My 2 Week Backpacking Itinerary to Myanmar

12:30:00 PM Pinoy Boy Journals 0 Comments

My trip to Myanmar was part of my 3 month backpacking expedition across South East Asia and South Asia. I flew from Jakarta, Indonesia to Yangon, Myanmar with a stop over to Singapore for 2 days. A few weeks before the trip, an ill-fated flight from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore crashed into the Java Sea. As an aerophobic frequent traveler, this was "torture" to me but i soldiered on because i couldn't wait to get to Myanmar. Good thing i was seated next to a French tourist so my mind was at ease (at least) for a few minutes chatting with him while the whole plane was shaking.

Visa Entry
Ordinary passport holders from the Philippines can stay in Myanmar without a visa for 14 days, granting Filipinos who are holders of ordinary passports visa-free entry to Myanmar for tourism and business purposes.

Itinerary Draft

Number of Days: 3 Days
Accommodations: The Lodge Yangon
Places Visited: Shwedagon Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Market, Kandawgyi Lake and Sule Pagoda
Transportation: Night Bus from Yangon to Bagan

Number of Days: 3 Days
Entrance Fee: K25,000 / $18
Places Visited: Ananda Temple, Dhammayan Gyi Temple, Man Sithu Market, Thatbyinnyu Phaya, Sulamani Temple, Gu Byauk Gyi Myin Kabar, Abeyadana Temple, Gawdawpalin and Shwezigon Temple
Transportation: Day Bus from Bagan to Inle Lake

Inle Lake 
Number of Days: 2 Days
Accommodations: Gypsy Inn
Places Visited: Inle Lake Boat Tour - One-Man Fishing Boat Intha Fishermen, Lake Side Villages Houses, Floating Garden, Nga Phe Chang Monastery, Paw Khon Village and Phaung Daw OO Pagoda
Transportation: Day Bus from Inle Lake to Pyin Oo Lwin

Pyin Oo Lwin
Number of Days: 2 Days 
Accommodations: Golden Dream Hotel 
Places Visited: Purcell Tower, Hindu Temple, National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens, Kandawgyi Lake and Myint Tower
Transportation: Day Bus from Pyin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw

Number of Days: 2 Days
Accommodations: Mr. Charles
Places Visited: Walking Tour - Little Villages, Monastery, Markets, etc., Shan Palace and Mrs. Popcorn
Transportation: Night Bus from Hsipaw to Yangon

Number of Days: 2 Days
Accommodations: The Lodge Yangon
Places Visited: Bogyoke Aung San Market and Shwedagon Pagoda

Thoughts and Realizations
If only the visa free allowed me to stay more days in Myanmar, i would close the trip to 3 weeks. If you notice, i had more time during the first few days and eventually, i felt i needed to rush my trip towards the end because i was already losing days and my 14 days was almost over.

To be quite blunt about it, the further out of the way i was traveling, the more memorable my trip became. Pyin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw became my favorites because it was more out of the way, and i felt the real Burma is showing its true colors. Bagan was out of this world because the temples and pagodas where just awe-inspiring, but after almost a dozen of pagodas visited in a day or two, it gets the best of you. Meanwhile Pyin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw, although quite short of places to visit, were rustic and memorable. The people were curious and always friendly. 

Where to Go Next?
Ideally, my trip to Myanmar would include a trip to the beach but then again i was traveling around July and August. The weather was awful. You get plenty of rains scattered all throughout the day. This meant traveling to places and flying domestically not practical. Mind you, the road condition further south of Yangon was bad. The airline industry in the country doesn't have the best reputation. And the aerophobic in me again would dread this. Although, i would have wanted to visit beaches down south after reading this article here from CNN. 

On the other hand, when i visited Myanmar, the the situation of the Rohingya tribe is getting worse. They've become displaced and before you know it, the unthinkable happened. In this day and age, i think there's no place for oppression for the marginalized in this new world. It's just cruel and uncivilized. I wouldn't mind visiting once situation becomes better.