5 days in Myanmar seems to be not adequate, however, you can have time to discover some highlights in this exotic country with an appropriate itinerary. This article will provide you with some recommendations for your 5-day trip in Myanmar.

Best Places to Visit on 5 Days in Myanmar

If you have 5 days in Myanmar, you can choose 2 to 3 tourist destinations in this country. Here are some suggestions for your tour to Myanmar.

1. Yangon

Shwedagon Pagoda - Yangon
Shwedagon Pagoda – Yangon

Recommended stay: at least 1 day

Recommended Tour Packages:

Many tourists mistake Yangon to be the capital city of Myanmar. In fact, Yangon used to be the capital city of Burma until 2008 when the government’s headquarters moved to Nay Pyi Taw. As the largest metropolitan city in the country, there is no lack of tourist attractions, restaurants, and night entertainment here. These are some popular places you should check out on your time in Yangon:

  • Shwedagon Pagoda: This is the most sacred Buddhist spot in Burma since it stores the strand of Buddha’s hair. It stupas are covered with hundreds of golden plates with the top encrusted with 4,531 diamonds, making Shwedagon a real treasure.
  • Sule Pagoda: Located in the busiest area of central Yangon, Sule Pagoda is a 46-meter high stupa which was built 2000 years ago. It is a sacred place for Burmese people since it houses a strand of the Buddha’s hair.
  • Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda: This pagoda is well-known for the marvelous 65-meter long Reclining Buddha image. Local people express their respect for this Buddha image by burning incense sticks and offering flowers.
  • Bogyoke Aung San Market (or Scott’s Market): Located in Pabedan township in central Yangon, it is the heaven for shopaholics where you can find numerous handicrafts, silk products, jewelry, and souvenirs. It was named after James George Scott, the person who introduced football to Myanmar during the colonial era.
  • National Museum: Many artifacts, antiques, and precious Buddhist objects are displayed in the museum. Most exhibits have signs in Burmese and English.

2. Mandalay

Royal Palace - Mandalay
Royal Palace – Mandalay

Recommended stay: at least 2 days

Considered as the last royal capital of Myanmar, Mandalay is full of stunning ancient buildings and spectacular landscapes for you to discover. Here are some highlights of the city:

  • Mandalay Hill: A trek to Mandalay Hill is recommended on your trip. There are numerous pagodas and temples around Mandalay Hill’s landscape: Maha Myat Muni Paya, Kuthodaw Paya, Sandamuni Paya, and especially Sutaungpyi Pagoda at the top of the hill.
  • U Bein Bridge: This is the longest teak bridge in the world with a length of 1.2 kilometers. A visit to U Bein during sunset or sunrise is extremely memorable since you can capture the image of a colorful sky and silhouettes of monks crossing the bridge.
  • Shwenandaw Monastery: Just some minutes from Mandalay Hill, Shwenandaw Monastery, or Golden Palace Monastery, is well-known for its teak carvings of Buddhist stories. It used to be a part of the Royal Palace.
  • Royal Palace: Built in 1861 by King Mingdon, this is the last royal palace of the Burmese kings. There is a watchtower in the palace which offers a stunning view of Mandalay.

3. Bagan

Ballooning over Bagan
Ballooning over Bagan

Recommended stay: at least 2 days

Praised to be ‘the land of temples’ in Myanmar, Bagan will not disappoint any travelers with its spectacular religious buildings and tranquil sceneries. We advise you to travel to this town from November to March when the weather is favorable for riding a hot balloon to admire the whole view of numerous pagodas hiding in a green landscape. Some must-see pagodas and temples in Bagan:

  • Ananda Temple: This is the most gorgeous temple in Bagan. Ananda Temple houses four stunning Buddhas who attained Nirvana.
  • Shwezigon Pagoda: Finished in 1102, Shwezigon’s structure is the prototype for many other pagodas in Myanmar, including the famous Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon. It is said that there are 30 tons of gold plates gilded in this pagoda.
  • Dhamma Yangyi Temple: This largest temple in Bagan associated with a horror story about a king who killed his father and brother. This temple was not finished due to the consequences of bad deeds by the king.
  • Htilominlo Temple: This exquisite temple was built by King Htilominlo (or also called Nadaungmya or Zeya Theinkha Uzana) in the 13th century. According to the legend, his father chose the next king to the nation by an umbrella and the umbrella leaned towards Htilominlo.
  • Thatbyinnyu Temple: Adjacent to Ananda Temple, Thatbyinnyu Temple is the tallest temple in the town. From afar, tourists can be impressed by its towering structure.
  • Sulamani Temple: It was constructed by King Narapatisithu in 1183. Unlike other pagodas in Bagan, Sulamani Temple preserves several splendid murals which are worth appreciating.

4. Inle Lake

Inle Lake
Inle Lake

Recommended stay: at least 2 days; or at least 3 days if you want to trek from Kalaw

Inle Lake is located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State. There is no better way to appreciate the beauty of Inle Lake than taking a boat trip. Floating villages along Inle Lake are the home to Intha people whose main livelihood is fishing. The most mesmerizing image you should capture on this lake is skillful leg-rowing fishermen who can expertly paddle flat-bottom boats with one leg and use the other leg to hold the boat. Traveling to Inle Lake, you will have a chance to visit amazing pagodas and monasteries rising above the water, bustling floating villages, unique stilt-house and enjoy amazing sunset view.

On the western side of the lake, Indein is a small village which houses the splendid Shwe Indein Pagoda. This place attracts tourists for its numerous white stupas and tranquil ambiance. In order to reach Indein, you will have to take a 45-minute boat ride.

Red Mountain Estate Vineyards and Winery - Inle Lake
Red Mountain Estate Vineyards and Winery – Inle Lake

Just 30 minutes from Nyaungshwe, Red Mountain Estate is also worth visiting for savoring high-quality wine and immerse in a peaceful atmosphere. It will be absolutely unforgettable if you hire a bicycle and enjoy the beauty of rural life on the way to the mountain.

Suggested Itinerary for 5 Days in Myanmar

Itinerary 1: Mandalay & Bagan

U Bein Bridge - Mandalay
U Bein Bridge – Mandalay

Day 1: Mandalay arrival and visit Shwenandaw Kyaung and Kuthodaw Pagoda. Proceed to Mandalay Hill to admire sunset from Sutaungpyi Pagoda at the top of the hill.

Day 2: Visit the ancient Inwa and continue to see sunset at U Bein Bridge, the world’s longest teak bridge. Drive to Bagan.

Day 3: Visit Shwezigon Pagoda. Discover the local life and go shopping for some fresh fruits at a local market. Around 4 or 5 pm, transfer to the Irrawaddy River for a boat trip.

Day 4: Tour around Bagan to see other famous pagodas and temples such as Ananda Temple, Dhamma Yangyi Temple, and Htilominlo Temple.

Day 5: Transfer to Mandalay. Take time for private shopping before heading to Mandalay International Airport.

Itinerary 2: Yangon & Bagan & Mandalay

Bagan
Bagan

Day 1: Arrive in Yangon. If you arrive early, take your time to visit Sule Pagoda and Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda. Discover the iconic pagoda in Myanmar, Shwedagon Pagoda and admire the splendid sunset here. Night bus or drive to Bagan.

Day 2: Arrive in Bagan. Visit Shwezigon Pagoda. Discover the local life and go shopping for some fresh fruits at a local market. Around 4 or 5 pm, transfer to the Irrawaddy River for a boat trip.

Day 3: Discover the history and culture of this quaint town by visiting some pagodas, monasteries, and temples. Drive to Mandalay in the evening.

Day 4: Arrive in Mandalay. In the morning, trekking to Mandalay Hill to admire the view of the whole city. Proceed to U Bein Bridge for a sunset view.

Day 5: Time for private shopping before departing from Mandalay International Airport.

Itinerary 3: Yangon & Inle Lake & Mandalay

Inle Lake
Inle Lake

Day 1: Arrive in Yangon. Depend on your arrival time, plan a visit to some pagodas in Yangon such as Sule Pagoda and Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda. However, do not miss the famous Shwedagon Pagoda – the icon of the city. Proceed to Heho Airport for a flight to Taunggyi District.

Day 2: Transfer to Inle Lake. Take a boat tour around Inle Lake to see local life through floating villages, handicraft workshops, and religious sites.

Day 3: Spend time at a local market along the lake. In the afternoon, we will fly to Mandalay.

Day 4: Arrive in Mandalay. In the morning, trekking to Mandalay Hill to admire the view of the whole city. Proceed to U Bein Bridge for a sunset view.

Day 5: Time for private shopping before departing from Mandalay International Airport.

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