MYANMAR AT A GLANCE
Since becoming a country rich in historical and cultural significance, Myanmar has established itself as a popular tourist destination. With ancient temples and pagodas, unspoiled landscapes, and an emerging culture that is gradually opening up to the modern world, there is much to discover and learn about this area.
This nation, which was formerly known as Burma, has elected its first democratically elected government in more than half a century and is now welcoming tourists.
MYANMAR TRIP PLANNING
Best Time to Go
In a nutshell, although you can visit Myanmar all year, it is best to avoid the country during the wet season (June through September). The wet season is in full swing during this time (particularly from July to September), when the roads become difficult to access. Places like Ngapali Beach close down during this period because of inaccessible routes.
Visiting Myanmar at its best is from November to February, when the weather is neither too hot to walk around due to the chilly wind that blows in nor too cold. In March through May, when temperatures are particularly high in the lowlands near Bagan and Mandalay, visiting might be unpleasant. If you want a more comprehensive description of when it’s best to visit Burma, check out our list of favorite times.
Cambodia’s transportation infrastructure is quite functional, and between places is simple. Before making a trip, we recommend utilizing Bookaway or 12Go to look up bus, boat, and train timetables. We’ve used these websites in several countries throughout Asia and it cuts out the time spent waiting at travel agencies or bus stations.
In general, Myanmar is a reasonably inexpensive country to visit… Although it isn’t the cheapest when compared to countries like Cambodia and Thailand. A $30-35 per day budget is adequate for most people, including modest lodging, food, and transportation. Finding an ATM was previously tough but now you can find them in major cities; however, the ATM fees are rather high, ranging from $3.50 to $9 per transaction
While we generally advocate doing things yourself, sometimes it’s better to hire a guide to show you around and give you the inside scoop. If there’s a certain event or trip that we really want on our itinerary, we usually choose Flyma, a one-stop booking platform for excursions, transportation, and the like. For more information on travel expenses in Myanmar, see the table below for a rough breakdown of expenditures per person:
What to Pack for Traveling Myanmar
Myanmar is a warm nation, thus bring a few pairs of lightweight, quick-drying clothing. Another thing to remember is that foreign influence and culture are quite recent, so be cautious not to offend anyone by wearing revealing attire, especially in sacred sites. When visiting temples and pagodas, it’s important to cover your shoulders and knees. Bring a high-quality rain jacket during the rainy season!
For a more thorough list of what to bring, see our Myanmar Packing List Guide. We’ve got the packing business down after spending almost 3 years traveling throughout this area.
BEST THINGS TO DO IN MYANMAR
Explore the City of Mandalay
There are a several things to do in Mandalay, but the following are some of the most important and must-see sites: climbing Mandalay Hill, seeing the U-Bein Bridge, or touring various temples and pagodas around the region.
Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride
While this may be avoided because of money, if you have the funds, I highly advise going for it since it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience. As you watch the clouds clear away and see a few other balloons float above the sky as you look at the ancient temples and ruins around you. Hot air ballooning can also be done in Inle Lake, which is one of Bagan’s most popular attractions. Ballooning is definitely one of Bagan’s finest activities, and we would actively encourage anyone to participate in it.
Go Boating and Trekking in Inle Lake
The trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake is one of the most exciting things to do in Myanmar. Not only are the vistas stunning, but the locals you encounter on the way make it worthwhile as you journey from one local village to the next.
We stayed in local homestays every night and were greeted by a few dozen village youngsters each time we reached a new location during this two-day excursion. It was the ideal method to get to know and see the local culture around you. Apart from trekking, there are several other things to do in Inle Lake that range from cycling excursions to boat trips around the lake’s surroundings.
Go on a Scuba Diving Liveaboard
Myanmar is home to some stunning scuba diving that most people are unaware of. One of the finest things to do in Burma is to go liveaboard on the Burma Banks, which are massive underwater flat-topped sea-mounts.
If you’re a scuba enthusiast, a trip to Myanmar is a must if you’ve ever seen the Blue Lagoon. It’s well-known for its incredible drift dives, and it’s impossible to miss because of its stunning surroundings!
Sightsee Around Yangon
Yangon is also a popular destination for visitors to see the Shwedagon Pagoda, which is one of Myanmar’s most famous religious monuments. Other activities in Yangon include taking the city’s circular train and visiting the many art galleries that are opening up. If you’re searching for thrilling things to do in Myanmar, check out our complete guide.
We’ve prepared a three-day itinerary for Yangon that covers all of the city’s highlights to make trip planning easier for you.
If you want to learn more about Yangon’s cuisine, this nighttime food tour is a fantastic way to discover even more of Myanmar’s cuisine.