Yangon - Inle Lake - Mandalay - Bagan

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Trip Overview

Highlights & Details

Hotel Nights

Grand United, Yangon

Ann Heritage Lodge, Inle Lake

Golden City Light Hotel, Mandalay

Yun Myo Thu Hotel, Bagan


Zurich – Yangon

  • via Bangkok
  • Airline: Aeroflot / Nok Air
  • 13.10 – 08.50 (+1) Zurich – Bangkok
  • 10.35 – 11.20 Bangkok – Yangon
  • Yangon – Inle Lake

  • by Bus
  • Shwe Loon Pyan Bus
  • 19.00 – 06.00 (+1)
  • 11h
  • Inle Lake – Mandalay

  • by Bus
  • JJ Express Bus
  • 20.00 – 04.00 (+1)
  • 8h
  • Mandalay – Bagan

  • by Boat
  • Myanmar River Cruises
  • 07.00 – 17.00
  • 10h
  • Bagan – Yangon

  • by Bus
  • JJ Express Bus
  • 20.00 – 05.00 (+1)
  • 9h
  • Yangon – Zurich

  • via Bangkok
  • Airline: Nok Air / Aeroflot
  • 08.00 – 09.45 Yangon – Bangkok
  • 10.15 – 21.00 Bangkok – Zurich
  • Activities


  • Shwedagon Pagoda
  • Yangon Circular Train
  • Inle Lake

  • Day Tour by Boat
  • Idein Village & Floating Gardens
  • Individual Bike Tour
  • Mandalay

  • U Bein Bridge
  • Mandalay Hill
  • Bagan

  • Temples of Old Bagan
  • Ananda Temple
  • Sulamani Guphaya Temple
  • Shwesandaw Pagoda
  • Shwezigon Pagoda
  • Dhammayangyi Temple
  • Bulethi Temple
  • Htilominlo Pahto Temple
  • Go top


    Running in circles in Yangon

    Myanmar is a unique country. Even though it opened up for tourism a few years ago it managed to stay relatively innocent. This may be bound to the fact that the Burmese are very beautiful people. They have beautiful symmetrical faces but what weights even more is their inner beauty. They are extremely friendly and modest people and they would never try to trick you, except in Yangon maybe. They are also very interested in what is happening in the world and as they all possess cheap Chinese smartphones and their mobile internet coverage is impressive they simply teach themselves. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised when some Burmese painter knows more about Switzerland than the average German. They also like western people a lot and greet you wherever you go. For kids it is an absolute highlight to high five you and when you visit the Shwedagon Pagoda it is easily possible that you spend half of your stay posing for group pictures.

    Besides the above-mentioned pagoda, the circular train is quite a highlight. It drives you around Yangon in about three hours and you get a glimpse of the Burmese daily live watching the merchants selling all sorts of food and drinks and carrying bird eggs and ducks in plastic bags.


    Everything floats at Inle Lake

    As the government still seems to have some kind of a monopoly on flights they are way too expensive for Asia. But luckily there are lots of private luxury night buses that can bring you to any place of interest for no money.

    Once arrived at the Inle Lake you can book a private boat including a captain that can bring you to all the places you would like to visit on and at this lake. Most of the people actually live on the lake in houses on poles and even their gardens are floating. They mostly grow tomatoes there but also collect seaweed, weave cloths and do fishing of course. But that last one does not apply to all fishermen. As those fishermen with their unique fishing style are quite a tourist attraction, some of them don’t actually fish anymore but just pose for pictures and then ask for money. Also, some of the clothes are woven by longneck women from the kayin tribe and it is quite difficult to watch them do their work and don’t make them feel like a circus attraction.

    A bike tour half around the lake is also a nice way to see the area surrounding it. You get to see some small pagodas, meet other travelers and there is also a beautiful wine yard with terrible Burmese wine and cheese.


    White Mandalay

    While wine production does not (yet) belong to the core competencies of the Burmese they are actually great beer brewers. While the Mandalay beer is already quite good, the different Dagon beers are actually fantastic.

    Besides enjoying the hospitality and the beer of the Burmese you should also visit the U Bein bridge at sunrise and climb the Mandalay hill. This hill is also a temple and to reach the top it only takes a few hundred steps.

    Also, the markets of Mandalay are nice as the merchandise are perfectly arranged and you get the chance to admire the beautiful golden faces of the Burmese girls and women. Gold takes an important role in their culture and therefore not only all of their temples and pagodas are covered in it, but they also paint their faces with a golden cream made of a tree bark called Thanaka. They use it since over 2’000 years as a cosmetic that protects them from the sun, persists a nice smell and has a cooling effect.


    Mountainous Trainride

    Day 9-12: Hsipaw & Pyin Oo Lwin


    Half a Million Buddhas

    Day 13-14: Monywa


    Ancient Temples in Bagan

    Instead of taking another overnight bus you can travel to Bagan by Boat. The ride takes about 10 hours and you can enjoy the beautiful landscape, observe the farmers on their fields, enjoy the view on some beautiful villages and pagodas and drink a beer at the same time

    Bagan itself should be the main stop on your trip as it is the place in Myanmar that has the most to offer for everyone who is into culture and temples. And you most likely are, as otherwise you wouldn’t travel to Myanmar. There are so many temples and pagodas to visit that it would be nonsense to list them all. Just get yourself a map, a bike or an e-scooter and go exploring. On a lot of the temples you are also allowed to climb and can therefore enjoy a fantastic view. And there is this thing with the balloons, if you are into balloon riding and willing to pay quite a bit of money for it, then feel free to go. And everyone else should be happy that there are balloon riders because the photos you get at sunrise with the temples, the fog and the balloons is so beautiful it is almost surreal. One of the best places to enjoy the sunrise is Pya Tha Da but even though it is one of the lesser known places there are quite some people including most likely a Chinese wedding crew.

    Sunset is also beautiful to watch because of the better light than during the day and the way more comfortable temperatures. But also in Bagan itself there can be nice things happening, like a Buddhist festival where they dress up as giant characters who dance around in the street while loud music is playing. Also the kids and the young women dress up and stand in line and you’re wondering if it is some kind of a beauty contest.

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