Video of our trip in Myanmar:
Travel guide for 2 weeks in Myanmar
Time spent in Myanmar: 18 days
Money spent per person: €500
Money exchange at the time: 1000 Kyat = 0,6 Euro
Did you know:
– The most restaurants and bars close at 21:00/22:00
– People paint their faces yellow to have a nice look and for sun protection
– When you give something, place your left hand to your elbow out if respect
– Win free beers or money when drinking Myanmar beer, check under the plastic of the crown and show this to the waitress
– Tea leaf and tomato salad are eaten with green tomatos(try this!).
Doubting about going to Myanmar
As we all know, Myanmar is a country where a lot of things are happening these days (Read about it here) . Ofcourse we have discussed if we should cancel our flight or if we just have to go. We decided to go for the second option because this country attracted us by all of it’s hidden personality and great stories we have read online.
We arrived in Yangon after spending 2 weeks in Sri Lanka. We expected a city like we have never seen before, high poverty and dirty streets but.. this was a totally wrong perception. Yangon is a really nice city which looks like an avarage Asian city and has a lot of great things to offer. There are a couple of really nice places which are worth a visit. Also, if you read on the internet that withdrawing money is causing trouble in Myanmar, it’s not! There are ATM’s all over the place! Indeed sometimes an ATM is not working but we experienced this only a couple of times during our 18 days stay and the next ATM was really close.
People are also really willing to help and do their upmost if you have any trouble finding something you are looking for.
Tip: Download grab on your phone and use this when you have wifi or an internet connection. Grab is only available in Yangon and an avarage trip in the city costs somewhere between 1000(€0,60) and 2500(€1,50).
From Yangon airport to the city centre
We went by regular taxi from the airport to the city centre. The ride took us almost 1 hour and costed 12 dollar. The way back was cheaper and it cost us 8000(€4.80) with Grab.
Night market near the Yangon river
Next to China town is a nightmarket. You are able to find loads of really good local food for a great price.
We have tried several things on the BBQ and it was all very delicious. We’ve asked also for a beer and they went out to get this for us a couple of shops away. The total price for this was 4700 (€4,80) + 5000(€3) for 2 0,6 Liter beers.
Shwedagon Pagoda Yangon
We visited the Shwedagon pagoda which was 8000(€4,80) per person but really impressive. This is the biggest temple we have ever seen and its really crowded (we didn’t see this as a disadvantage).
U Aung Hein Kyaw English Teacher Yangon
On the Shwedagon pagoda a monk came to talk to us about visiting an english lesson for an hour. At first we were a little skeptical but we decided to go because the place was really close to China town, this is where our hostel was. We arrived at the place and a really nice teacher started to talk with us. He told us about the children taking extra English lessons. We both had a group of 12 children with an age around 16 to 24. Some could only speak basic English and some were advanced. We had some really nice conversations about all day life and this was a nice way to get in contact with locals. Ofcourse we realized that this school was a private school and someone was earning money on our heads, but we took this for granted.
Interested to practise in a class? Visit the office at Seikkanthar Street no. 167 on the 3th floor.
Contact us for more details on this.
Skybar Sakura Tower
We went to the Sakura tower to visit a skybar. The entrance is 5000(€3) but if you handover your entrance ticket at the bar you are able to use this as a voucher which has a value of 5000. The beers were around 5000 per 0,6 liter bottle and it’s a nice place to have a good view over Yangon.
19th Street in China town, Yangon
There are some bars on this street and also a lot of streetfood. The beers are around 2500(€1,60) and the food is also cheap. It is nice to start/end your evening there and get in contact with some locals.
This is a western restaurant with some delicious foods. The prices are more then avarage but the quality of the food is really good. They also have a happy hour until 7 so you can get 2 drinks for 1. The most special dish we have had was the tealeaf salad. This is a special Myanmarese dish and can be eaten allover the country.
Junction City Yangon
This is a very new and western mall. It contains also a cinema and some really good restaurants. Great for spending some time!
National Museum Yangon
The national museum is a 4 floors high building with a lot of things to see. It’s a nice place to visit and get some more impressions on how Myanmar was established and learn about different dynasties. If you are looking for more recent history (from 1950 until now) this is not the place where you have to go.
