Spend a week in Myanmar, and you can easily tour the highlights of two cities, plus a side trip to one of the country's famed natural areas. Pair Bagan and Yangon, for example, with a trip to the famed Inle Lake. Or, focus on a smaller region, like the tropical Myeik Archipelago or off-the-beaten-path Eastern Myanmar. Ride the "Death Railway," snorkel with whale sharks, take a cooking class in a local home, or cycle to a Buddhist nunnery: learn more in these five unique itineraries.

Itinerary #1: Best of Southern Myanmar

This tour around Myanmar's south mixes history, including British colonial architecture in Dawei and the “Death Railway” originating in Thanbyuzayat, Myanmar, with outdoor adventures, like swimming and snorkeling, on the Mergui Archipelago.

Riding the "Death Railway" from Thanbyuzayat, Myanmar
Riding the "Death Railway" from Thanbyuzayat, Myanmar
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Mawlamyine – Ye (93 miles/150 km.; 3 ½ hours) Ye
Day 2 Ye – Dawei (99 miles/160 km.; 4 hours) Dawei
Day 3 Dawei and Maung Ma Gan Beach (12 miles/20 km.; 45 min.) Dawei
Day 4 Dawei and beaches Dawei
Day 5 Dawei – Myeik (142 miles/230 km.) Myeik
Day 6 Day cruise around Myeik Myeik
Day 7 Around Myeik and departure  


Your trip starts in Yangon. You'll transfer to Thanbyuzayat, the starting point of the "Death Railway," which was constructed by the Japanese during World War II to connect Myanmar and Thailand over the River Kwai. Continue to see views over the Ye Valley from Banana Mountain, then take a tour of Ye to learn about betel nut, rubber, and fishery production that's central to the local economy. Move onto Dawei, one of the first cities settled by the British after the First Anglo-Burmese War in 1826: it's noted for its picturesque colonial-era buildings. Tour Dawei on day three and relax in the afternoon at beautiful Maung Ma Gan Beach.

You'll spend the second part of the trip in and around Myeik, a city located on an island in the Andaman Sea. Once an important trade hub for the East India Trading Company, it's historically interesting and geographically appealing, too. Aboard a boat, you'll tour the Mergui Archipelago—which comprises over 800 islands—stopping at fishing villages, snorkeling spots, and a great picnic venue for lunch. On the last day of the trip, visit Myeik's docks and learn about how traditional wooden boats are made. Then catch a flight back to Yangon, where the adventure ends. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Best of Yangon, Bagan, & Inle Lake

See Myanmar from a local perspective on this colorful trip plan that features a cooking class in Bagan, dinner in a local home on Inle Lake, and a consultation with an astrologer in Yangon.

Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar
Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Myanmar
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Yangon Arrival Yangon
Day 2 Yangon's Highlights and hidden places Yangon
Day 3 Fly to Bagan; Explore Ancient Temples Bagan
Day 4 Bagan: Cooking Class & Free Afternoon Bagan
Day 5 Fly to Heho, Drive to Pindaya & Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake) Nyaung Shwe
Day 6 Inle lake: Full day by boat Nyaung Shwe
Day 7 Fly to Yangon; International Departure  


The journey begins in Yangon. Spend a full day sightseeing: highlights include a tour of Shwedagon Pagoda and a ride on the Circular Train, a slow-moving commuter train that takes you through a variety of urban neighborhoods. On day three, catch a domestic flight to Bagan. Hop on a bike or electric scooter to see the region, which is home to more than 2,000 temples and religious monuments. The following day, you'll meet a local at a marketplace in New Bagan to shop for ingredients for lunch. Prepare the meal in a family home—an informal cooking class paired with eating and conversation—before heading back to the hotel in the afternoon to relax.

On day five, fly to Heho, then drive to Pindaya to see the area's famous caves, which are filled with Buddha statues. Then it's onward to Inle Lake. Check into your hotel and spend the evening relaxing or exploring the lakefront area before the next day's excursion on the lake. By boat, you'll see the lake's many islands and villages, including floating gardens and local craftspeople making one-of-a-kind objects. See the sunset over the lake. The next day, you'll head back to Yangon to catch your flight home. Learn more

Itinerary #3: Off the Beaten Path in Eastern Myanmar

On this adventurous itinerary, you'll discover lesser-visited eastern Myanmar, renowned for its beautiful landscapes, Buddhist monuments, traditional villages, and the floating gardens of Inle Lake.

Traditional fishing methods on Inle Lake
Traditional fishing methods on Inle Lake
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Heho – Pindaya – Kalaw Kalaw
Day 2 Kalaw-Ayetharyar – Taunggyi – Kakku – Loikaw Loikaw
Day 3 Loikaw – Pan Pei – Loikaw Loikaw
Day 4 Loikaw – Sagar – Inle Lake Inle Lake
Day 5 Inle Lake Inle Lake
Day 6 Explore Indein Indein
Day 7 Inle Lake – Nyaung Shwe – Heho - Yangon  


Start in Heho, the gateway to the Inle Lake region. Drive to Pindaya along a scenic road: you're headed to the famous Pindaya caves, around 200 million years old. The Buddhist pilgrimage site contains over 8,000 golden Buddha statues. You'll also pass the pagodas of Shwe U Min, dating from the 12th century, before moving onto the hill town of Kalaw. On day two, drive to Ayetharyar and stop to taste wines at the Ayetharyar Vineyard before continuing onto the magnificent Kakku Pagoda complex, featuring more than 2,000 stupas.  

