Myanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget! Week 2: Mount Popa, Bagan and Mandalay!

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Following on from our week 1 Myanmar adventures (check them out here!) it’s time for our Week 2 Myanmar itinerary and budget. After much research we found our perfect Myanmar route from Yangon to Lake Inle to Mount Popa to Bagan to Mandalay and spent an amazing two weeks exploring the country.

To help any of you Myanmar trip planners out there we wanted to share our itinerary: everything from our route, the transport we used, the hotels we stayed in, the sights we saw and the money we spent. Happy planning!

Myanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget: Week 2 ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Our Myanmar Route

Our route is based around the classic tourist triangle route of Myanmar.

Bangkok –> Fly into Yangon –> Bus to Lake Inle –> Bus to Mount Popa –> Taxi to Bagan –> Express Boat to Mandalay  –> fly to Bangkok

Myanmar Itinerary

Day 7: Mount Popa to Bagan

After exploring Mount Popa in the morning we continued on to Bagan to explore the vast temples in one of the world’s greatest archaeological sites.


Bagan hotels tend to book up fast so book your hotel as far in advance of your travels as you can. Hotels in Bagan are located across three areas: Old and New Bagan and Nyaung-U. Nyaung-U, a mix of boutique hotels and local residents about 3km from the temples, is our favourite. Old Bagan, in the heart of the temples, houses many of Bagan’s luxury hotels while New Bagan is home to larger hotels and new builds.


  • ZFreeti Hotel: we stayed in the Zfreeti, a small hotel with lots of great restaurant options in the surrounding streets and an inviting swimming pool! We rented electric bikes from the store across the street to get around – Check for lowest prices here
  • Other good options in Nguang-U include the Sky View Hotel and Motel Zein.

Old Bagan

  • Aureum Palace Hotel and Resort: located within the actual Bagan Archaeological Preservation Zone amongst the ancient temples themselves, this hotel give you the very best views of the Bagan plains. It’s definitely one of the most unique hotels we’ve ever seen – Check for lowest prices here
  • Other good luxury options in Old Bagan include The Hotel @ Tharabar Gate and the Bagan Thande Hotel

New Bagan

Click here for the best Bagan hotel Prices

The Zfreeti:Myanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget: Week 2 ©thewholeworldisaplayground


  • Taxi form Popa Mountain Resort, stopping at Mount Popa, and then taking us onto Bagan (USD 40): we spent around 1 hour at Mount Popa and, from there, it was around a 90 minute drive to the Zfreeti Hotel in Bagan.
  • Half day electric bike rental (5,000 kyat per bike): we rented our bikes from the bike shop opposite the Zfreeti hotel and had a great experience with the bikes and the service. It is worth negotiating to get a good price but make sure to check the quality of the bikes for rent. Cheaper does not always equal better! Also, it’s best to rent a bike for each person as it’s much more comfortable!

Electric bikes poses!Myanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget: Week 2 ©thewholeworldisaplayground


  • Sunrise over Mount Popa from the Mount Popa Resort. Check out our review of this amazing hotel here. 
  • Climbed Mount Popa: Mount Popa is a sacred mountain with glistening gold temples perched precariously atop of a dormant volcano. 777 steps lead the way to the top and, as well as the 40 degree temperatures, the steps are lined with many monkeys who are in search of food!
  • A 25,000 Kyat zone fee is collected at a checkpoint on entry to Bagan. The ticket must be shown at selected temples when requested to do so.
  • Sunset at North Guny temple Bagan (check out our favourite Bagan sunsets here)

Mount Popa:Myanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget: Week 2 ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Day 8 and 9: Bagan


  • Full day e-bike rental (cost Kyat: 8,000 per day)


  • Sunrise at Low ka Oushang and Shwesandaw Pagoda: read all about our favourite Bagan sunrises here!
  • Bulethi Pagoda
  • Upali Thien
  • Lunch at Bibo restaurant: Bibo restaurant was located a couple of streets up from our hotel, the Zfreeti. Bibo is a cute little neighbourhood restaurant run by a young couple and we were served some of the best Burmese food we had during our trip.

Myanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget: Week 2 ©thewholeworldisaplayground

  • Ananda Temple
  • That Byin Nyu Temple
  • Sulamani Temple
  • Abe Yadanar Pagoda
  • Bupaya Pagoda
  • Shwezigon Pagoda
  • Sunset at Pyathadar Hypa Pagoda and North Guny

Myanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget: Week 2 ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Day 10: Bagan to Mandalay

After a long day of travelling on the Bagan to Mandalay boat (check out Bagan to Mandalay cruises and Mandalay to Bagan cruises here) we arrived in Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city and old royal city, for our final stop in on Myanmar journey.


We stayed in central Mandalay which was a great base for exploring the city. The main sights are dotted around Mandalay so staying in a central hotel makes exploring the city much easier.