Happy World Yangon
Do you have children? There is an amusement park situated just outside of the Shwedagon Pagoda. There are several things to do for children such as video games, physical games and photo galleries where you are able to make some interesting action photos.
We went to the Karaweik restaurant to do something special and local. It was really expensive to go there but we would like to see something that is traditional Myanmarese. There was a show with traditional dance and music. A buffet was included also in the price which was 47500(€28,50) each! The buffet was not that good but they had some things that we didn’t eat for a long time such as cheese. After 1 hour a lot of chinese people left and half of the room was empty. We think this was a nice experience but really overpriced.
We headed to the north after spending 4 days in Yangon. The next destination was Naypyitaw which is the new capital of Myanmar since 2006. This happened because they wanted to have a more central position for the government in case a war will break out. The city is made for millions of people but there is no one around except for government people.
There is a 20 lane road (10 lanes in both directions) in front of the government building where we could not go. They have made this road so aircrafts are able to land in front of the parlement so it is easy to evacuate or defend this area. We have heard from other people that it is possible to go right in front of the roadblock and then drive to the other side of the 20 lane road. You are able to ride in front of the government this way. We had a glimb of the huge main government building which was really impressive.
We also went to 2 parks and a shipping mall, all not really worth it. The people are driving in really new cars and the cabs are more expensive here. They bring you to your hotel for fixed prices: 5000(€3).
We rented a motor at the Golden Lake Hotel for 4000(€2,40) each hour. This is a little expensive but a nice way to go around.
We also saw a lot of hotels ( around 600 in total ) with no one around, no people, no cars and no lights in the evening. Although there was not so much to do, the place was really interesting. There is also a copy of the Shwedagon pagoda which is not busy at all and is just only 1 meter shorter then the one in Yangon.
Inle Lake (Nyuang Shwe)
We left from Naypyitaw to the Inle Lake. The bus costed 15000(€9) per person and leaves at 7 PM and arrives at 3:30 in the early morning. We had to pay 5 Dollar to get in our room early which was 27 euro for 1 night with a nice swimming pool. It is also possible to get a room for 14 euro (or even cheaper) a night at the inle lake. The bus is going to the village which is located next to the Inle lake and is called Nyuang Shwe.
It is nice to get a drink at the Best Western Thousand Island Hotel with the sunset. They have a rooftop bar where you can see the boats arriving from the Inle Lake tour. A big bottle of beer is around $3,50.
We found a really good dim sum restaurant, probably one of the best dim sum we have ever had for a really good price (around 10 euro for 2 persons with drinks). The reastaurant is in the vollage of Nyaung Shwe and is called Live Dim Sum house.
We advice you to rent a bicycle, go to the maing thauk bridge and go to the market. After you have visited the market go back to the bridge and ask for a boatsman there. It costs around 20 euro to rent a boat for 5 hours and they will take you to several places which is really nice such as sigar makers, silversmiths, weavers that use the lotus and silk to make clothes and some other interesting places. When you return with your bike to village, checkout the Red Mountain Estate winery. The wines are not that good but you can taste 4 different wines for 5000(€3) per person and the place is nice to see the sunset. We think this is a really route for a great day near the Inle Lake.
There is also some kind of a nightmarket in Nyuang Shwe which is located in the center of the village. On some days there is music and locals are playing football on a nice field. We did a 3 vs 3 and it was loads of fun. Don’t forget to play the national sport ‘chinlone’ which is a great way to socialize. Peter tapas and grill is a nice place to get drinks(between 2000 and 3000, €1,20 – €1,80) because he is the only one that plays music on the nightmarket.
We would like to mention that this is the most amazing place we have ever been. The entrance fee is 25000(€15) and is valid for 5 days. This place is really surreal and looks like a movie setting, kilometers long. The best way to go around these 5000 pagoda’s is by E-bike. They can be rented for around 5000(€3) (halfday) and 10.000(€6) (fullday). Driving is really relaxed and can be done even by beginners.
One of the best places we have been for food is Weather Spoon. They serve great food and their Hamburger is the best we have had in Myanmar (5900, €3,60). The Tomato salad was really nice which costed 2300 (€1,40). We have spoken with the owner who was really excited about telling how they make the salads. He also go’s to other countries to learn from locals to cook special dishes.
