Top Activities in Myanmar (Burma)
Education & learning
Hot-air ballooning in Bagan
Exploring Buddhist temples
Sunny days at Ngapali Beach
Walking on the iconic U-Bein Bridge
Classic Myanmar (Burma) Itineraries
Myanmar in 1 Week
Hit all the major attractions of Myanmar (Burma) in a week’s time. This newly reopened Southeast Asia tour destination is eager to share its culture and beauty, from the pagodas of Yangon to the temples of Bagan to the day-to-day lives of the Burmese who live along the Irrawaddy River.
Day 1, Yangon: Explore Yangon on a guided tour, seeing the Botataung pagoda, the bustling Bogyoke Aung San Market, the Reclining Buddha Pagoda and the breathtaking Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most beautiful temples in Myanmar.
Day 2, Bagan: Meet the locals and buy produce and souvenirs at the Nyaung Oo Market, visit the Shwezigon Pagoda and the Gubyaukgyi Temple and, saving the best for last, head to the best-preserved temple in Bagan, Ananda.
Day 3, Mount Popa: Take a day trip to the dormant volcano of Mount Popa, with a Buddhist monastery atop its peak. Devout Buddhists consider this a pilgrimage site and you’ll walk alongside them as they make their way to the summit.
Day 4, Mandalay: Visit the gold leaf-covered Mahamuni Paya andMahamuni Buddha image. Continue on your guided tour to the Shwenandaw Monastery and soaring Mandalay Hill.
Day 5, Inle Lake: Spend the first of two days in the scenic Inle Lake region. Your private tour will include a ride in a traditional boat, a look at the area’s intriguing floating gardens and stilt houses, a village visit to meet local residents and a trip to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda.
Day 6, Inle Lake: Continue your tour of Inle Lake in Myanmar with a visit to the lively Five Day Market - the hill tribe people come to the market and sell everything from tools to produce to textiles from their small boats.
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Myanmar and Beyond
If you have more time to spend on vacation in Southeast Asia, consider extending your Myanmar guided tour to include other nearby countries.
Here’s an example of a popular itinerary that combines Myanmar and South China.
Day 1, Yangon: Meet up with your Myanmar private tour operator and settle in to Myanmar’s largest city.
Day 2, Yangon: Take more time to explore Yangon with your expert Burmese guide, who will take you behind the scenes at Shwedagon Pagoda, a top Yangon attraction. Learn about its rich history and spiritual significance. Then, take a guided walk through Yangon’s downtown, venturing down back streets and past colonial buildings and architectural treasures.
Day 3, Bagan: Depart Yangon and arrive in Bagan, where you’ll enjoy a full-day, chauffeured tour with an experienced Myanmar guide. Explore the countless temples of Bagan, including Ananda, Dhammayangyi, Sulamani and Thatbyinnyu. For a special treat, look for a Bagan tour that includes the opportunity for a hot-air balloon ride over the treasured temples, pagodas, stupas and ancient ruins.
Day 4, Bagan: Set out on a private, guided tour of Bagan’s Minnanthu Temple, a favorite sightseeing destination in a quieter area.
Day 5, Kalaw: One of your most memorable Myanmar experiences will be forest trekking and an elephant encounter in Kalaw. Hike through the jungle, picnic in the wild or have lunch in a traditional village, then meet the elephants, helping a local mahout wash and feed these gentle giants.
Day 6, Inle Lake: Take a biking tour of Inle Lake through numerous Pa O villagers (not often visited by foreigners) and through the Shan countryside. Watch for the unique leg-rowers of the Inthas, the native lake dwellers, as well as floating markets, monasteries and hill tribe villages.
Day 7, Inle Lake: Your Burmese guide can help you discover the traditional Shan villages of Inle Lake, where you’ll be mesmerized by the houses and villages built entirely on stilts above the water. Take tea at a local family’s home and enjoy private guided tours of local cheroot and weaving factories.
Day 8, Inle Lake: Take another day to tour Inle Lake by kayak, one of the most popular active adventures in Myanmar. Kayak in pairs along a creek past landscapes of potato fields, rice paddies and peanut crops. Your tour operator can also arrange for private visits to local villages you kayak through, for a more authentic immersion into the lifestyle of the Myanmar population.
Day 9, Mandalay: Take a first-timers tour of Mandalay, a great way to get a feel for this region. Wander through the Mahagandayon monastery complex, visit the old capital of Amarapura and visit the Mahamuni Pagoda.
Day 10, Mingun: Cruise up the Irrawaddy River to Minguin, an unfinished city with many archaeological oddities, including the 90-ton, bronze Mingun Bell and the partially completed Mingun Paya.
Day 11, Kunming: It’s time to venture on from Myanmar to China. Tour the modern Chinese city of Kunming, but more laid-back than Hong Kong or Beijing.
Day 12, Kunming: Spend a day partaking of the outdoor adventures around Kunming, including a tor of the Jiuxiang Caves and the Stone Forest. For an added challenge, climb up Bat Cave, about 336 steps, at the end of the caves hike.
Day 13, Lijiang: In the middle of China, soaring 2,400 meters above sea level, beautiful, ancient Lijiang is worth a stop on your Southeast Asia tour. Visit Wangu Tower and drink in the views of Jade Dragon Snow Mountain in the distance.
Day 14, Lijiang: Now that you’ve seen it from Lijiang, take a cable ride tour up Jade Dragon Mountain and see the Baisha Murals at Baisha Village, painted over a thousand years ago.
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