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How to Spend 5 Days in Myanmar

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5 days in Myanmar seems to be not adequate to discover all the best of Myanmar. However, you can spend time exploring the main highlights in this exotic country in an appropriate itinerary. This article will provide you with some recommendations for your 5-day trip in Myanmar. We would suggest Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay should be included in this 5-day itinerary in Burma.

Day 1: Yangon Arrival & Sightseeing

Most travelers to Myanmar make Yangon their first stop. Yangon is the largest and the most vibrant city in Myanmar. There is no lack of tourist attractions, restaurants, and night entertainment here. Follow the list of essentials for the one day in Yangon as well as the first day in Myanmar.

  • Shwedagon Pagoda: This is the most sacred Buddhist spot in Burma since it stores the strand of Buddha’s hair. Its stupas are covered with hundreds of golden plates with the top encrusted with 4,531 diamonds, making Shwedagon a real treasure.

Beautiful Shwedagon Pagoda is a must see on 5-day Myanmar itinerary

  • 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 demonstrate their respect for this Buddha image by burning incense sticks and offering flowers.
  • Bogyoke Aung San Market (or Scott’s Market): Located at Pabedan township in the central Yangon, Bogyoke Aung San Market offering numerous handicrafts, silk products, jewelry and souvenirs is the heaven for shopaholics. It was named after James George Scott, the person who introduced football to Myanmar during the colonial era.
  • Chinatown: Chinatown is one of the busiest and most action packed areas in Yangon, especially in the evening. Do not forget to try barbecue at 19th Street and enjoy the nightlife on the first day in Myanmar.

Trying street food in Yangon Chinatown is a must do when visiting Myanmar

  • Buffet Dinner:For a unique experience of 5-day Myanmar itinerary, you can enjoy a variety of Burmese, Chinese and Thai dishes at Karaweik Palace while watching special cultural show there.

Day 2: Yangon - Fly to Bagan - City Tour

After one-and-a-half-hour flight from Yangon, you will reach Bagan, the second destination of 5-day trip in Myanmar. Bagan is the city of temples as well as one of Asia’s most popular archeological destinations. This is one of the richest archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. We would recommend 2 day stay in Bagan and below are some suggestions of places to visit 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.
  • Gubyaukgyi Temple:The temple is notable for two reasons. Firstly, it contains a large array of well-preserved frescoes on its interior walls, the oldest original paintings to be found in Bagan. Secondly, the temple is located just to the West of the Myazedi Pagoda, at which was found two stone pillars with inscriptions written in four ancient Southeast Asian languages: Pali, Old Mon, Old Burmese, and Pyu.

Well-preserved Gubyaukgyi Temple in Bagan

  • 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.

Day 3: Bagan Sightseeing

Continue to explore Bagan with “cannot miss” places:

  • Nyaung Oo market: It is a typical local market where you can easy to learn about the local people life as well as find all Burmese goods, from longyi (traditional Burmese sarong) to modern clothes, from colorful veggies and fruits to fresh fish, from products made from rattan to tea leaves - one of the famous specialties in Myanmar.
  • Dhamanyangyi Temple: This largest temple in Bagan, Dhamanyangyi Temple, is 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.
  • Irrawaddy River: Go on Irrawaddy river cuise to view mesmerizing sunset and take the most beautiful sunset photographs.

Enjoy the best Myanmar Irrawaddy Cruise in tranquil river

Day 4: Bagan - Fly to Mandalay - City Tour

After 30-minute flight from Bagan, you will reach Mandalay - the second largest and the last royal capital of Myanmar. It is an interesting city with several fascinating religious sites. Check the list below:

  • Mandalay Hill: A trek to Mandalay Hill is recommended on your Myanmar 5-day itinerary. There are numerous must-see 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 moment of a colorful sky and silhouettes of monks crossing the bridge.
  • Shwenandaw Monastery: Just a few 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.

Mandalay Royal Palace is the main highlight of 5-day Myanmar trip

Day 5: Mandalay - Fly to Yangon - Departure

On the fifth day in Myanmar, it’s time to pack up and head back to Yangon. Upon arrival, you can visit places that you miss on the first day or just relax and wait for the flight out of Yangon.

End of our 5-day suggested Myanmar itinerary, you may extend your Myanmar vacation for as long as you prefer or until you get to see all attractions that interest you. Take time to meet the locals and try all the must-do activities in Myanmar. 

You may also like: Best of 10 Must-try Activities in Myanmar

Jenny Tran

(Image source: Internet)

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