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Trip Report

Bagan and Yangon Myanmar - A tale of two capitals

10 days spent in a country locked off from the world for generations, visiting two cities; the old and new, lending me a glimpse into Myanmar’s troubled yet deeply rich history. 10 days wasn’t enough.

by harrypAbout Me:open-hearted, adventurous, nature enthusiast person from Hampshire read more

AsiaMyanmar (Burma)9 days / January 2020

Highs & Lows

Sunrise in Bagan

Covid-19 forcing me home

Itinerary Overview

 Unbeknownst to me at the time, from the moment I flew into Yangon airport on the 8th March 2020, the clock was ticking before a covid-sized timebomb would send shockwaves around the world and me back home. 

I would spend only 10 days in this sleeping giant of South East Asia, but the two capitals I would visit: Bagan and Yangon, bridged the gap between the kingdoms of the past its present day rebirth. 

  • 4 Nights: Old Bagan
    Sunrise to Sunset
  • 5 Nights: Yangon
    The countries modern capital

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    The Myanmar visa lasts 30 days, so I had just under 3 week left to explore the country. The main two place I would’ve liked to spend time at were Inle Lake and the Dawei Peninsula. I feel at home near bodies of water so I would’ve wanted some time spent both at the colossal lake and the stunning sandy beaches of the south.

  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    Covid! The pandemic sent me home!!

  • What tips would you give a friend?

    Embrace the chaos. Although not as manic as some Indian cities, Yangon in particular can be overwhelming but it’s just normal life for them, so throw yourself in and see what comes out the other side!

  • Packing tips?

    I went in January which was hot and sticky, so if you do the same then be sure to pack light clothing and plenty of sun cream!

  • Transportation Tips?

    The transportation is generally very good for a South East Asian country. My 9 hour night bus from Yangon-Bagan was around $15 and was relatively comfortable. However there were plenty of other bus options ranging from the cheap but uncomfortable, to a more expensive option with sleeping cabins. Aside from buses you have two other choices. The scenic, slow but very affordable train, to the quickest option, a plane (only if you have the money of course).

  • Any surprises?

    Then genuine kindness of the people. I’d heard that the people of Myanmar were hospitable, but to see how kind they were in spite of the difficulty they’d experienced through the generations, truly warmed my soul.

  • Booking details?

    This is the sad part. There is currently civil unrest and armed conflict in Myanmar which makes travel dangerous. Travel visa’s are now being issued but be sure to do a risk assessment before you travel.