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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Mingalabar! Our 11-Days Travel Itinerary in Myanmar (Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake)

Mingalabar! We're back & have just been catching our breath after a challenging trip! The sole reason why we decided to travel to Burma was because I wanted to see Bagan, one of the most photogenic plain in the world with over 2,000 phayas stood mightily for hundred years.

We spent 11 days (24 December 2013 - 3 January 2014) in Burma, and here's what we did for our trip <Yangon / Rangoon - Bagan - Mandalay - Amarapura - Sagaing - Innwa (Ava) - Inle Lake - Taunggyi - Yangon/Rangoon>

24 Dec 2013: 
Arrived Yangon International Airport - Proceeded to Aung Mingalar Highway Compound for overnight bus from Rangoon/Yangon - Bagan (approx. 8-9hrs journey)
Departure time: 7.00p.m. / Arrival time: 3.00-4.00a.m. 

25 Dec 2013: 
BAGAN -  Arrived Nyaung U, Bagan - Proceed to Aung Mingalar Hotel - Ananda Temple - Thatbyinnyu Temple - Bupaya Pagoda - Shwegugyi Temple - Dhammayangyi Temple - Gadawtpalin Pagoda - Mahabodhi Temple - Shwesandaw Pagoda 
26 Dec 2013:  
BAGAN -New Bagan and Central Plain - Minnanthu Village Area - Mani Sithu Market at Nyaung U - Sulamani Temple - Dhamma Ya Zi Ka Pagoda

27 Dec 2013:
BAGAN / MANDALAY - Took morning bus from Nyaung U, Bagan - Mandalay (approx. 5-6hrs journey) - Proceed to Queen Hotel, Mandalay - Explore Mandalay downtown in the evening by foot
Bus departure time: 8.00a.m. / Arrival time: 2.00p.m.  

28 Dec 2013: 
MANDALAY - Mahamuni Temple - Amarapura, Inwa (Ava) - Sagaing - U Bein Bridge
* We rented a self-drive motorbike and explore Mandalay downtown, Inwa (Ava) and Sagaing by ourselves which cost us about 20,000 - 30,000 Kyats per day which is still slightly cheaper than hiring a taxi! However, the Mandalay town can be a bit crazy at the intersections.

29 Dec 2013:
MANDALAY - Explore Mandalay downtown
Shwenandaw Kyaung - SandamuniPaya - KuthodawPaya - Atumashi Kyaung - Kyauktawgyi Paya- Mandalay Hill - Mandalay Palace 
Overnight bus from Mandalay to Inle Lake/ Nyaung Shwe town (approx. 8 hrs)
Bus departure time: 7.00p.m. / Arrival time: 4.00a.m. 

30 Dec 2013:
NYAUNG SHWE (INLE LAKE) - Arrived Nyaung Shwe Town - Proceed to Golden Empress Hotel, Nyaung Shwe - Nga Hpe Chaung/Jumping Cat Monastery- Ngapal Kyaung -Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda - Yawma (Long Neck Lady) - Nan Pan - Cigar Factory - Inn PawKoung Village - lotus & silk weaving - Floating Market - Aung's Marionette Puppet Show

31 Dec 2013:
NYAUNG SHWE (INLE LAKE) - To visit Taunggyi and Kakku Pagoda Complex, we rented a van for 1-day which we booked via our hotel receptionist. Besides that, you have to also obtain your permit which cost USD3/pax and a tour guide for USD5 (which is compulsory) for the Kakku trip. Our tour guide is a personable young Pa-O woman.  

01 Jan 2014:
NYAUNG SHWE (INLE LAKE) - Visit Mingalar Market & Explore Nyaung Shwe town in the morning - Take overnight bus back to Yangon (approx. 11-12hrs)
Bus departure time: 7.00p.m. / Arrival time: 6.00a.m. 