The adventure takes you to Loikaw next, a remote and lesser-visited region. Visit Pan Pei village to learn about the Padaung tribe, then go to the Taung Kwe monastery and pagoda, situated atop rocky peaks. Catch sunset views from there and overnight in Loikaw before the next day's boat tour on Inle Lake. See the sunken stupas in the village of Sagar—they're partially submerged in water for several months of the year, as their bases are next to the banks of the river—and cruise past floating gardens and villages built on stilts. The last full day of the trip features a tour of Indein, accessible by boat, where you'll see a massive Buddha statue surrounded by stupa ruins. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Northern Myanmar Active Adventure

Cycling, river tubing, trekking to waterfalls: they're just a few of the outdoor adventures on the agenda of this active trip plan.

A train trip over the Gokteik Viaduct
A train trip over the Gokteik Viaduct
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrival in Mandalay Mandalay
Day 2 Cycling Inwa, U Bein Bridge, and Sagaing Mandalay
Day 3 Countryside Biking and River Tubing Mandalay
Day 4 Mandalay - Gokteik Viaduct Train Trip - Kyaukme Kyaukme
Day 5 Trekking and Homestay in the Hills Village Homestay
Day 6 Trekking back to Kyaukme - Pyin Oo Lwin Pyin Oo Lwin
Day 7 Waterfall Trek - Return to Mandalay  


Kick off the trip in Mandalay. Get oriented and do some sightseeing in the city before the next day's active adventures begin: you'll go to the outskirts of town first thing in the morning for a cycling trip through Inwa and across the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing, the Buddhist center of Myanmar. Enjoy a picnic lunch with a view, then rest and relax before the next day's schedule of biking in the countryside, visiting a local Buddhist nunnery, and going for a dip in a waterfall pool—a great way to cool off after pedaling for hours. 

On day four, you'll leave Mandalay and drive to Pyin Oo Lwin, a former British hill station with colonial charm, where you'll board a train to Kyaukme. This is the starting point for the stunning train journey with incredible views over the Gokteik Viaduct, a historic rail trestle that passes through many small villages. The next day, visit Kyaukme's colorful market before a trek in the hills. You'll walk through villages inhabited by the Shan, Palaung, and Pa-oh people—and spend the night in a local home or monastery. Trek back to Kyaukme on day six and back-track to Pyin Oo Lwin for the night. Squeeze in one last adventure—a short trek to Dat Taw Gyaint Waterfall—on day seven before catching a flight out. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Diving Trip in the Myeik Archipelago

Explore Myanmar's Myeik Archipelago, renowned for its underwater diversity, white sandy beaches, and world-class diving on this trip to a tropical paradise. 

An island in the Myeik Archipelago

An island in the Myeik Archipelago

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Kawthaung arrival and transfer to Kyat Mouk Island  Kawthaung
Day 2 High Rock and Rocky Island  Kawthaung
Day 3 Diving in Black Rock  Kawthaung
Day 4 Twin Islands and panicles  Kawthaung
Day 5 The Arc, Boulder Rock, and Macleod Island  Kawthaung
Day 6 Sea Fan Forest Pinnacle  Kawthaung
Day 7 Shark Point, Secret Lagoon and Departure   


Begin in Kawthaung, Myanmar's southernmost town. You'll ride in along a beautiful palm-lined coastal road to Myoma Jetty, then catch a boat to Kyat Mauk Island. On day two, you'll go on an easy dive around High Rock and Rocky Island, two sites filled with underwater species like spot rays, frogfish, seahorses, and several varieties of coral. In the afternoon, venture to Shark Cave, one of the archipelago's most famous dive sites. Look for manta rays and whale sharks while you're in the water! The next day, dive at Black Rock, noted for its fantastic underwater visibility and the opportunity to see large species of sharks and rays. 

On day four, go to North Twin Island and South Twin Island for a dive and a chance to see grey reef sharks, zebra sharks, and giant sea fans. The following day features stops at several dive sites: the Arc, Boulder Rock, and Macleod Island. All locations are home to colorful coral, pineapple fish, whale sharks, and lobsters. On the last full day of the trip, you'll go to the Sea Fan Forest Pinnacle, an area that, as the name suggests, is famous for its forest of beautiful giant sea ferns. Next, explore a tunnel cave where you're likely to see seahorses. Fit in one last adventure on day seven: dives at Shark Point and Secret Lagoon, where you'll see soft coral, underwater caves, tuna, snappers, and turtles. Return to dry land to catch your flight home. Learn more

Map

Map of 7 Days in Myanmar - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 7 Days in Myanmar - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas