Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Asia
Reload this Page > Ideas for an off beaten path trip in Burma

Ideas for an off beaten path trip in Burma


Jan 27th, 2015, 08:45 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 3
Ideas for an off beaten path trip in Burma

Hi everyone,
I think this year I'll be visiting Burma, before it potentially get touristy. I have been to Thailand and Vietnam before but back then, I just tried to follow the mainstream path and covered all highlights of the country.
But this time, I want to do something different. This time in Burma, I want to go to less-visited places. In other words, I wish to discover some underrated destinations. After one week of reading, the Big4: Yangon - Bagan - Inle Lake - Mandalay appears to be the skeleton of traveler's itinerary. Well, except for Mandalay, I guess a good number of people are trying to avoid it and I don't know the reason why.
Anyway, reading about Shan State was quite inspiring. I think I will focus on this area during my trip. So, just a draft itinerary of my own, but I will need lots of comments from other members. I will thank in advance!
Yangon 1N
Bagan 2N
Pindaya 1N
Kalaw 1N
Inle Lake 2N
Kengtung 4N (I guess this could be the highlight of my trip but am also questioning about how to get in and out and if there's any special requirements)
Fly back to Heho then Yangon and spend 3N at the city.
LindaDr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 27th, 2015, 11:12 PM
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,569

Every time you take a domestic flight in any foreign country don't you ever wonder what you might be missing out on 30,000 feet below you? Well, Burma is one of those fabulous countries where you'll be well rewarded at ground level.

So, my vote is to hire a car/driver/guide for the duration.
LancasterLad is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 28th, 2015, 06:08 AM
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 135
Or in Myanmar-14000ft below you.....
Silverswimmer is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 28th, 2015, 09:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 31,780
Depending on how much time you have, you may need to fly to get to the places you want to go.

Two nights in Bagan is just one full day. For me, that wouldn't be nearly enough time. And likewise two nights for Inle is just one full day. At a minimum, I think you need three nights at Inle so you have one day for Sankar and one day for visiting the places you want to see on the main lake.

I can think of no reason to spend a night at Pindaya. If you want time at Kalwa, you'll want two nights so you can see a bit there. If you are interested in trekking, Kentung is a good choice. You will need a guide, of course, but I don't believe they require a permit any more.

Another off the track place to consider is Mrauk U. We loved our time there.

You have divided your time in Yangon - it would be more efficient to fly to Bagan as soon as possible after landing in Yangon, as it would give you another night in Bagan.

Photos are often helpful - take a look at ours at www.marlandc.com note that there are photos from two trips, 2009 and 2011.

Happy planning!
Kathie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Jan 29th, 2015, 12:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,531
I have lots of posts on Burma on my blog which you may find helpful.


Do bear in mind that there are lots of tourists in Burma already but if you walk only a small distance away from the touristy areas or attractions you will find very few foreigners. It also seems that tourists focus on the high season. Given the transportation/distances one and two night stays don't seem feasible. What are you most interested in temple, history, nature, culture...?
welltraveledbrit is online now  
Reply With Quote
Jan 30th, 2015, 03:33 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 3
Many thanks to you all for taking time to write replies.
Lancaster: what would you recommend to hire a driver instead of flying?
Kathie: I will consider your suggestion as I'm not too limited of time.
welltraveledbrit: nature and culture
LindaDr is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 9th, 2015, 01:22 AM
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 1
Linda, personally one night in ygn is not enough, you should have one more there. under efficient explanation and commentary, ygn shall be very moving place and worthy to see. 2 Ns each in both Bagan and the lake is not completely adequate. you should have at least two complete days both. otherwise, you will surely wish more days there and should be busy amending tour plan with your agent. for first time, I suggest to take pindaya and kalaw off the plan as they are extensive ones to add more fun to main attraction.
Meanwhile, mandalay also stand main attraction in regular program, that is to say, it is a place of cultural center, there are more modern buildings and motorcycles on the roads though. you are seeing palace, stupas, handy arts and crafts, foods and etc. you would love it. Kengtung is eastern close to thai and laos, foresty and tribal attractions, that means, eco-tours should be introducing. Wish your fully enjoy!
kp1 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Mar 14th, 2015, 10:16 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 73
We got back from Myanmar two weeks ago. We traveled with Remote Lands, and wanted an itinerary that took us off the beaten path. We saw Bagan,Inle Lake, Yangoon and Mandalay- all of which I recommend. We also spent three nights in Loikaw- with day trips to visit hill tribes. This was a fantastic experience, but the roads were rough and the days were long. We got to spend hours in villages that had seen very few tourists as much of this area was just opened up. I highly recommend this

We also went to Kalaw, and spent an afternoon at Green Valley Elephant Camp- this was also great, with the opportunity to spend time with the elephants, and bathe and ride them.

We went to Putao for four nights. I have mixed feelings about this area, but overall recommend it. We arrived the same day that 50 soldiers were reported to have been killed by rebels - about 100 miles away. security at the airport was noticeably on high alert (this was not our experience anywhere else) and it was a bit concerning. Putao is beautiful, and we enjoyed our time, but I don't think it is as interesting as Loikaw.

We were very pleased with Remote Lands- we they made a lot of adjustments based upon what we told them we wanted. We traveled with a private guide, which makes travel here much easier (it is almost a necessity). The guide was wonderful, and that made the trip exceptional.
cathygreen is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:23 PM.