02 Jan 2014:
YANGON / RANGOON - Arrived Yangon about 6.00am - 7.00am - Sule Pagoda - China Town - Bogyoke Aung San (Scotts) Market - Botataung Paya -  Chaukhtatgyi Paya - Shwedagon Pagoda

03 Jan 2014:
YANGON / RANGOON - Explore China Town
Return Flight : Rangoon- Kuala Lumpur- Penang  

Air Itinerary Details: 
Malaysia Airlines (MH) Penang- Kuala Lumpur- Rangoon / Rangoon- Kuala Lumpur- Penang

(i)Bagan - Aung Mingalar Hotel, Bagan
Si Pin Thar Yar Road, Bagan, Myanmar
Tel : 95-61-60847
Fax : 95-61-61169 

Room Rate: Approx. USD40/night 

(ii)Mandalay - Queen Hotel, Mandalay 
No.456, 81st  Street; Between  32ndx 33rd Street,
Chan Aye Thar Zan Township, Mandalay, Myanmar

Room Rate: Approx. USD45/night  
Contact: greenandgreen.travel@gmail.com (Ms.Yamin Moe Moe Thu)
(***For Mandalay, we booked our hotel through a local agent: greenandgreen.travel as the rates were  substantially cheaper than the travel booking sites
(iii)Inle Lake -  Golden Empress Hotel, Nyaung Shwe 
19, Phaung Taw Pyan Street; Nyaung Shwe 
Phone: +95 81 209 037
e-mail: goldenempresshotel@gmail.com
Room Rate: Approx. USD35/night
(***highly-recommended, the best hotel I've stayed during my entire Myanmar trip! Please book in advance due to limited rooms available)

(iv)Yangon - Aung Tha Pyay Hotel, Yangon
No.74/80, 38th Street (Middle Block), Near Merchant Street, 

Kyauktada Township, Yangon, Myanmar.
Phone: (+95) 01378663, 01378664
e-mail: aungthapyayhotel@gmail.com

Room Rate: Approx. USD65/night 
Local Transportation:  
Yangon - Bagan via  Shwe Mandalar Express    
Rate: 15000 Kyats/pax (2-1 seater bus) 
Contact: shwemandalar.express@gmail.com

◊Bagan - Mandalay
Rate: 7500 Kyats/pax (1-1-1 seater bus)
Contact: greenandgreen.travel@gmail.com (Ms.Yamin Moe Moe Thu)

◊Mandalay - Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake) 
Rate : 14000 Kyats/pax (1-1-1 seater bus) 
Contact: greenandgreen.travel@gmail.com (Ms.Yamin Moe Moe Thu) 

Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake) - Yangon 
Rate: 22,0000 Kyats/pax (2-1 seater bus) 
*You may book your bus ticket via ticketing agent / your hotel receptionist
◊Mandalay downtown -  Amarapura - Sagaing - Innwa (Ava)  
Rate: 20,000 - 30,000 Kyats/2-seater motorbike/day (inclusive gas) together with a local guide that offers you guided routes for your entire 1-day journey!  
Contact person: Mr. Ko Zaw (well-versed in English) 
Phone: (+09)402512327  
e-mail: mandalay.city.tour@gmail.com  

Other Services:   
◊ Boat rental approx. 7am - 5pm (Inle Lake) - 9000 Kyat/pax  
◊ Bike rental (Mandalay) - 35000 Kyat/day 
◊ Taxi rental (Bagan) - 16000 Kyat/day 
◊ Horse cart rental (Bagan) - 32000 Kyat/day 
Entrance Ticket Fees:
Inle Zone (Inle Lake) - 10USD/pax
Mandalay Archaeological Zone (compulsory for all visitors) - 10000 Kyat/pax
Bagan Archaeological Zone - 10USD/pax
Mandalay Hill (Mandalay) - 7500Kyat/pax
Shwedagon Pagoda (Yangon) -8USD/pax
Kakku Ancient Pagodas (Taunggyi) - 3USD/pax + 5USD (compulsory language tour conductor fee)
Aung's Marionette Puppet Show (Nyaung Shwe) - 3000Kyat/pax
Sagaing Hill - 400 Kyat/pax
Inwa (Ava) - 6000 Kyat/pax

Places to Eat:  
Black Rose Restaurant (New Bagan)
Golden MyanmarⅡ(Bagan) 
Mann Restaurant (Mandalay)  
Nylon Ice Cream (Mandalay) 
Green Chilli Restaurant (Inle Lake) 
Travel Tips: 
**Important Notice:  We highly recommend that you change your Kyat currency at the official money exchange counters in Yangon International Airport upon arrival to avoid receiving fake Myanmar currency notes (based on recent real incident happen to tourist). Any individual found to be carrying fake currency will face up to seven years (or even more) in jail as well as a fine. 
**It is also recommended that you bring a torch light when staying in some remote areas (Inle Lake, Nyaung Shwe, Shan State) as power cuts frequently occur throughout the country, which we experienced it in Nyaung Shwe!!)

