If you are planing to visit Myanmar, and are pushed for time, check out our quick itinerary on how to explore Myanmar in 7 days. During this time you will be able to see and visit a lot of the key sights and experience the fantastic culture and food of Myanmar to give you a great introduction into this beautiful country.
Where is Myanmar?
Myanmar which was formerly known as Burma is a Southeast Asian country. It is surrounded by India and Bangladesh in its West and by Thailand and Laos in its East and China surrounds it in the North and North-east. Myanmar has a rich history of its past after which it became a British Colony. It is mostly known for its rich natural resources. The current capital of the country is Naypyidaw and earlier it was Yangon (Rangoon). Several ethnic groups reside in the country which makes it rich in culture and traditions.
How to get there?
Myanmar as a country is well connected through all parts of the world. If you are a foreigner, it is important to apply for a visa to visit Myanmar. The best way to reach the country has to be by flying as it cuts down on the travel time. Tourists mainly choose the Yangon or Mandalay airport as their drop off point from their country. The capital city does also have an international airport. It can get expensive to book a direct flight to Myanmar, so people usually get connecting flights from Bangkok or Singapore.
The climatic regions of Myanmar do change from part to part. So, your experience of the climate will be totally based on the place that you are visiting. But mainly, Myanmar has a monsoon type of climate and has 3 major seasons. It is best to visit the country from November to February as the weather remains cool and you can visit the places with quite an ease. People should definitely keep away from the monsoon season as it can be quite problematic to travel at that time. The winter months also bring out the beauty of the country.
Myanmar has often been in the news because of its internal problems. But apart from some of the places, most of Myanmar is totally safe for travelling purposes. It is best to keep away from the off-limit areas, and check safety precautions before you go. Ensure you have travel insurance and are aware of the do’s and don’t of the country and etiquette when visiting especially religious places.
The currency of Myanmar is known as the Burmese Kyat. The abbreviation used by them is ‘k’ and ‘ks’. The word kyat comes from the ancient Burmese unit which was called kyattha. There are several denominations of the kyat. K5, K10, K20, K50, K100, K200, K500, K1000, K5000, K10,000 are the ones that are frequently used in the country. You can easily exchange them at the airport or at a certified vendors.
Highlights of 7 Days in Myanmar
Yangon: Day 1 and 2:
Yangon is the largest city of Myanmar and also its former capital. It is a popular landing spot for many international tourists. You can see a number of colonial-era buildings when you move through the city. It is a city that will provide you the actual culture of the country. There are different Pagodas like the Sule Pagoda which is 2000 years old and the Shwedagon Pagoda which is quite sacred to the people. Street food is quite popular in this city. Museums and art galleries are also important tourist spots. Do not forget to take the circular train to explore the city.
Bagan: Day 3 and 4:
Myanmar is famous for its temples and pagodas. This ancient city falls in the Mandalay district of the country and has several of the places of worship. Once there were 10,000 temples and pagodas but currently, only 2,200 of them remain. Bagan Archaeological Zone is where these places lie and it is just in the bosom of nature. Some of the important ones are the Ananda Temple, the Dhammayangyi Temple, Nanpaya Temple, and the Thatbyinnyu Temple. Do visit The Bagan Archaeological Museum to find out more about the history of the place. Do try the famous tamarind candy of the place. Also don’t forget you can book a hot air ballon ride over the stunning temples and landscapes.
Mandalay: Day 5:
Mandalay is the second largest city in the country and it is located beside the Irrawaddy River. It plays an important part in the culture of the country. You can visit a number of places around the city. These include the Atumashi Monastery, the Kuthodaw Pagoda, the Mahamuni Buddha Temple, and the Mandalay Hill. You can also visit the Zegyo market which is a crucial part of the city. You cannot miss out on the Burmese Shan noodles and the Mandalay Mont Ti when you are in the city. Wrap everything up soon to leave for the Inle Lake on the same day.
Inle Lake: Day 6
Inle Lake is a freshwater lake and it is situated in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State and forms a part of the Shan hills. It is a beautiful place where you can spend hours looking at its natural beauty. The local people make floating garden beds on the lake using locally collected things. These gardens are able to grow rice and sometimes villages also grow on them. When in Lake Inle you do need to try the Htamin jin which is their famous dish. Another thing that you must do is visit a local vineyard near the lake.
Yangon and departure: Day 7
This day will be dedicated to travelling back to Yangon. Yangon is a fascinating place to visit. Here are a few places you can spend time exploring if you have time at the end of your trip or you could also do these if spending a few days here at the start of your trip.
Musmeah Yeshua Synagogue
The last Jewish place of worship and only synagogue in the country. This is s great place to visit to learn about the Jewish heritage of Myanmar, surrounding the synagogue are also fascinating places to see such as various street vendors selling interesting items and places whee you can buy arts and crafts.
St Mary’s Cathedral
This stunning cathedral was built in 1909 and is still active, it’s worth a visit to see the stunning architecture and interior.
One of the best way’s to see the city and explore around is taking a heritage walk, which will take you on a tour through the various neighbourhoods. Along the walk you will be given information of the history of the buildings and city. Also you will come across many food stalls selling a variety of dishes and snacks. This is a great opportunity to take some photos of life in Yangon city and of the magnificent old colonial buildings.
Bogyoke Aung San Market
If you love shopping head to Bogyoke Aung San Market, which is home to over 2000 shops, the market is busy and is set in an old part of the town surrounded by the colourful stalls. This is the go to place to pick up some beautiful crafts and souvenirs.
People’s Square and Park
If you are looking for the perfect place to get away from the hustle annd bustle of the city head here, previously it was part of the palace grounds of Queen Shin Sawbu. It is located next to the famous Shwedagon Paya and has incredible views overlooking it. Within the park the is an old fighter jet and steam train.
Is a picturesque lake famous for its sunsets, a lovely place to spend the evening, it has lots of cafes and entertainment such as music, and restaurants.
Taukkyan War Cemetery
This is Myanmar’s biggest war cemetery, and where may soldiers lay rest following the second world war. Over 27,000 soldiers lost their lives, at the cemetery you will see over 6000 graves and memorials to them.
National Museum of Myanmar
If you want to learn more about the history and culture of Myanmar, the National museum will provide you with lots of artefacts, arts, and scripts. A fantastic place to visit to delve into the past.
Have you been to Myanmar? What were some of your favourite places, leave a comment below.