  • The Smart Hotel where we stayed is basic (upgrade to one of the better rooms if you can) but was perfect for exploring the city. It’s a great budget hotel and has a low key rooftop bar/restaurant which we really liked with traditional puppet shows in the evening.
  • The Link 78 Mandalay Boutique Hotel is a new boutique hotel in central Mandalay and a perfect base for exploring the city. Enjoy the sunset from the rooftop restaurant.
  • Hotel by the Red Canal Mandalay the perfect location for exploring the Golden Palace and Mandalay Hill, with a beautiful pool and spa.

We find Agoda the best booking website for Asian hotels due to the wide range of hotels on offer and the extremely competitive prices. It’s reliable, has a huge inventory and the prices were the best we could find.

Click here for the best Mandalay hotel Prices

The view from our room!Myanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget: Week 2 ©thewholeworldisaplayground


  • Taxi to pier in Bagan (cost 5,000 kyat)
  • MGR Express boat Bagan to Mandalay (cost USD 32 per person): read about our Bagan to Mandalay boat adventures here. The boat leaves from Bagan at 5:30am and we arrived in Mandalay at around 6pm so the trip is a full day on the boat. We spent the day doing a mix of: blogging, snapping, watching river life, eating and drinking a few beers on deck! We booked our boat ticket through our hotel and MGR Express required us to pay USD.
  • Taxi to Smart Hotel (cost 10 USD)

Sightseeing: river lifeMyanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget: Week 2 ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Day 11: Mandalay

Transport: Private car (full-day) in Mandalay (cost 45,000 kyat). Similar to Yangon, it was totally worth the extra expense to have our own transport!


  • Zey Chow Market: go early in the day for the best market experience
  • Shwe Kyaung Pagoda: we paid 10,000 Kyat to enter this Pagoda and the 10,000 Kyat provided a Mandalay zone ticket which included AVA and Amarapura
  • Mandalay Hill: 1,000 Kyat camera fee enforced on our visit
  • Kuthodaw Pagoda
  • Jade Market
  • Mahamuni Buddha Temple: 1,000 Kyat camera fee enforced on our visit. Note: only men can approach the Mahamuni Buddha and they were required to cover their legs – knee length shorts were not allowed but a longyi was fine.
  • Sunset at the U Bein Bridge

Myanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget: Week 2 ©thewholeworldisaplayground

Day 12: Mandalay to Bangkok


  • Taxi to airport (cost 12,000 kyat)
  • Air Asia flight to Bangkok (cost USD 70 per person)
Food and Drink Costs

The only other costs we had were meals and drinks. Eating local was relatively cheap: noodles and a beer for each of us came in at less than $10. On the days when we ate at the hotel a meal with drinks was typically $30 to $40.

So there you have it: a day by day lowdown of our two weeks in Myanmar. What can we say except Myanmar, you were absolutely awesome! We wish you the most amazing trip and we hope you have as much fun as we did!

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4 thoughts on “Myanmar 2 Week Itinerary and Budget! Week 2: Mount Popa, Bagan and Mandalay!”

  1. Hi Elaine and Dave,
    Thank you for this wonderful blog on Myanmar! We are leaving for Thailand on Jan. 25th thru Feb. 22nd. We are wanting to visit Myanmar during our time in Asia, but probably will only have 7-10 days to visit there. What would you suggest we should not miss while we are there? We don’t really love big cities, so not sure if we should skip Yangon. We’d love your input! Your trip looked fabulous!

    Have you spent time in Thailand? If so, do you have any information on it as well. We are thinking of Bangkok for 2-3 days, Chiang Mai & Chiang Rai for 3-4 days and then on to Myanmar. After that traveling either to Siem Reap and Angkor Wat and/or the southern beaches of Thailand.
    Thank you!!!

    • Hi Merrilee and Douglas

      Your trip sounds fab! Bagan, for us, is unmissable so I would say 3 days there. Lake Inle is lovely but it depends on what you like – it felt a little commercial when we were there but we still loved it. Lots of people do a 3 day hike from Kalaw to Inle Lake so, if you’re into hiking, that might be something to consider. We flew into Yangon and out of Mandalay so managed to squeeze in both cities – I preferred Yangon and the Shwedagon Pagoda is amazing but, as you said, outside the city is way more unique.

      Thailand itinerary sounds good – Bangkok is one of my favourite cities but it is chaotic and crowded (part of the reason I love it!). I’d choose Siem Reap over the beaches but you might be ‘templed’ out at that point if you’ve been to Bagan and it’d be another flight/long bus journey. All the places you’ve listed are fab! We went to Cambodia and Thailand in February and the weather was perfect but not sure how Myanmar is at that time of the year.

      Let us know what you decide and happy to try to help if you have any more questions 🙂


  2. Hi Elaine & Dave
    Do you already have experiences with driving a motor bike so you were able to manage the electric bike? Do u need a drivers licence to drive the electric bike?
    Appreciate your sharing

    • Hi Jo

      We didn’t need a driving licence. I found the bikes easy to operate (as long as I remembered not to squeeze the accelerator as I got on or off, I still laugh at the memories!). It was my first time on an ebike/scooter.



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