Visa Application Procedures:
**For Malaysians: Visit Embassy of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar (Kuala Lumpur) for more details (Visa application cost per person: approx. RM140 (RM110 for visa application, RM30 service fee via local travel agent)
**For International Tourist: Visit official website of the Ministry of Immigration and Population of Myanmar for e-visa application (USD50 for visa application)
Yangon, also known as Rangoon famous for its colonial architecture built by the British
Yangon, also known as Rangoon famous for its colonial architecture built by the British
The Telegraph Office in Rangoon
Street scenes: Public Transportation in Rangoon
Street scenes: Public Transportation in Rangoon
Street scenes: Local Mamak Stalls / Tea shops and food stalls in Rangoon
Street scenes: Rangoon, a busy city
The most famous landmark in Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda
House of Aunt Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy (NLD)
Their most common form of communication is the landline phones found along the streets

The distances of just a few hundreds kilometres can take 10+ hrs due to the terrible road condition. The road trip was bumpy, we felt so sick, & I finally vomited during my 11 hours bus journey back to Yangon. I am in general not a "bus" person, and luckily this time I brought with me my motion sickness pills. Yangon is amazing, yes but it is murder hot & dusty!!! 

Bagan was my favourite destination, and is truly a must-visit place for temple & history lovers. The sunrise & sunset were the highlights of our trip & the best way to explore Bagan is by horse-carts. 

Bagan waking up in the morning
Bagan waking up in the morning

Bagan is indeed a magical place
This is Bagan
The best way to travel in Bagan  is by Horse Cart
Bagan - Lives of Buddha are painted on the walls 

Bagan - Gate to Heaven

Bagan - Indeed Magical!

This is Bagan!

Ananda Temple, one of the finest temple in Bagan. Built by King Kyansittha in 1091 A.D

Mandalay was the 2nd largest city & last royal capital of Burma. The city seemed to me more urban than Yangon. We rented a motorbike and went to the upper Burma's ancient cities: Amarapura, Innwa & Sagaing, which were easily accessible as day trips from Mandalay. 
Mandalay’s U Bein Bridge / Amarapura - world's longest teak bridge
Burma's arts and crafts : Teak wood carving
Met many kind and valiant people along the way

 A day as a monk 

Mandalay Palace Complex in the centre of Mandalay 

The traditional Burmese-style temples are richly-decorated with teak carvings

 Soon U Ponya Shin Paya Temple on Sagaing Hill, Mandalay

Maha Aung Myay Bon Zan monastery in the ancient city of  Inwa

The respected female young monks from Mandalay

Heavy Duty:  Strong Burmese women carrying heavy loads on her head

The Kuthodaw Paya houses "the world's largest book", 729 marble slabs of Buddhist scriptures 


Ancient Town - Amarapura, Inwa (Ava)
Ancient Town - Amarapura, Inwa (Ava)
Ancient Town - Amarapura, Inwa (Ava)
 Inle Lake is a floating garden surrounded by the beautiful Shan hills. The water around us is as still as glass, with nothing but small clusters of purple & green hyacinth plants bobbing on its surface. The following day, we made a trip to Taunggyi, Kakku Pagoda Complex built in BC307 and spent a leisurely morning cycling around NgaungShwe town on the first day of New Year 1 January 2014. 
Blue sea in the Shan hills - One last catch before the sun sets over the mountain ranges ringing the lake. A place for celestials 
Blue sea in the Shan hills - One last catch before the sun sets over the mountain ranges ringing the lake. A place for celestials

The Padaung women live in remote villages over the mountains, with the brass coils round their neck

A lady weaving lotus silk at Inle Lake

Life is carried out by the banks of lake and river - which is used to wash everything!
The floating garden at Inle Lake

Katku Ruins in Taunggyi, Shan State 
One simple way to start the new year at Nyaung Shwe Town 
One simple way to start the new year at Nyaung Shwe Town
Local Villagers at Inle Lake
Street scenes: Indian food is common. No western chain stores such as McD in the country

People also love smoking cheroots – cigars wrapped in green leaves
No matter if you're young or old -  Their faces are smeared with thanaka, a paste made from ground bark that protects from the sun and acts as makeup
Young monks in Mandalay all wear maroon robes
The Burmese people - friendly, welcoming, and excited to people from other parts of the world
The country has just opened up to the world. Locals were just fascinated to see us, two words of Burmese served us well, "Mingalabar & Chezubeh" as we could greet people & prepare for a follow up question: "Where are you from? China?". For a country like this, life is tough but you still see attitude of positivity & happiness. Chezubeh (thank you), beautiful land of gracious and valiant people, for opening my eyes!!! :) 

