5-Day Myanmar Budget Itinerary 

5-Day Myanmar Itinerary

Okay. So this is a so long over due blog. My first time to travel solo was indeed an amazing adventure. Not only because I was trapped in the mountain ranges of Kalaw during Christmas Eve but this trip taught me that wherever you go, people are the same. People are basically kind in nature. Myanmar people are kind and modest I would say. They will give their best effort especially at those hotels and guesthouses that I have stayed. And that is what I like most. Having this realized made me believe more that I can be wherever I am safely. This moment also urged me to travel more, see places and experience different culture.

For a budget traveler like me, solo travel could be expensive since I need to pay solo for which originally an expense for 2 to 3 people. But the good thing about traveling solo on a budget is that you own your time, you can choose where to stay, where to go and what to eat. In my experience, I have maximized my time and resources better.

Enough of chitchat. Now, let me share to you how I survived traveling to Myanmar for 5 days via night bus. Yes, I traveled my route Yangon-Bagan-Mandalay-Inle-Yangon in a night bus. 5 days were not enough to see all the ancient beauty of Myanmar but that was all I have and I was able to make the most out of it. I suggest you go for 2 weeks if you can. For budget travelers with limited resources and time, this itinerary is just perfect to experience the golden Myanmar.

5-Day Myanmar Budget Itinerary 

Day 0

7:00pm – Arrive in Yangon
7:30pm – Travel to Aung Mingular Bus Station
8:30pm – Depart Yangon to Bagan via JJ Bus

Day 1

6:00am – Arrive in Bagan
6:15am – Before hotel check-in, hire horsecart from bus station and go straight to a Bulethi to see sunrise.
7:30am – Hotel check-in and breakfast
9:00am – Explore Bagan by bicycle, e-bike or horsecart. (I preferred bicycle)
1:00pm – Lunch (4,000 kyats)
4:30pm – Sunset at Shwegugyi 
8:00pm – Dinner (3,000 kyats)

Day 2

8:00am – Breakfast
9:00am – Mt. Popa Tour (you can pre-arranged with your hotel during your first day)
2:00pm – Late Lunch (4,000 kyats)
3:00pm – Explore Bagan more by bicycle
5:30pm – Hotel check-out
6:00pm – Travel to Mandalay via OK Bus (9,000 kyats)
10:00pm – Arrive in Mandalay 
10:15pm – Late check-in

Day 3

9:00am – Arrange a 1-Day 3 Amazing cities tour (Ava, Amapura and Sagaing) and to include Mingun via motorcycle  taxi (35,000 kyats)
10:30am – Arrive in Mingun
12:00nn – Sagaing Hill (Camera Fee/Donation 300 kyats)
1:30pm – Late lunch (5,000 kyats) including my driver’s lunch
2:30pm – Ava or Innwa Village Tour (Return Boat Fee of 1,400 kyats) 
5:00pm – Arrive in U-Bein Bridge for sunset. Ride a boat to have a picturesque view (Share a boat with 4 people for 5,000 kyats each)
6:00pm – Depart U-Bein
7:00pm – Back to hotel and dinner (5,000 kyats)
9:15pm – Check-out and travel to bus station (Taxi 6,000 kyats)
10:00pm – Depart Mandalay to Nyaung Shwe via JJ Bus

Day 4

5:30am – Arrive in Nyaung Shwe and hotel check-in
9:00am – Inle Lake Tour (lunch along the tour for 15,000 kyats)
12:00pm – Lunch 4,500)
3:00pm – End of tour
4:00pm – Back to hotel and rest
5:30pm – Check-out 
6:00pm – Depart Nyaung Shwe to Yangon via JJ Bus

Day 5

The saddest day of all. I wasn’t able to execute the plan for I was stuck at Kalaw for 12 hours. I was supposed to reach Yangon at 7am but I almost missed my flight back to Singapore. I arrived in Aung Mingular around 6:30 pm, I grabbed a taxi and headed straight to the airport. I missed Yangon but I will definitely be back soon and I will finish this itinerary for sure. For you guys, you can absolutely follow this schedule.

7:00am – Arrive in Aung Mingular
8:00am – Hotel check-in
9:00am – Yangon City tour
5:00pm – Hotel check-out
6:00pm – Arrive in airport
7:30pm – Fly out Yangon

What to Do & See in Myanmar

Bagan

  1. Temples & Stupas – These two constructions are different. As explained by guides, temple is a place of worship, usually have entrances so it’s kind of hollow inside and you can walk in it. A stupa on the other hand has no entrance which purpose is to contain relics beneath or at walls. One thing for sure is you will never get enough of them. They are everywhere. Honestly, sometimes I get bored and seeing them becomes normal to me, you know an everyday sight but believe me you will miss them once you go back home. So just enjoy the view while you can.
  2. Sunrise & Sunset chasing – You can’t get enough of your sunrise and chasing adventures in Bagan. For me, best sites are Lowka Oushang Temple, Bulethi and Nanda Pyin Nya.
  3. Hot Air Balloon – For those who can afford a smashing ride, why not? It will be worth it.
    Bagan Hot Air Balloon

    Bagan Hot Air Balloon

     

  4. Mount Popa – A day visit to Mt. Popa is a good experience. It’s a monkey-filled temple atop volcano. It has 777 steps to go up where the Taung Kalat Monastery lies. Oops.. be careful stepping on monkey pee, lol. Seriously, the view is beautiful up there.
    Mt. Popa

