flourished from 15th to 19th century. From here we will take a short stroll to the Tar Yar Khon village to eat lunch and witness the distillation process of the famous ‘Jungle Rum’. To finish the day, you may wish to visit Sae Khaung village, where it’s possible to watch expert craftsmen making pottery using underground kilns. Return to your hotel later this afternoon.
Inle to Yangon (fly home)
Day 8 (Fly home)
Shortly after finishing breakfast you will be transferred directly to the airport in time for your indirect flight home via Mandalay or Yangon (these are currently the only two international airports available).
If you’re keen to design your own Bite-sized Burma itinerary, please get in touch with a member of our team by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images featured in this itinerary (all taken on Tour Mandalay’s travels)