Myanmar a rough travel guide


Going to Myanmar for holidays is one of the best decision you could take. The country will most probably take your breath away and you will be wishing to stay even longer. Many places are still off beaten path, thus 100% authentic experience is guaranteed.

Myanmar is a big country thus it is unrealistic to think that it can be explored within 2 weeks. However, still 14 days is a lot of time, and it is completely enough to discover the favorite touristic loop Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay – Kawah – Inle Lake -Yangon. There are other beautiful places out of this loop, however, you will need probably at least 3 weeks to explore those. 

For more surprising facts about Myanmar, read a guest post I wrote for Travelettes. You will, for example, find out that rum is cheaper than Coke.

When to go to Myanmar?

The ideal time in a year to visit Myanmar is from November to March as this is dry season in Myanmar. From April – May it starts raining and the temperature skyrockets to 40 degrees. From May to October, there is a cold season in Myanmar, at this time it can get quite cold in foothills and highland areas, especially in the night.

How to get to Myanmar?

By plane, there are 3 international airports – in Yangon, Mandalay and in the capital Naypyidaw. The cheapest tickets can be found through  Kiwi.com or through Skyscanner and most probably you will have a stopover in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Bangkok, China or other Southeast Asia country.

Visa requirements

Myanmar requires a visa for every country except those that are exempted (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand (for air arrivals only), Vietnam). So unless you are from one of this country you have to apply for a visa, however, it is not difficult to process as everything can be done online on this site: https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/.

The only thing they require is a proof that you have an airplane ticket out of the country and a scanned passport picture. Also, you have to pay $50 for issuing this visa. Visa will be issued to you electronically and you only need to print it and bring it with you. After arriving in Myanmar, you will get a stamp in your passport.

How to travel in Myanmar?

 

Taxi

You can catch a taxi on a street in every big city. And you can usually discuss the price beforehand. Don;t be afraid to bargain. The price can be discussed price beforehand. Also, it is worth to ask at the hotel how much taxi costs, so you don’t get rip-offed. 

Bus or Van

Buses or vans are good for traveling between the cities. It is not difficult to buy the ticket, as every hotel offers to arrange a ticket for you. Just make sure, that you asked them at least one day before, as the buses might be full, especially in high season.

Night buses are pretty comfortable and reliable and they are a perfect option how to save a bit time while traveling. The only disadvantage is that they got really cold due to the A/C, thus additional jacket with trousers is highly recommended. For tourists hotels usually offer VIP or Exclusive buses that have quite a high standard service. Breakfast and toothbrush are included in the price. 

Motorbike

Some cities such as Yangon or Bagan do not allow tourists to rent a motorbike, thus renting a motorbike is an option why in Mandalay.

Train

Another possibility of how to travel longer distances is a train, however, this is more for the travelers with more time, as trains usually take a lot of time. For example, a journey from Yangon to Bagan takes 18 hours, which is quite a lot comparing to 8 hours by bus. Also, make sure that you have a passport with you when buying tickets, otherwise, they will not sell you a seat.

What are the prices in Myanmar?

Myanmar is one of the cheapest countries in Southeast Asia, apart from accommodation everything is relatively cheaper than in neighboring countries. To give you an example as a backpackers, we spent for two weeks approximately $360 per one person.

Accommodation:

The budget accommodation for a room with private or shared shower usually cost from $15 to $20. Most of the accommodation is listed either on booking.com or on Agoda.com, but sometimes you will get a better price if you call to the accommodation directly.

Food&drink:

It is perfectly fine to eat on a street, as many locals do the same. Price for a street food cost from 1000 to 2000 MKK, depending on a place and type of the food you get. Food in a restaurant can cost from 3000 MKK. Drinks are quite cheap ranging from 400 MMK for a can of soft drink to 1200 MMK for a fresh drink. Draft beer can be purchased for 800 MMK.

Typical dinner in Mandalay

Typical dinner in Mandalay.

Transport:

Price for a transportation highly depends on the place you travel. From Yangon to Bagan, the night bus costs 16000 MMK. From Inle Lake to Yangon we paid 15.000 MMK. For smaller distances such as Bagan to Mandalay, we paid around 9000 MMK.

For a taxi ride from the airport in Yangon to the city center for 10.000 MMK. We paid the same price for a taxi from city center to the bus station.

Which places to visit in Myanmar?

Most of the travelers do a loop around below stated cities, either starting in Mandalay or in Yangon. But there is definitely much more to see around Myanmar, it only depends on how much time you saved for this country.

Yangon

Yangon used to be a capital of Myanmar and it is still the cultural center of the country. It is worth to spend 2 days in Yangon. The top activities to do in Yangon are: visiting Shwedagon Pagoda, walking around the city exploring their street markets or enjoying 3 hours on a circuit train.

Shwedagon Pagoda in yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon.

Bagan

Bagan is an ancient city and it is often compared with Angkor Wat in Cambodia. More than 2000 pagodas, stupas, and temples are ready to be explored by every traveler. Sunrise and sunsets are the best. It is worth to spend in began at least 2 days.

View over ancient city of Bagan.

View over ancient city of Bagan.

Mandalay

Second most important city after Yangon. There is many historical and religious places around Mandalay as well as natural beauties. From Mandalay, you can explore the biggest book on the world or the oldest and longest teakwood bridge in the world.

U-Bein bridge

U-Bein bridge close to Mandalay.

Kalaw

A highland village is the starting point for treks to Inle Lake. Thus if you are a fan of hiking, you will inevitably visit this place. It is good to spend there afternoon, walk around, get a street food or a beer. Also, it  is worth to visit a food market early in the morning as it gets very busy with locals.

Difficulty of farming

Experiencing a life of local farmers during a trekking fro Kalaw to Inle Lake.

Inle Lake

The famous trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake finishes at the one end of the Inle Lake. Hikers are then transported by boat to Nyaungshwe, where all the hotels are located. It is worth to spend here at least 2 days. Inle Lake is great for biking around or exploring floating villages.

Inle Lake

Inle Lake.

Hope you liked the article. Would you any other place to the list? I would love to keep this list updated. Happy Travels and don’t forget to share this post or PIN the picture below for later.

Myanmar travel guide

 

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