Read more about our travel experiences @ Southeast Asia: 
This is Saigon! Our 13-days Travel Itinerary in Vietnam 
Hanoi - iWalk, iEat, iTaste, iSnap and iPho. Our 13-days Travel Itinerary in Vietnam
Beautiful Halong Bay. Our 13-days Travel Itinerary in Vietnam 
Never forget that little Sapa, the true nature of Vietnam. Our 13-days Travel Itinerary in Vietnam

"Traveling allows you to feel more connected to your fellow human beings in a deep and lasting way, like little else can. In other words, it makes you more human"  - Jeff Goins
Welcome to Small World! This blog is not a travel agency, but rather a personal site which allows us to share our  past travel experiences in a straightforward and far-reaching way. We often made great use of other peoples travel blogs and sites every time we plan for our travel itinerary as they often contained most updated information and invaluable resources from their past travel experiences.  We hope that you will find every piece of information & images contained within our blog handy and useful. Thank you very much for reading our post(s) and feel free to leave a comment/testimonial or click "Like/Share" if you love reading them all. xoxo Both Chengy & Camel are passionate travelers who enjoys speaking to young keen travelers about the freedom to get cultured and to taste the fullness of life. Feel free to contact them if you need any travel advice, guidance or tips or if you have any burning questions with regards to your upcoming trip(s)/ journey 
Be inspired but more importantly be inspiring -   


  1. Hi, I love your entry because you provided a sort of itinerary anyone interested can follow. I myself am planning a trip to Myanmar this October. I just have 2 questions that I hope you can help me with, as I am planning for my own Myanmar trip and I'm a bit nervous because I'll be traveling solo. (1) The tip of bringing crisp, immaculate and pristine US Dollars, does it still apply or we can easily withdraw cash from ATMs around Yangon (like at the airport) or Mandalay already? (2) I only have 5-days as opposed to the 11 you have so I'm thinking of leaving for Mandalay on the very day I arrive in Yangon, is that possible? Where can we buy bus tickets in Yangon, either for Bagan or Mandalay? Thank you so much if you could answer these questions for me.

    1. Hi, thanks for your enquiry. As per your 1st question: I'd highly encourage you to bring US dollars (immaculate big notes) and change it / Kyats at Yangon airport which I've surveyed that they offer the best rates in town and you hardly find money exchange kiosks/banks in town. Most areas in Myanmar prefer Kyats. There are about 3 money changing kiosks, available until 5pm near the luggage pick up area in the arrival hall. As for your 2nd enquiry: Feel free to contact Shwe Mandalar Express (e-mail: shwemandalar.express@gmail.com) for advance booking of bus ticket to either Mandalay or Bagan. It's a VIP standard bus with either 2-1 or 2-2 seater with air-condition. Please take note that the journey from airport to the bus station might take you about 1 hr due to the terrible traffic jam. We arrived Yangon airport around 3pm and hired a cab which took us around Yangon city and then drop us at the bus station to depart for Bagan, our 7.00pm bus. My suggested itinerary as per your 5-days trip: Yangon-Bagan-Mandalay-Yangon. Hope the above explanation helps. Do let me know if you need further details. Happy planning! :)

    2. Please support our humble blog if you find it informative / worth a read by casting a vote in the Singapore Blog Awards 2015 here: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/…/ca…/editors-choice-finalist.php
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  2. Marked! Fortunate to grab zero fare ticket to Myanmar on next year Jan! 10 days journey and this article just perfect suit! No worry, I will cite this reference in my article if I manage to produce one :p


    1. Hi, thank you very much for reading. Yes, January is definitely a good time to travel to Burma as the weather is rather cool on that time especially in the areas like Inle Lake near Shan state, do remember to bring your jacket. Hope the above itinerary helps. I will also update the entry tickets column and other useful information in a few days time for your reference. Stay tuned! Cheers and happy planning! :)

    2. Please support our humble blog if you find it informative / worth a read by casting a vote in the Singapore Blog Awards 2015 here: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2015/category/editors-choice-finalist.php
      Thank you.

