5 Best Destinations in Myanmar

5 Top Ones and Choose At Least 3 to Visit 

Myanmar has a lot to offer, landscapes, cultures, lifestyles and hands-on experience plus relaxing time. 5 best destinations are listed out but for travelers on limited time frames, it's smarter to include at least 3 of them. Learn about what to expect and how to plan it right.


5 Destinations with Something Special

  • Yangon: A city of pagodas undergoing major leap into modern times, it strikes us with its intriguing mixture of cultures and lifestyles, and awesome street photography opportunities.
  • Bagan: THE VERY place that you can see the best sunrise and sunset, it is more than a postcard icon with hundreds of air balloons floating over the pagodas.
  • Mandalay: The foremost Buddhism academy back its heyday. We focus more on its nearby towns for inspiring photography of monks’ daily life and ancient monasteries.
  • Inle Lake: The relaxing end to your trip. Easy-lazy floating villages, lush floating gardens and vibrant markets; boat rides and hiking trips add more fun to your exploration.
  • Ngapali Beach: Rated as one of the 15 best beaches in Asia, this pristine beach is seldom crowded as it only opens for a short span yearly. No better choice for relaxing days.

3 Must-Include Destinations with Exceptional Experiences

Normally for first-timers, a trip to Myanmar is planned within 10 days and 3 destinations should do the trick perfectly. The following three destinations introduce you to Myanmar's unique cultures, lifestyles and awe-inspiring landscapes and make sure you cover them all.

Yangon: City Life in Close-Up

Besides being the major entry city, Yangon itself is a direct response to the invitation of modernization and that makes it one of the most exciting place to gawk over a mishmash of old and new.


  • Shwedagon Pagoda: The glistening pagoda is visible almost from every corner within 10-mile radius. For non believers, it’s not a place for conveying your faith but rather a place to gawk over how locals practice their religion non-stop 24 hours a day.
  • Yangon Circular Train: It has been one of the must-dos since it offers a straight interaction with the locals, by which you may understand about the country far more better than some live streaming on Youtube.
    Local markets: Aung San Market, Russian Market, Chinatown and markets with no name, these are the places we make great portrait shots and interesting discoveries.
  • National Museum: A must-go pace especially if you want to learn about the country’s history and ethnic minority cultures in a short time.

Time Needed: 2 to 3 days including international transfer
Hotels of Recommendation: Hotel G Yangon, Novotel Yangon Max and Sule Shangri-La Yangon

Bagan: Pagodas and More

Nobody can really tell how many pagodas are actually in Bagan and maybe, on some level, the point of visiting Bagan is to get lost among all the stupas and temples that are frozen in time. Sunrise and sundown, the best hours for visiting, are what we call experience of a lifetime.


  • Sunrise and sunset watching: Out of the 2,000-some pagodas, regardless old or new, closed or available, we have a handful of best spots for the most gorgeous sunrise/sunset views in Southeast Asia. Dare to try a nighttime visit when everybody’s left the zone?
  • Hot air balloon flight: Only available during October to March, constant ticket scarcity indicates how awesome the ride can be over the plains dotted with pagodas, temples and stupas at early sunset. No sweat if you cannot get a ticket, watching them floating up can also be fun.
  • Villages around Bagan: Humble villages around Bagan are very inviting as you can see how local craftsmen make gods out of mud and wood, take photos of novices inside an old pagoda or ride an e-bike alongside with the herdsman with his flocks.
  • Irrawaddy cruising: Cruising from Mandalay to Bagan usually takes 3 days and 2 nights on a luxury cruise, which has soon become a big thing for boat trip lovers thanks to the beautiful view, nice riding experience and a chance to relax.

Time Needed: 3 to 5 days depended on individual interest
Hotels of Recommendation: Bagan Thande Hotel, The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate and Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Bagan

Inle Lake: Perfect Relaxation

An all-time favorite for a nice retreat from the heat, Inle Lake welcomes its vacationers with cool breeze, rolling mountains, lovely people and chances to hike around the mountains nearby.


  • Boat ride on the lake: Boat is the primary transportation means in Inle Lake. Instead of sitting in the car, by boat will you get a closer look at its floating villages, markets and gardens, leave alone the cool breeze that can easily make you forget anything else.
  • Cycling around the villages: Villages scatter around the massive lake, ideal for outdoor fans who want to bike in the cool weather. We also know some experienced craftsmen who will teach you something about lotus weaving.
  • Hiking in Kalaw: 2 hours away from Inle Lake lies one of the best hiking destinations in SE Asia that is Kalaw. The high-mountain town provides hiking routes of 1 day, 2 days and week-long into the wilderness and remote hill tribes.
  • Kicking back and doing nothing: If other things don’t interest you, then just kick back on the balcony with a Long Island and call it a day.

Time Needed: 2 to 3 days and a 2-night stay is a must, at least 3 days if you include a hiking trip
Hotels of Recommendation: Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min, Pristine Lotus Resort and Aureum Palace Hotel & Resort Inle

Plan Smarter with Gatsby

With three destinations in hands, it is pretty easy to figure out the route: entry via Yangon, fly up to Bagan and spend 2 to 3 days there before continue to Inle Lake, after 2 relaxing days you will make your way back to Yangon for international departure. Or else, change it to Mandalay as you can complete the domestic and international transfer within one day via Mandalay, too.

Planning smart is not solely about connecting the dots, we’d say it’s more about how you can make the best of the regions and find the best guides, that’s where our expertise comes in handy. Talk to us and get your adventure started today!

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