This two weeks Myanmar Backpacker Route is a loop and can start at any of the following destinations: Myawaddy / Mae Sot, Yangon, Inle Lake, Kalaw, Mandalay, Bagan, Hpa-An.
Armed conflicts in Myanmar have existed since independence from Myanmar in 1948 until today and are the reason why there are not many options to travel through Myanmar.
The route I chose to do in my 14 days in Myanmar, was a mixture of a pre-planned route and spontaneous decisions. And guess what, I would not do it differently! So let me share my 1:1 14 Days Myanmar Travel Route with you.
I crossed the Border from Thailand to Myanmar so this is why my Route starts in Hpa-An. Of course you can Skip Day 1-2 in Hpa-An and add it to the end of your trip.
Day 1-2: Hpa-An
(Option: Take a Taxi from Myawaddy Land Border to Hpa-An.)
I crossed the border from Thailand to Myanmar through the Mae Sot / Myawaddy Land Border Crossing and arrived by Taxi at around noon in Hpa-An. The little town of Hpa-An is a 2 hours drive away from the Border to Thailand. The town is surrounded by beautiful landscape, plenty of caves and pagodas.
Our Guesthouse gave us a map (you also find it in my pictures below) with all the sights, so we hired a tuk-tuk for a day and drove it all up. It took us a day to see everything. If you want to do a nice hike for sunrise (Mount Zwe), stay two days in Hpa-An otherwise one full day is enough in Hpa-An.
Day 3: Yangon
Book a Bus from Hpa-An to Yangon (Option: visit the Golden Rock on the way to Yangon).
All you need to know about visiting the Golden Rock: Be prepared, it’s not easy to find a connection Bus once you left the Bus to visit the Golen Rock. That’s why we ended up spending a night in the town Kinpun just below the Golden Rock. I can not recommend staying in Kinpun, there is nothing to do and the Hotels are way overpriced (I personally think to stop for the Golden Rock wasn’t worth the effort). That’s why I don’t list the night at the Golden Rock and added one more night in Mandalay instead. PS: Finding actual information is very hard, people gave us wrong informations several times. There is also an option to go on a day trip from Yangon to the Golden Rock which is probably better organized.
In Yangon wasn’t that much to do besides visiting another Pagoda. That’s why me and my friends, decided to go on the Circle Train that drives very slowly around the town. It is definitely only for those who want to have a lazy day. The train is mostly used as a transport vehicle for locals and not made to leave and explore for tourists. You can Buy the Tickets directly at the Yangon Train Station.
I still enjoyed it, I could take some great pictures but besides
The rest of my time in Yangon we were just exploring the town by walking around, visiting markets and taking a ton of pictures.
Take the night Bus to Kalaw.
Day 4-7: 3 Days Hike from Kalaw to Inle Lake
Welcome to my favorite part of my two weeks in Myanmar trip! We did the 3-days hike from Kalaw to Inle Lake. We arrived in Kalaw before Sunrise and the Taxi Drivers invited us to join there Bonfire until our Trekking Company open their doors at 7am.
The hike was generally more an easy going walk and doable for everyone. There was always time to take a break for a soccer game or to try some new food. We slept the first night in a Homestay with a wonderful panorama over
Day 8: Inle Lake
Insel Lake is a nice place to take a break of constantly moving. I can recommend staying at Ostello Bello Hostel (but only in Inle Lake, the others are by far not as good!). We did horseback riding to a Winery, which was beside the butt pain one of the most special experiences I had during my trip in Myanmar. Also make sure to do the Inle Lake sunrise tour!
Day 9: Hsipaw
Take the Nightbus from Inle Lake to Hsipaw
I haven’t originally planned to go to Hsipaw but the famous Train Ride from Hsipaw to Manalday convinced me to go that far north of Myanmar. In Hsipaw itself we stayed at Mr. Charles Guesthouse. We visited little Bagan by Bicycle and ate amazing food at Yuan Yuan / Mr. Shake. The next morning we left for the Train from Hsipaw to Pyin U Lwin.
Day 10 -11: Mandalay
Take the Train from Hswipaw to Pyin U Lwin and from there a Taxi to Mandalay (The reason why we go out of the Train at Pyin U Lwin is, that the train is so slow, that it takes 3 more hours then a Taxi). Make sure you book a seat at the train station on the right side to have a perfect view of the stunning bridge.
Mandalay is a huge city full of activities for explorers. Whoever wants to see the picture-perfect white temple or the beautiful Waterfalls need to spend enough time in Mandalay. All the attractions are a good car ride away, which means a visit to the white temple is (depending on traffic) almost a full day activity. I personally couldn’t make it to the waterfall Dee Dote (Dee Doke) Falls but everybody that went loved it!
Day 12-14: Bagan
Take a Nightbus from Mandalay to Bagan.
Probably the most common place to visit in Myanmar is Bagan. Old Bagan is famous for the fantastic landscape full of 2000 Pagodas and the sunrise in the Hot Air
Take a Nightbus to Yangon.