  3. Hi Chengy! The info you have in this blog is very helpful. I'm planning to travel solo in Myanmar next year. I would appreciate your insights on accommodations in Myanmar. Did you pre-book your accommodations? I tried searching through online hotel accommodations and found limited options for budget hotels. Is it easy to find a cheap but comfortable place to stay without prior reservation? I'm planning to go in early April. Thanks! =)


    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by. Yes, I'd highly encourage you to pre-book your accommodation, if possible direct thru the hotel/guest houses. Hotel/guesthouse rooms in Myanmar are limited. It's pretty difficult to reach them via emails/phone calls. For Bagan, accommodation rates are pretty costly, look for hotel near old Bagan/ Nyaung U as most cafés/ bus stops etc easily available next door. it's advisable to book your accommodation in advance so that you can spend your precious time there rather than hunting for rooms, which we saw most hostel turned down many tourist at the end of the day. I highly encourage u to spend at least 2 nights in Bagan! ;) For Yangon, rooms are easily available near the merchant street/kyauktada area. For Nyaung Shwe, Golden Empress Hotel is highly recommended, and it's located at a prime location nearby markets, eatery sites. For Mandalay, we pre-booked our hotel via an travel agent (which we found from a travel forum site) which I found the rates she offered was very much lower than the one we found in travel/hotel booking sites. Look for hotels/guesthouse around Mandalay Palace area, from street 34-38th, 84th- 78th street. From what I've learnt, it seems locals enjoy special rates compare to foreigners when it comes to hotel booking. Do let me know if u need any further assistance, I'd be more than willing to assist u. Happy planning! :)

    2. Please support our humble blog if you find it informative / worth a read by casting a vote in the Singapore Blog Awards 2015 here: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2015/category/editors-choice-finalist.php
      Thank you.

  4. Thanks for your great advice! =) I am considering spending 10 days at least in Myanmar to cover Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle. Would you advice that I book online for my first stop in Yangon (it seems there are more online hotel booking options for Yangon), then ask booking assistance from my current hotel/guesthouse when I'm already there, for my next destinations? that would mean having lead times of one day to at most one week in advance. Do you think that time is enough?

    Thanks again and have a nice day!

    1. Hi, from my past reading experience, the most common suggested itinerary is: Bagan - Mandalay - Inle Lake - Yangon. There's basically not much in Yangon, 2days 1night is enough to wander around the city, drop by Shwedagon pagoda and tour downtown and the market street. You may take the night bus direct to Bagan upon your 1st day arrival to Bagan. Book your bus ticket via emailing the bus agent directly (contact available in my blog), book your hotel directly via email if possible. Once you arrive Bagan, it will be easier for you to make other ground arrangement with the local agent / hotel reception. Hope this helps.

  5. Thanks a lot for finding time to answer my queries. This will definitely help me with my planning. :)

  6. Hi, thanks for this great info. Can you tell me about the night buses? Were you able to sleep on them? Did you feel safe on the roads at night? I have limited time and would like to make use of night buses when in Myanmar, but will be travelling with a small child and so am concerned about both comfort and safety.

    1. Hi! Thanks for dropping by. The distances are pretty far and long, it took up to 11-12hours journey, usually with only 1 stop. The overnight bus was extreamly freezing cold, but thy provide clean blankets and the bus is boasted with loud local music which i find it to be very disturbing along the journey. The roads are quite bumpy which i myself took road travel sickness pill before the start of my journey. The buses are variable, some are fine some are really bad, depending on which one you book (my suggestion is that you book the so called "VIP" buses, Shwe Mandalar Express is one of them) usually comes with a 1-1-1 or 2-2 or 2-1 seater) bus and they are safe, most foreigners/tourist that travels in myanmar took the "vip standard" buses. They night buses normally start their journey at 7-8pm, and arrive at destinated location at 3-4am. Hope the above info helps! Let me knw if u need further assistance/info. Happy planning!

    2. Please support our humble blog if you find it informative / worth a read by casting a vote in the Singapore Blog Awards 2015 here: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2015/category/editors-choice-finalist.php
      Thank you.

  7. Hi,
    I'm Penagnites and will travel to Myanmar this coming Oct. Would like to know how to applied for the VISA? Thanks.

    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by. Sorry for my late response as I was away outstation for the past few days. With regards to your enquiry on visa application, i applied my Myanmar visa through a colleague of mine, who was happened to be at the Embassy in KL. But if travelling to KL is a concern for you, may i suggest that you seek assistance from our local travel agent like Forever Tours and Lye Peng as they do offer such services as well. There's another agent located in Komtar (facing Penang Road, right above Firefly office) level 2 or 3, if my mind serves me right that does Myanmar visa processing (run by Burmese agent) for Burmese migrant workers in Penang. You may download and fill up the application form by yourself before submitting it to them at this link: http://myanmarembassy-kl.org/?page_id=123 . I've just found out this link for e-visa application as well: http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/NewApplication.aspx. You may also call the embassy in KL to confirm this link is valid and if it does, you may apply online which is more convenient for you too. Hope the above info helps. Do let me know if you need any further information with regards to your trip. Happy Planning! Cheers

    2. Hi, A colleague of mine will be traveling down to Kuala Lumpur to process his/family members visa to Myanmar. Feel free to contact him (Mr Kok is based in northern region, Penang) at this number: +6016- 4367880 if you need assistance on visa application. Thank you.