There is a lot of information about places to visit in Mandalay. We had 4 days there and we think this was a little bit too long but don’t skip this city because it is worth a visit! Renting a scooter is a nice way to get around. We paid around 12000(€7.20) for 1 day. Taxi’s are more expensive in Mandalay then anywhere else so this was also the cheapest option for sightseeing.
We went to the Shan ma ma restaurant where you are able to eat great local food for a low price. We had sweet chicken, a plate of ladyfingers with tomatos and lemon pork. The guy who helped us was speaking english fluently. The total price was 9000 (€5,40) for the 2 of us and didn’t finish everything because it was too much. In the same area it is also possible to eat some really nice street foods. 2 Local snacks we’ve tried are:
Mount Paung and Mount Linmayar
Nova coffee bar is the best place to work and have some western food. The fraps are about 3000 (€1,80) to 3500 (€2,10) and a sandwich is about the same price. Perfect place to relax and have good wifi.
One of the coolest things we did in Myanmar is visiting the Dee Dote waterfalls. These waterfalls are located 2 hours from Mandalay and can be reached by booking a tour or if you rent a scooter. We rented a scooter to go to the Dee Dote waterfalls and this way a really nice way to take a tour into the country side.
How to get to the Dee Dote waterfalls?
From Mandalay, go in east direction to the village Ohn Chaw and drive on the same road until you see a toll booth. Take the side road here because scooter don’t have to pay toll. After you pass the toll booth take a right so you drive on a small road through a small village. After this you have to drive for 45 minutes on the same road until you see the entrance of the Dee Dote waterfall on your left hand. If you are using Maps.me, drive a little further then it’s displayed in the app since this is not pointed really well.
On the way you will also see a waterpark at your right hand which you are also able to visit if you started in the early morning and have enough time.
The entrence is free and drinks and food are also sold for local prices. There are several waterfalls in this area but we recommend you to take one of the highest 3 waterfalls because those are the most beautiful and the hike is awesome!
To get to the top waterfall it will take you around 30 minutes and this is for people who are in good condition.
Tip: We went there in the early afternoon and on our way back we had a ride in the dark, this is something what we do not recommend because there is a lot of traffic and the roads are not in good condition. On the other hand, driving with the sunset through the mountains was one of the most amazing scenes we have ever experienced.
Sunset on Mandalay Hill
The Mandalay hill is located next to the city centre. It is a really nice place to see the sunset and also to get in contact with local monks who are practicing their english. We had a long conversation with 3 monks who were aged between 16 and 18. It was really nice to get to know them and learned how they see things in life.
If you are looking for a place to drink and have some nice food, go visit Daddy’s BBQ which is located near the Palace. The food is kept in fridges so the hygienes are better then in most places. The manager is also really nice and helps you with choosing some great food.
Hue Being Bridge
The bridge is really nice to have a walk. It takes about 20 minutes to walk to the other side. On a lot of blogs we see read that a lot of monks are walking over the bridge to get their breakfast but we didn’t see this. There are some monks walking over the bridge but mostly the people walking over are tourists. It is also a nice place to see fisherman work and eat some fresh fish.
Train to Hsipaw
We didn’t took the train to Hsipaw but we read that this is one of the most beautiful train rides of the world. If you have time for this, don’t hesitate!
Allowed to use a drone in Myanmar?
We had a DJI Spark with us while travelling but we didn’t use it inside the country. On the most tourist area’s it is not allowed to drone and officially you need a permit to drone on those places. They might have a problem out of a professional drone but the Spark was easy to get in and out of the country (even while a journalist was in jail because he droned near the parlement).
Our opinion about Myanmar
Even while there is a lot going on in the country, we had a really great time in Myanmar.We have never felt/travelled as safe as this before and people are really helpful. Rooms are a little more expensive then other countries in Asia but this is the only thing that costs a little bit more. Food and beers are of good quality and there are some parts in Myanmar that you can’t find somewhere else. We didn’t had enough time to see all of the country but I’m sure you are able to find more beautiful destinations in Myanmar. Happy travelling!
If you have questions about Myanmar or aditional information? Please contact us.
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