Myanmar at a Glance in 4 days (Inle-Bagan-Mandalay-Sagaing)2019-08-12edit Htoo
Well, what I’m about to bring up here is a quickly planned trip that I took with my friends who got back from the Philippines. It was surely one of the most satisfying and exciting backpacked trips of my life. Actually, I had titled this blog post ‘Myanmar at a glance’ as I am aiming for the tourists who are about to explore Myanmar or just Myanmar citizens who are homesick and decided to be back at motherland. Tips that I am going to mention here will be suitable for foreigners who would love to challenge themselves with just carrying a backpack rather than who would like to rest and be at ease.
You want a budget trip? You don’t have much time but still want to explore everything from Myanmar? Then, this is a perfect guided trip for you! Through the whole trip, I only stayed at a hotel in Bagan and spent time sleeping in the car for the rest of the nights. Most of the travelers will be inconvenient by this fact but for those who are not afraid of getting tired and love to go backpack traveling, this trip is going to bring perfect guidelines. I strongly dedicate this trip to all the challengers and backpackers out there.
I took JJ express VIP bus from Yangon around 6 in the evening. The bus stopped for a while at 115 miles – it got to Kalaw at 4 in the morning, and to Nyaung-Shwe at 6 in the morning.
As soon as we got to Nyaung-Shwe, we booked a bus ticket to Bagan and asked around for boat service in Inle. It cost 25000 kyats for the whole boat to get to Inle and if you want to go In-Tain, there will be an extra 5000 kyats. So, altogether 30000 kyats to go to Inle and In-Tain. For lunch, you don’t need to worry about a thing. They will serve your lunch on the boat and it will cost you 4000 kyats. Therefore, for the whole boat – it cost 30000 kyats and for the lunch – 4000 kyats, me and my friends are altogether five people so it was 50000 kyats for boat transportation to Inle and also for lunch – each 10000 kyats only!
We explored the beautiful scenery around the lake right away and then, interesting floating island, working halls, and pagodas. Right about the lunchtime, we went to In-Tain after having lunch. We were not able to grab a chance to visit Burmese Cat Village which is a quite popular place for cat lovers because it was closed at that time, unfortunately.
What I like most about Inlay is visiting the In-Tain village for sure. The ancient pagodas from the very first age of Myanmar reigned as in Anaw-Ya-Htar King are now starting to deteriorate from the adverse effects of weather. What really makes me heartbreaking is that people keep building new pagodas over the ancient ones instead of keeping the history and heritage alive.
After we wandered around In-Tain, we went back to Inle Lake and waited for the sunset. Then, we went back to Nyoung-Shwe and continued traveling to Bagan. Before starting your journey to Bagan, you can ask for a place to take a bath and have a little rest at the car gate. This place is suitable for most of the backpackers since it is quite convenient and only cost 1000 kyats for once you take a bath. It is also appropriate for girls because it has four separate bathrooms where you can have your own space. Two of my friends are girls also and they were quite satisfied with the clean service.
(P.S – I would like to apologize for not mentioning their contact information since I had to come back quickly because of my personal case. You can ask around the Tuk Tuk servicemen at Nyoung-Shwe car gate. They will inform you right back.
We left Nyoung-Shwe with 7 pm bus and stopped for a while at Kalaw. We got to Bagan around 3 in the morning. Taxi drivers there asked for much more fares than usual as it is an early dawn we arrived. Make sure to talk them well and make your fare less as much as possible or you can ask the hotel you are staying for a ferry as if it would be better and more convenient.
(P.S – We got asked all together 20000 kyats for five people from the taxi drivers at Bagan car gate. The hotel we were going to was quite near to the gate so we made an agreement on 8000 kyats at last. They asked more because of a foreigner friend of us.)
We got to the hotel pretty early so before unpacking and checking in, I suggest you guys to take an explore to the beautiful and popular sunrise of Bagan. We relaxed for a while at the lobby and decided to watch the sunrise the other morning. Before checking in, we had our breakfast at Restaurant Street, near the hotel. After that, we got back to the hotel and checked in. After resting for a while, here comes our touring at Bagan starting from Shwe-See-Khone pagoda which is quite near to the hotel. The hotel we stayed at is Royal Bagan Hotel which we got promotion from searching on the Agoda site. We got to use the promotion rate from $60 to $25.
