Myanmar Destination Guide: Where to Go in 28 Days

Top 12 Places to Visit in Myanmar on a 1 Month Itinerary

In Country Guides & Itineraries, Myanmar by Sheena27 Comments

From South to North, our Myanmar itinerary will take you overland across the top 12 places to visit in the Land of the Golden Pagoda!

Myanmar Itinerary

  • #1 Kawthaung

We started our Myanmar itinerary in Thailand, with a border crossing to Kawthaung in Southern Myanmar.

It’s a culturally diverse town with Indian, Muslim and Chinese influences amongst the majority Bamar and Thai population.

There are several interesting things to do in Kawthaung including a couple of stunning lookout points & Buddhist monuments.

With its ramshackle mix of architecture & housing, Kawthaung is a easy place to spend a day or two – what a great introduction to Myanmar!

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Myanmar Itinerary Kawthaung

  • #2 Dawei & Maungmagan Beach

Fly from Kawthaung to Dawei & soak up the pleasant atmosphere of this sleepy, tropical town – one of the most relaxing places to visit in Myanmar.

Check out the glimmering stupas and green & gold rooftops of the Theinwa Kyaung monastery and the charm of the surrounding villages – 2 of the top things to do in Dawei.

With its rusty tractors and dusty streets Dawei also possesses something of a Wild West feel.

Don’t miss out on a day trip to Maungmagan where you can walk along the black beach, play with kids at a fishing village & soak in some thermal hot springs!

Dawei Golden Cowboy Town of the Tropics

  • #3 Mawlamyine & Ogre Island

Jump onboard Myanmar’s slowest train from Dawei to Mawlamyine!

Experience its rich colonial history & see why Mawlamyine inspired Rudyard Kipling & George Orwell over a century ago.

Even though it’s best days are behind it, this gritty seaside town continues to charm.

Visit the huge temple complex of Kyaikthanlan Paya before catching an incredible sunset on the waterfront.

Board a ferry to Ogre Island, the largest off the coast of Mawlamyine – take a motorbike tour around to local rubber plantations & wood-carving workshops.

Places to Visit in Myanmar Yangon

  • #4 The Golden Rock at Kyaiktiyo

Join 39 other passengers on the back of a converted dump truck on a death-defying ride up to the Golden Rock – it’s worth it!

According to legend, the Golden Rock is said to be precariously perched on a lock of the Buddha’s hair.

It’s one of the most incredible Myanmar tourist attractions, especially as the clouds roll in & the first waves of sunset break through.

Tour option: Golden Rock Private Tour from Yangon

Visit the Golden Rock

Love it or hate it, the Golden Rock on Mount Kyaiktiyo is one of the most divided attractions in Myanmar – we didn’t like it at first but find out how it won us over

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Myanmar Itinerary Golden Rock

  • #5 Bago

Bago is a city of superlatives… visit the tallest stupa in Myanmar, two of the longest reclining Buddhas & one of the largest Burmese pythons in the world – just a few of the many things to do in Bago.

Gain an understanding of Burmese Buddhism at the Kha Khat Wain Kyaung monastery where you can observe a lunchtime procession & attend a silent study session with 500 novice monks.

Snakes, Stupas, Cheroots & Buddhas in Bago

  • #6 Yangon

Take a train from Bago to Yangon for the best street food in Myanmar & the largest number of colonial buildings in Asia.

Join in the hustle & bustle as you wander the gritty streets & bumper-to-bumper traffic in this chaotic city!  Always be aware of pickpockets. We recommend wearing a money belt with RFID blocking & traveling with an anti-theft daypack.

Pass by Aung San Suu Kyi’s house where we was under house arrest for 15 years & visit countless Buddhist monuments – there are many free attractions in Yangon.

And see why Shwedagon Pagoda is one of the most underrated Wonders of the World & bask in it’s golden light. Yangon has got to be one of the top destinations in Myanmar!

Tour options:

Free Things to do in Yangon

From temples & museums to markets & lakes, there are many free things to do in Yangon - find out the top 10 attractions in the Myanmar's largest city

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Yangon Attractions What to See & Do for Free

  • #7 Kalaw

Kalaw is the trekking mecca of Myanmar, where you can organise a 3 day trek to Inle Lake.

It’s a scenic trail alongside patchwork farms, tribes & villages, rivers & jungle.

Before heading off, spend a day exploring the interesting markets, temples & caves in Kalaw itself – a multicultural & ex-colonial hill station town.

The Hilltop Station & Markets of Kalaw

  • #8 Inle Lake

Hire a longtail boat for a tour of Inle Lake & admire the reflection of the rolling hills in the glistening water.

Visit villages & temples to see lotus weaving, Karen Long Neck tribe women & more.

There’s a lot to see & do but simply being on Inle lake is one of the most beautiful & peaceful things to do in Myanmar.

Tour option: Private Inle Lake Boat Tour

Inle Lare Boat Tour

Hire a longtail boat for an Inle Lake tour of Myanmar’s most famous lake – with villages & temples, find out the top things to do in Inle Lake

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Places to Visit in Myanmar Inle Lake

  • #9 Mandalay – Amarapura, Sagaing, Inwa

Mandalay or Yangon – which is the greatest city in Myanmar?

Judge for yourself after visiting Burma’s last royal capital.

Pick up a ticket to the Mandalay Archaeological Zone, which covers all the main sightseeing spots in the city.

Hire a private taxi for an epic day trip to the other ancient royal cities of Amarapura, Sagaing & Inwa Island, just outside Mandalay.

As Kipling writes, “Come you back to Mandalay…”

Tour options:

Things to do in Mandalay

The Mandalay Archaeological Zone ticket covers all the things to do in Mandalay – find out what’s included & see for yourself which temples are worth visiting.

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Myanmar Itinerary Mandalay

  • #10 Hsipaw

Learn about the royal mystery of the Last Shan Prince & his Austrian wife in the relaxed town of Hsipaw, before heading off on an easy trek around the surrounding villages & countryside.

With its laid-back vibe and affable atmosphere, Hsipaw is an increasingly mainstream alternative hub, especially for travellers with time on their side.

Trekking in Hsipaw Mystery of the Last Shan Prince

  • #11 Pyin Oo Lwin

Travel by train from Hsipaw to Pyin Oo Lwin, via the dramatic Gokteik Viaduct, once the 2nd highest railway bridge in the world.

In Pyin Oo Lwin, no other place in Myanmar best exudes the atmosphere of the British colonial era.

The quirky hillside town is a mix of military cadets, horse carriages & colonial mansions – a few of the interesting things to do in Pyin Oo Lwin!

The Quirky & Colonial Town of Pyin Oo Lwin

  • #12 Bagan

Save the best for last on your Myanmar itinerary at Bagan, the largest grouping of ancient temples in Asia.

During the height of the Pagan kingdom, there were over 10,000 Buddhist temples and pagodas at the site.

These days, between 2,000-4,000 temples remain standing, spread out over a 42 km square plain – the best way to get around Bagan by e-bike!

There’s plenty to see & do but don’t miss climbing to the top of one of the best temples in Bagan for sunrise, sunset or both…

Tour options:

Top 12 Temples in Bagan

There are over 4000 temples in Bagan – we’ve reviewed & photographed the 12 best temples in Bagan to help you decide which ones to visit

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Top 12 Temples in Bagan Archaeological Zone

Know Before You Go

You can visit all 12 of these destinations by following our itinerary!

If you’re short on time, you can visit these spots in 7 days:

  • Yangon
  • Inle Lake
  • Mandalay
  • Bagan

We arranged our accommodation as we traveled but if you prefer to book in advance check out Hostelworld or try staying with locals through Couchsurfing.

We recommend Lonely Planet’s Myanmar Travel Guide to help you plan your trip.

Happy travels in Myanmar, one of our favourite countries in the world!

7 Day Myanmar Itinerary

Experience the best of Myanmar in 1 week! There’s a lot to see & do but if you’re short on time, check out these top 4 places to visit

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2 Monks holding red umbrellas standing on road with trees during sunrise

Myanmar Destination Guide Where to Go in 28 Days

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*** The Final Word – Follow our 1 itinerary to experience the best of Myanmar in 28 days! ***

Are there any other Myanmar attractions which should be included?

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Visited in May 2014

 

Comments

  1. What a resourceful post! I haven’t made it over to Asia yet, but will save this for future use!

  2. Myanmar is such a lovely country with an aura of mystique. This is a really exhaustive post on the highlights of Myanmar. Will definitely bookmark for later reference, when we plan to head out to those parts.

  3. While 28 days might not be enough to take in all the highlights of Myanmar, this guide does cover at least some of them. The country has such a characteristic feel to it and you really managed to capture some of it in your writing. Great read!

  4. Thanks for all the info! We’re traveling through SE asia right now so i’ll definitely be saving this for our eventual trek around Myanmar! Good work!

  5. Sheena, this post has me SO excited to visit Myanmar! It’s high high high up on my bucket list and I hope to visit in the next few months. Thanks for this very informative guide!

  6. Thanks for sharing this interesting guide! It’s so useful! Just by taking a look at the pictures make me wanna go there! 🙂

  7. I had only a week in Myanmar and visited Bagan, Mandalay and Yangon. I was worried I wouldn’t like it but it was sooooo amazing! Would love to go back and visit the remainder of the places on your list

  8. I thought the Golden Rock sounded so cool. I would like to see what the Buddha’s hair looked like! I’m also really interested in British history so Pyin Oo Lwin sounds like a really cool find. I didn’t know the British had their reaches all the way to Myanmar!

    1. Author

      Yep, it’s why a lot of Burmese people speak English too. The Golden Rock is very unique & Pyin Oo Lwin is whimsical & quirky – hope you make it to Myanmar someday soon 🙂

  9. Myanmar looks absolutely awesome – it’s top of my South East Asian bucket list! The temples and pagodas are incredible!

  10. This is a complete guide to explore Myanmar… One of my dreams is to fly with hot air balloon overlooking the golden pagodas of Bagan. You inspired me more. One day I’ll get back to this post, and that means I’mon my way to Myanmar 🙂

  11. Myanmar is such a magical place. It’s high up on my list. Would you suggest traveling solo as a female there? Is it safe?

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