Here is what I am plannig so far. Any suggestions are welcome, only arrival and departure is set.
Day 1: Arriving to Yangon at 11:30am. See Yangon. Night in Yangon
Day 2: Fly to Heho at 8am. Drive to Pindaya – Kalaw. Light trek in Kalaw for a few hours (if not time, do it next morning). Any advice on how to arrange a car from the airport?
Day 3: Drive to Inle. Boat trip on Inle
Day 4: take a boat to Indein
Day 5: take 9:25am flight to Mandalay, arriving at 10am. Right from the airport get a car (taxi?) and go to Innwa, Sagaing, Amapura, if have time to Mingun - can someone recommend a driver/guide? Not sure where to find one in the airport.
Day 6: Mingun (if not the day before), Mandalay (Mahamuni Pagoda , Mandalay Hill , Kuthodaw Pagoda , Shwenandaw Monastery). Take afternoon bus to Bagan
Day 7: Bagan
Day 8: Bagan (Mt.Popa? read negative reviews about it. If not, then what?)
Day 9: morning flight out of Bagan to Sittwe (Mrauk U part is already set).
I am not so sure about 2 days in Bagan. All agents are saying that one full day in Bagan itself is more than enough. If not going to Mt.Popa I can spend this day somewhere else, but where? Third day on the lake seems like too much and I would have seen everything in Mandalay. Or, maybe use that day to go to Pyin Oo Lwyn instead?
Another option is to skip Mandalay surroundings and go from Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwyn and Hsipaw. Not sure if it makes any sense.
I plan a solo, almost backpacking, 3 week trip, next month, around central – northeast Myanmar, trying to minimize or even better :) exclude the travel agents (maybe not possible - nor wise!).
My initial idea is to do a loop Bagan –Mandalay – Hsipaw – Inle lake and back to Yangon, by public transport, a bit of boat rides where it is interesting, some easy trekking to experience nature and local villages, while keeping budget costs low as possible, maybe 30-50 $/day?
Could you please suggest a rough idea about where is it possible and effective cost/travel-wise, to do everything independently, and where it worth to use agents?
I am in my 50s, still enjoying backpacking independent travel, as I’ve always been doing, and yet trying to cope with the difficulties that may occur. Luxuries are not my priority at all, but I’d enjoy some ease here and there, if it is cost / time / and travel-quality worthwhile. I hope, by this, I managed to communicate my complicated thought, well to you :) .
I already started studying a couple of guidebooks, but it would hugely help to get a first guidance from you guys, so I focus my search and planning of the rest of the many details for this itinerary, to the right direction.
Thank you in advance!
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