We wandered around with E-Bike which is a popular trend in Bagan. It costed around 7000 to 9000 kyats. You can call the service team anywhere in case you run out of battery. For the lunch, we ate at the well-known restaurant near Tha-Ya-Par gate for the first day. Their popular dish is the fired chicken. For the next day, we surfed at TripAdvisor site and ate at a recommended vegetarian restaurant called Yar-Pyae. For the dinner, we ate at the restaurant street near the hotel.
By the time we got to Bagan, it was only a week after the earthquake happened, so we were quite unfortunate to have a chance to look at the sunrise and sunset. Most of the places are closed so we asked around the locals and went to the places they mentioned with all curiosity and fun. It was quite exciting to look for the unnoticeable places in Bagan.
When it comes to morning after a tiring night, we got up early to watch sunrise. The place we got first was closed so we asked around where we could watch the sunrise. At last, we got to watch from one of the bricked buildings from Shwe-Nan-Yin-Taw groups of buildings. It was quite an unforgettable experience looking for a place to watch sunrise while riding E-bikes in the very early dawn. Then we had breakfast at the hotel and prepared to check out for continuing trip to Mandalay. We left our packages at the lobby for a while and went back to see the pagodas we left out from yesterday. After that, we waited for the sunset, got back to the hotel, had dinner and took a bath at the hotel. Then we waited for the ferry and continued the trip to Mandalay.
(P.S – for the ticket to Mandalay, you can book at the Bagan hotel reception and they will come pick you up at the hotel.)
Mandalay – Sagaing – Amarapura
When it comes to Mandalay, there are a lot of places we want to see so we decided to take a cab service. After looking for the available services quite a while, we finally got to take one day tour with 120,000 kyats. We booked that tour at Bagan to watch sunset at U-Pain Bridge and to take us back to car gate to return to Yangon.
We left Bagan around 8:30 pm and reached Mandalay 3 in the morning. We also booked for the tickets to Yangon. Then we went to Mahar-Myat-Muni Pagoda to pay our obeisance by taxi. Then we waited for our tour cab right in front of the pagoda while chit-chatting.
The cab arrived around 7 am and we went to the Mandalay mountain first and then to Ku-Tho-Taw pagoda, the ancient city wall and the monasteries. Later, we went straight to Min-Kon city and visit Min-Kn stupa with a vaulted base, the popular Min-Kon giant bell and Mya-Thein-Tan pagodas. We had our lunch there and go on our trip to Sagaing mountain.
After going on pilgrimage to pagodas from Sagaing mountain, we went back to Mandalay and watch the sunset from the longest and the most ancient wooden bridge from Amayapura which is what everyone knows, U-Pain bridge. Thereupon, we had our dinner at a nearby restaurant and went back to Yangon. For the whole trip to Sagaing and Mandalay, we accompanied with Nay-Chi and La-Min tour (09795727121). You can tell them anywhere you want around Mandalay and they will make it happen with ease.
(P.S – for one day tour in Mandalay, we just booked at Bagan surfing the internet as I’ve mentioned above. We carefully choose the most suitable one out of three agents and you need to give them your itinerary with full information. The car they provide is like Alphard which is not a total luxury type but quite comfortable and safe to travel with.
MORE INFORMATION: https://mingalago.com/en/interest/detail/mingun
The whole trip was from Monday evening to Saturday morning so it was a quick explore to Myanmar’s traditions and beauty within four days. It costed us only 150000 kyats for each!
So what I would like to suggest is
Get out of your comfort zone and take a trip!
Start your backpacking adventure!
Make friends wherever possible!
I’m sure you will love travelling as much as I do.
This is just a glance about Myanmar in 4 days (Inle – Bagan – Mandalay – Sagaing). I dedicated this itinerary to the foreigners and budget friendly travelers. Hope you all will like it. Thanks with love.