  8. Hi Fern Deng, thanks for dropping by.
    As per your enquiry:
    1.Could you share more about your day cycling trip?
    We cycled around Nyaung Shwe town by ourselves on a self-rented bicycle which we rented from the Guesthouse and wasn't very costly.
    2.What are the recommended places to go?
    Pls refer to my itinerary which I hv posted in my blog. We took the boat to Inle Lake and it stops by a few spots (refer to the itinerary - Nga Hpe Chaung/Jumping Cat Monastery- Ngapal Kyaung -Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda - Yawma (Long Neck Lady) - Nan Pan - Cigar Factory - Inn PawKoung Village - lotus & silk weaving) - Floating Village & Garden - and ended with the iconic sight of Inle Lake for the leg rowing fisherman presentation around 4pm.
    We departed at 7am and returned around 5pm) and spent the rest of the night in Nyaung Shwe.
    3. As for the trip to Taungyi from Nyaung Shwe, I highly advice you to book a shared cab/van to Taungyi for Kakku Pagoda Complex with the Guesthouse. The journey from is quite a distance, which took us about 1.5-2 hours but it really worth going.
    Hope the above info helps! Happy planning and do let me know if you need any other info.

    Please like our Facebook page or leave a testimonial if u love reading them or if u highly recommend this article to other travelers. Thanks and happy planning :)


  9. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for dropping by. As per your enquiry:

    (i) travelling on road particularly by bus is definitely time consuming and tiring cause the journey will normally take more than 8 hours.

    Just to share with you this piece of information from what i've read previously from other travel resources/blogs/forums, most travelers will take this following route:
    Yangon - Bagan (Ngaung U) - Mandalay - Inle Lake - Ngapali - and finally return Yangon.

    I highly encourage you to spend at least 2 days in Bagan, by exploring New Bagan as well. As for Inle Lake, 2 days is sufficient unless you wish to make a trip to Taungyi for Kakku Pagoda which will take you 1 day. For Mandalay, you only need 1 day to explore the town, unless you wish to visit Inwa/Sagaing. As for Yangon, I think 1 day is more than sufficient.

    For Bagan/Mandalay, i highly advice you to hire daily cab/taxi/horse cart (for Bagan only) to bring you around town. For Inle Lake, its bit difficult to catch a taxi.

    I think you made the right choice to fly, since you'll be travelling with your parents. As the journey by road are far/long, usually will take up to 8-11hours, with only 1 stop and cold and bumpy.

    Since you will be traveling in Dec, i highly encourage you to bring more warm clothing cause Nov-Jan is considered winter in Burma and it can be extreamly cold at night particularly in the nothern part areas like Bagan/Inle Lake.

    Hope the above info helps! Happy planning and do let me know if you need any other info.

    Please like our Facebook page or leave a testimonial if u love reading them or if u highly recommend this article to other travelers. Thanks and happy planning :)

    1. Hi Chengy

      Just stopping by to say a big thanks for your inputs, we had a fantastic trip including Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Bagan and Ngapali Beach.

      Also I would like to endorse your comments about Green & Green Travel & Tours. I like to support local travel professionals so the benefit is local to the country and not mainly profiting overseas companies. Having read what you posted, I contacted them directly and Wai Htet helped make arrangements for our transfers and tours in Inle Lake, Mandalay and Bagan. Professional service and care and attention throughout. I would highly recommend them, their email is greenandgreen.travel@gmail.com and they have offices in Mandalay and Bagan but can also make travel arrangements for other places in Myanmar like Yangon, Inle Lake and Ngapali.

      Lastly, it was really easy to get the visa online, it's www.myanmarevisa.mm and don't worry when you go through to a weird name when you pay - it works and they send you the visa in 3-5 working days. There were four of us travelling and I did one first as a test and then the other three, all good!


    2. Hi Michelle,
      Thanks for dropping by again! Looks like you had all the great fun there and it was an incredible trip. Thanks for the comments, endorsement about Green & Green Travel & Tours and great suggestion on the online visa application on my Burma gallery! I'll find time to update them in my blog later and this will definitely be of great help / benefit to other travelers whom will be traveling to Burma soon / in future. Final thank you for the support and hope you continue to drop by my blog :)

    3. Please support our humble blog if you find it informative / worth a read by casting a vote in the Singapore Blog Awards 2015 here: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2015/category/editors-choice-finalist.php
      Thank you.

  10. hi Chengy, Could you share with us your detail plan for your trip? We are planning a trip from Pai district (Thailand) to Inle Lake, Mandaly, Bagan and Yangon. In addition, we are confuse on whether stay Nyaung Shwe or not.

    Thanks a lot.

    1. Hi Nguyen Uyen,
      Thanks for dropping by. I've actually posted my detailed itinerary in my blog. But i can give you further details if needed. I think making a trip to Bagan and Nyaung Shwe is definitely worth it. You should spend at least 3 days 2 nights in Bagan. Everyone loves this place! I saw many travellers travel from Bagan - Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake). With the lake's stunning natural beauty, a trip to Nyaung Shwe is also essential if you visit Burma, afterall its a gateway to Inle Lake, the famous fisherman with leg rowing that appears on Lonely Planet guidebook :) It's a 6.5 hour trip, relatively short for this country. Mandalay, is busy town, quite dusty but if you wish to visit the ancient town ie. Innwa, Sagaing, its highly recommended you drop by Mandalay. As for Yangon, i personally think 2days, 1night is more than enough :) i travel from Yangon - Bagan - Mandalay - Inle Lake - Yangon, we took night buses, that helped us save time & cost. I hv also posted the accomodation / transportation details in my blog. You may contact them for booking. Also for your info, jan/feb is peak season, many tourist traveling to Burma during this period. Do let me know if you need further advice, i m more than happy to assist you. happy planning :)

    2. Please support our humble blog if you find it informative / worth a read by casting a vote in the Singapore Blog Awards 2015 here: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2015/category/editors-choice-finalist.php
      Thank you.

  11. Hi Wong,
    thanks for your sharing~! it helps a lot. We need some extra information and advise from you:

    1) how much you spent for this trip (exclude shopping)
    2) do you recommend us taking night train instead of night bus? why don't you taking night train since you are not a bus traveller
    3) what is the temperature while you visited these states?


    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Thanks for dropping by. As per your enquiry:
      1) Accommodation in Burma cost us approx. USD35-40 depending on areas. We booked our accommodation in advance via Agoda /Asia Travel.com. It's advisable to book your accommodation in advance so that you can spend your precious time there rather than hunting for rooms, which we saw most hostel turned down many tourist at the end of the day. As to your query on how much we spent for this trip, we bought only approx. USD300/person (and that covers food, entrance, transportation excluding accommodation for the entire journey). We used to buy a lot of souvenirs in the past but since it became an expensive exercise, we no longer practice it anymore. But for this trip, we bought 2 pieces of sand paintings from Bagan for ourselves which cost us less than USD10/piece depending on the size and complexity.
      2) For this trip, we decided to travel by bus as we often heard trains are relatively more expensive and longer than buses.As we have tight itineraries, we opted for night buses so we can arrive at the destination early in the morning before the sun rises. Most are the buses (which most foreigners took, the VIP 2-2, or 2-1 seater buses are operated by private companies (unlike the train, which are a bit messy).
      3) The weather in Burma for the month of Nov - Jan is pretty cool, nice average temperature (peak season), my Burmese friends called it winter season in Burma, with 14-16c during day time and 6-10c during early morning and night time with very cold wind and it's really freezing. You need to bring along light jacket/sweater particularly in areas like Bagan, Inle Lake. I saw some even put on their socks and gloves too.
      I hope the above info helps! Happy planning and hv a good trip to Burma!

    2. Thanks for the reply, may i know how much you budget yourselves for each meal?

    3. Hi Cheryl, thanks for dropping by again. We had 2 meals per day, covering lunch and dinner. Breakfast was covered by hotel/guesthouse normally. We spent approx. USD8-10/person/day for 2meals including drinks in normal local cafes ordering fried rice and local curry/briyani stuff :) hope the info helps.

    4. Please support our humble blog if you find it informative / worth a read by casting a vote in the Singapore Blog Awards 2015 here: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2015/category/editors-choice-finalist.php
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    5. Hi Wong,

      Get to know that you manage to get a taxi at Bagan for 16,000 kyat/ day. Can we have the driver's contact details? Thanks a lot~!!

  12. Hi Bryan, thanks for dropping by. Well, we spent 3days in Bagan and 3 days in Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake), both will take approx. 9-11hours journey to/from Yangon. Bagan was definitely our favourite destination, the highlight was definitely the sunrise and sunsets overlooking the 2000 temples/phayas in Bagan. As for Inle Lake, it is a floating garden and basically you will see how lives are carried out on the banks of lakes and rivers.
    We highly suggest that you start your journey from Yangon - Bagan/Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake). Since you will be arriving in the morning, you may explore downtown Bogyoke market and the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. Then proceed to bus compound approx. 5-6pm to catch your midnight bus either to Bagan/Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake).
    No worries about the midnight bus, they are quite comfortable with spacious seats. We had a good nap. Traveling on a midnight bus helps you save travel time.
    You may spend your day 2-4 either at Bagan/Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake) and Day 5 at Yangon.
    Hope the above info helps!
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  13. Thanks to share your Myanmar trip. Photographs are also so nice.

    1. Hi Shreya Das, just read your post on my blog. Thanks for dropping by too! Glad you enjoyed them! Cheers

  14. Great article! Thanks for sharing this informative post and these useful city guide.

    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by. I am glad you find them useful for your upcoming trip to Burma. Do let us know if you need further details. Happy planning too!

  15. I loved the fact that you manage to visit Yangoan, Mandalay, Bagan and Innlake at once. It took me three times to visit these beautiful cities and I don't have a penny of regret after visiting these cities since these cities are worth it.
    The Dhammayangyi Pahto temple hallways always surprise since it looks like a cave and Shwedagon Pagoda is just to magnificent.
    Everytime I visited this pagoda, this pagoda have left me with "Awww Amazing".

    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by. Yes, we managed to visit all these places at once but we will love Bagan. Would love to return there again one day. Love the people, it's culture and the country too.

  16. hi, I was lucky to hit this blog before i travel to myanmar. I have a few doubt which you may be able to help me with. Is it easy to buy the bus ticket when you are there or will it be better to book them before you reach Myanmar? will be going from Yangon to Inle , Inle to Bagan and then Bagan back to Yangon.

    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by. I am glad that the information posted in the blog helps. Its fine to purchase your tickets on the spot as there were many travel buses traveling to Bagan - Yangon etc. But in order to save travel time, we called up the bus company to book the tickets in advance, prior to our arrival. Some hotels / guesthouse, do assist you in transport booking as well. Feel free to reach them, inform them your travel time /day and they will assist you with the booking at no cost. Hope the above info helps. Do let me know if you need more details and happy planning! Cheers :)

  17. Hello...Great stuff...i have been researching on..different information about myanmar trip...Thanks A Ton...

    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by. Glad you enjoyed reading them and feel free to share them with your circle of friends whom will be traveling to Burma soon :) Keep in touch!

  18. From my personal experience, Burma can be called as museum of temples....

    1. Yes indeed. Fallin' in love with this land so much, especially Bagan! The view there during sunrise was indeed priceless!

  19. useful information.. thanks for sharing..

    1. Thank you for dropping by. Please feel free to share our blog post with other readers too. Glad you find the information here useful and helpful :)

  20. Hello, I enjoy reading all of yur article.I like to write a little comment to support you. Downtown Hotel Yangon

    1. Thank you. Will support one day if I happen to return to Yangon again one day! Cheers

  21. I am planning to go Burma in the coming month
    your blog is extremely helpful
    thanks for sharing

    1. Hi, thanks for dropping by. We are glad you enjoyed reading them. Meantime, do enjoy your trip!

  22. hi dear, may i know your mean of transport within the city itself. Do you travel all the destinations within the city by taxi, rent mortobike or by local bus? is it convenient?


    1. Hi Karen, Thanks for dropping by. As per your enquiry regarding the mode of transport, it depends on city/area. When we were in Yangon, we travel around the city by bike / taxi. When we were in Bagan, the most convenient mode of transport is horse cart/taxi. When we went to Inle Lake, we rented a bike and bicycle to travel around. In Mandalay, the best mode of transport is bike. Hope the above answers your query, Happy planning and do let us know if you need further details. Enjoy your trip!

  23. hi dear, may i know how do you travel within the city?
    by motorbike, taxi or by local bus? is it convenient?

  24. very nice information .. Thanks for sharing.