    Mt. Popa

     

Mandalay

  1. Mingun – You can catch a boat from Mandalay to Mingun but if you are in time constraint then I suggest you go by hiring a motorcycle. It could be a good start of the day tour. From the Mingun Archaeological site, you can visit Pahtodawgyi, Mingun Bell, Hsingyume. They are just few meters away from each other.
    pahtodawgyi pagoda

    Pahtodawgyi Pagoda

     

    Mingun Bell

    Mingun Bell

     

    Hsingyume

    Hsingyume Pagoda 

     

  2. Sagaing – From Mingun, drive up to the hill of Sagaing where you can see Soon U Ponya Shin Paya and U Min Thonze Temple. Up and down hill of Sagaing you can see buddhist nuns in pink. A symbol of religion and history.
    Soon U Ponya Shin Paya

    Soon U Ponya Shin Paya

  3. Innwa or Ava – Ride a horsecart and tour around the old city of Innwa where you can see relics of old temples and secret temples. You can also visit the teak wood monastery, Shwenandaw Monastery. It used to be part of royal palace of Amarapura. The monastery is decorated with intricate wood carvings both on the interiors and exteriors. Another monastery to visit is Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery. It is made of brick and decorated with intricate stuccoed sculptures.
    Shwenandaw Monastery

    Shwenandaw Monastery

     

    Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery

    Maha Aung Mye Bonzan Monastery

     

    U Bein Bridge

    U Bein Bridge

 

Inle

  1. Inle Lake – Rent a boat and take graceful photos of fishermen doing the old way of fishing.
    Inle Lake

    Inle Lake

     

  2. Floating Garden – People in the area grow vegetables and tomatoes in the lake which became attractions to tourists because of it’s unique style of agriculture.
    Floating Garden

    Floating Garden

     

  3. Phaung Daw Oo – means “front of the raft”located in Ywama village. Considered as one of the holiest sites in Myanmar.
    Phaung Daw Oo

    Phaung Daw Oo

     

  4. Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery – Also known as jumping cats. A wooden monastery built in Inle lake. The oldest and and largest monastery in Inle.
    Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery

    Nga Phe Kyaung Monastery 

     

  5. Long-necked Women – A visit to the village where the long-necked women of Kayan tribe could not be missed during your trip.

    Long-necked women of Kayan tribe

    Long-necked women of Kayan tribe

Yangon

  1. Shwedagon Pagoda – Also called as the great Dagon pagoda and the Golden Pagoda.

    Shwedagon Pagoda

    Shwedagon Pagoda

  2. Sule Pagoda – A small octagonal pagoda named after Sularata, the Sule Nat (spirit) who lived at the spot where the pagoda now stands.
  3. Kandawgyi Lake – An artificial lake, also known as the Royal Lake where Shwedagon Paya is reflected in its calm waters.

    Kandawgyi Lake

    Kandawgyi Lake

  4. Chauk-htat-gyi Buddha Temple – A 6-storey-high reclining buddha image referred to as the six-tiered pagoda.
  5. Tooth Relic Pagoda – Swe Taw Myat Pagoda is believed to be one of the teeth of the Gautama Buddha.
  6. Golden Rock Pagoda – a place of worship built on the top of a granite boulder at the summit of Mount Kyaiktiyo (Kyite Htee Yoe). Spent a day if you want to visit the pilgrimage or better stay on a nearby hostel in the area.

Total Expenses (in kyats)

Bagan

  • JJ Express Bus (Yangon-Bagan) – 30,559 (19.76 USD)
  • Bagan Archaeological Zone Fee – 25,000
  • Horsecart (Bus station to Hotel with sunrise viewing) – 24,000  (I was totally fooled here!)
  • Bicycle Rental for 1 and half days – 7,000
  • Food – 11,000 (I brought some food like bread, crackers, chocolates and candies)
  • Shared taxi to Mt. Popa – 10,000
  • Motor taxi to Bus Station – 1,500
  • OK Bus – 9,000
  • Souvenirs – 30,000

Mandalay

  • 3 Cities+ Mingun Tour – 35,000
  • Mingun-Sagaing Archaelogical Admission Fee – 5,000
  • Sagaing Hills Camera Fee/Donation – 3,000
  • Return Boat Fee – 1,400
  • Mandalay Archaeological Zone Fee – 10,000
  • Shared Boat at U-Bein- 5,000
  • Food – 7,500
  • Taxi to Bus Station- 6,000

Inle

  • Lake Tour – 15,000
  • Lunch – 4,500
  • Tipping & Donation – 10,000 in total. A must!
  • JJ Express Bus (Inle to Yangon) – 30,559 (19.76 USD)
  • Dinner – Free courtesy of JJ Express Bus
  • Breakfast – 3,000 (when we I was stuck in Kalaw area)

Yangon

  • Late Lunch – 3,000
  • Taxi to Airport – 5,000

 

Summary of Expenses

  • Food – 29,000
  • Transportation – 82,618
  • Tours/Entrance Fees/Tipping/Donation/Souvenirs – 180,400
  • Hotel – 77,325 (50 USD)
  • Air Fare – 495,168 (440 SGD)
  • Sum Total: Just do the computation and add tax. LOL 😉 Kidding. It’s 864,511 Kyats (559 USD) My airfare got the largest cut though. It was Christmas time so can’t blame the airlines.

 

There you go gals. What to see and where to stay in Myanmar will follow in the next blogs.

Happy travels Budgetarians!