Even if you have less than a week to explore Myanmar, you can still visit more than one region—just as long as you're prepared to take a few domestic flights. Pair Mandalay with Bagan, or hop between Yangon, Bagan, and the famed Inle Lake. You can also spend your days snorkeling off Ngapali Beach, pedaling through rice paddies on a bike tour of the Shan State, or touring the shrines and pagodas of hidden Myanmar.

Itinerary #1: Highlights of Mandalay and Bagan

See the best of Mandalay and Bagan, cycling over the world’s longest teak bridge—and visiting temples, villages, and waterways—on this whirlwind trip plan.

Hot air balloons over Bagan
Hot air balloons over Bagan
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Mandalay arrival and Local night out Mandalay
Day 2 Mandalay countryside, nunnery lunch and highlights Mandalay
Day 3  U Bein Bridge & Inwa by bike; drive to Bagan Bagan
Day 4 Bagan's Temples, Villages, and Waterways Bagan
Day 5 Bagan sunrise and departure from Mandalay  


The adventure begins in Mandalay, where you'll check in to your hotel before catching sunset at Mandalay Hill, then enjoying a night out on the town. On day two, you'll visit a Buddhist nunnery. After touring the site, you'll have lunch—a traditional meal prepared by the nuns. Later in the day, head to Shwenandaw Kyaung, a gorgeous teak building that's the last remaining structure of the Royal Palace, and Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as ‘The World’s Biggest Book' due to its 729 inscribed marble tablets. 

On day three, you'll travel to U Bein Bridge. Nearly a mile long, it's the world’s longest teak bridge. Afterward, you'll go on a bike tour through quiet lanes, quaint villages, and rice paddies. Cross the Dohkthawaddy River by ferry to Inwa (bikes are allowed on the boat!), a town considered the royal capital many times between the 14th and 19th centuries. Pedal past historic ruins and have a picnic lunch before driving to Bagan in time for sunset. Spend the last full day of the trip touring Bagan's pagodas, marketplaces, and villages, finishing the afternoon with a boat ride on the Irrawaddy River. The trip wraps up on day five with an early morning hot air balloon ride. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Hidden Myanmar - Golden Rock, Hpa An, Mawlamyaing

Discover Myanmar's hidden gems, from massive caves to the shrines of Kawhnat Village to the quaint villages of Bilu Island, on this quick and colorful itinerary.

The pagoda at Golden Rock
The famous pagoda at Golden Rock
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Yangon – Bago – Golden Rock (Kyaikhtyio) Golden Rock
Day 2 Golden Rock – Hpa An Hpa An
Day 3 Hpa An – Mawlamyaing Mawlamyaing
Day 4 Trip to Bilu Island Mawlamyaing
Day 5 Mawlamyine – Yangon  


Start the trip in Yangon. After breakfast, you'll drive north to Bago to visit the world-famous Thamanay Buddhist academy. Then continue to the thousand-year-old Shwemawdaw Pagoda: its spire is even taller than that of the iconic Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. Next up is Golden Rock (or Kyaiktiyo Pagoda), located on a dramatic cliff. To get there, you'll travel in an open-air truck along a winding road to the top of a hill. Enjoy the breathtaking views—you'll be back the next morning at sunset for an even more impressive photo op.

The next day, head to Hpa An via Kyauk Kalat, a pagoda on an island in a lake, then to the village of Lakkhana and the cave at Kaw Ka Thaung, which contains more than 100 Buddhas. Continue to the massive Sadan cave and explore the area on a boat. Take in sunset from the riverfront at Shwe Yin Hmyaw Pagoda. On day three, you'll visit the city of Mawlamyine, where highlights include Queen Sein Don monastery and a colorful night market. Finish up the adventure with a trip to Bilu Island. You'll get around in a tuk-tuk and have the chance to purchase local handmade goods in the island's villages before catching the boat back to the mainland. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Ngapali Beach Getaway

Kick back on pristine Ngapali Beach, snorkeling, kayaking, or cycling to fishing villages by day—and enjoying freshly caught seafood at night—on this relaxing escape.

White sandy coastline at Ngapali Beach
White sandy coastline at Ngapali Beach
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Thandwe Thandwe
Day 2 Ngapali Beach Ngapali
Day 3 Ngapali Beach Ngapali
Day 4 Ngapali Beach - Thandwe - Yangon Yangon
Day 5 Yangon Departure  


To start the adventure, catch a flight to the seaside city of Thandwe and transfer to Ngapali Beach, a short drive away. Relax at the hotel and get a spa treatment, or explore the nearby fishing village on a bicycle. That's the pace of this trip: for the next few days, you'll be at your leisure in this idyllic beach setting. Activities to choose from include diving, snorkeling, cycling, walking, touring nearby religious sites, and exploring small villages, shopping for handmade pottery and textiles.

One day trip option is to kayak to Pearl Island, where the warm, clear water is ideal for swimming. Whatever you choose to do during the day, you'll enjoy beautiful sunsets and freshly caught seafood for dinner. On day four, you'll catch a domestic flight to Yangon and visit Bogyoke Market to browse traditional clothing, jewelry, paintings, and handicrafts from around Myanmar. Stroll around Yangon's colonial-era downtown and head to the spectacular golden-spired Shwedagon Pagoda at sunset, a great way to finish this laid-back getaway. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Best of Yangon, Bagan & Inle Lake

On this well-rounded adventure, you'll explore ancient temples in Bagan, hike through Pindaya's caves, and spend a full day on a boat on Inle Lake.

 Fisherman at sunset on Inle Lake, Myanmar
 Fisherman at sunset on Inle Lake, Myanmar
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Yangon: International Arrival Yangon
Day 2 Fly to Bagan; Explore Ancient Temples Bagan
Day 3 Fly to Heho; Discover Pindaya en route to Inle Lake Inle Lake
Day 4 Inle lake: Full day by boat Nyaung Shwe
Day 5 Fly to Yangon; International Departure  


Touch down in Yangon, Myanmar's largest city and former capital. Take the afternoon to get oriented before the next day's domestic flight to Bagan. You'll spend the day exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bagan, home to thousands of temples and religious monuments—you can choose to get around by car or by electric scooter. The next day, you'll jet off to Heho, located in Myanmar's Shan State. Drive through the hills to Pindaya and visit the region's famous caves, filled with thousands of Buddha images.

Continue to Inle Lake, where you'll spend the night. The next morning, walk to the Nyaung Shwe jetty and board a wooden motorboat for a full day's excursion on the lake. You'll see floating gardens, villages built on stilts, and local craftspeople weaving silks and fabrics with the fibers of the native lotus flower. Stop into Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, a site that's sacred to locals, before getting back on the boat. Enjoy one last evening in Myanmar before the next day's flight out. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Yangon & Shan State Adventure

Glittering pagodas, hiking trails in the highlands, lakefront cycling, traditional villages: this ambitious trip plan covers a lot in just five days. 

A boat tour on Inle Lake, Shan State
A boat tour on Inle Lake, Shan State
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Yangon Arrival & Downtown Exploring Yangon
Day 2 Yangon: Explore Shwedagon Pagoda- Fly to Heho and on to Pindaya Pindaya
Day 3 Pindaya: Trek Highland Villages - Drive to Inle Lake Nyaung Shwe
Day 4 Inle Lake: Bike & Boat Nyaung Shwe
Day 5 Fly to Yangon; International Departure  


Begin the trip in the busy city of Yangon. Explore the colonial architecture of the city's downtown, enjoy a cup of tea in a local tea shop, and go for a ride on the Circular Train, a slow-moving commuter train that takes you through several city neighborhoods. On day two, you'll visit Shwedagon Pagoda before catching a flight to Heho and making the drive overland, through the region's famous hills, to the town of Pindaya. On day three, you'll trek through tea plantations on your way to Pindaya's limestone caves, home to thousands of Buddha statues.

Continue by car to Nyaung Shwe, the nearest town to Inle Lake. You'll spend the last full day of the trip on and around the water. On a bicycle, pedal to the canal to see boats unloading piles of tomatoes, then pass by rice paddies before reaching Indein. From there, you'll hop on a boat and cruise around the lake to see floating gardens and villages built on stilts. You'll also have the unique experience of dining in a local family's home before circling back to Nyaung Shwe and your hotel, where you'll have one last evening to spend before the next day's flight home. Learn more

Map

Map of 5 Days in Myanmar - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 5 Days in Myanmar - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas