Our trekking ideas in Myanmar, mixing jungle and mountains

Closed for a very long time to foreign travellers, Myanmar is gradually opening up to tourism and the outside world.
A country apart in South-East Asia, Myanmar promises escape and a real change of scenery for backpackers who follow its paths. From the impressive Shwedagon Pagoda to the congested roads of Yangon, from the shores of Inle Lake to the Shan Plateau, set off on a trek to discover a country with a thousand faces.

Preparing your trek in Myanmar: our routes

Trekking in Myanmar: Shan Country and the Golden Triangle

> Environment: mountain, city, countryside, lake, village
> Difficulty: easy to medium
> Recommended time of year : November to March
> Average duration : 15 days

Discovering Myanmar on a trek lets you get off the tourist routes to explore an authentic, welcoming country. To explore the Shan Country and hike in the Golden Triangle, allow at least 15 days. This trekking tour takes you from the archaeological sites of Bagan to Mandalay, passing through the floating gardens of Inle Lake.

After discovering the essentials, you can go on a trek in Shan State and Kengtung, in the Golden Triangle. Go and meet the villagers of the Lahu ethnic group during a nomadic trek lasting several days between rice fields and traditional hamlets. At 1000 metres above sea level, you'll get a good introduction to the Burmese mountains and local culture.

This trek through Myanmar is accessible to all levels and combines two unmissable regions of the country. Stages of less than 20 kilometres mean you can take time to enjoy the landscape while meeting the local ethnic groups.

travel myanmar shan country and golden triangle

Trekking hike in Myanmar: from Kalaw to Inle Lake

> Environment: mountain, lake, village
> Difficulty: easy to medium
> Recommended time of year : November to March
> Average duration : 4 days
> Total distance: 60 km

This trekking route is very popular with foreign travellers discovering Myanmar. It’s a fairly easy trek since the route is only done downhill towards Inle Lake. From hill to hill, village to village, immerse yourself in traditional Myanmar.

Your first stage takes you to Taung Lar, passing through forests and tea plantations, to meet the local ethnic minorities. You’ll stay with the locals, before continuing to Pattu Pok on a more technically difficult section. You’ll cross rolling agricultural plains and stay in a typical village along the way.

Finally, on the last day, a short stage of 15 kilometres lets you reach the shores of the famous Inle Lake in just a few hours. Along the way, the panorama is quite idyllic. You’ll end this excursion by motorboat, bound for Nyaungshwe, the main town on Inle Lake. You’ll easily find a guesthouse there to enjoy the place for a few extra days.

from kalaw to inle lake

Easy trek in Myanmar: 2 days in Hsipaw

> Environment: mountain
> Difficulty: easy to medium
> Recommended time of year: November to March
> Average duration: 2 days
> Total distance: 36 km

Hsipaw is a small town lost in the heart of Shan State. Nicknamed the sleeping city, it’s rarely visited by foreign travellers, except those who wish to go on a trek to meet the Shan people. However, this region offers superb natural settings and a very authentic atmosphere. You’re instantly immersed in the daily life of the villagers, carried away by the unique atmosphere of this remote corner of Myanmar. Between pagodas, monasteries and small mountain hamlets, it’s time to head off on a trek to meet the local people.

Many local agencies offer 2-day treks with overnight stay with the locals, to explore the Myanmar countryside. During your first day, you’ll hike for 8 hours, admiring landscapes of tea plantations and rice terraces. You’ll also pass through numerous small traditional villages.

You’ll spend the night with the locals, before resuming your route to Hsipaw the next morning. The descent is an opportunity to enjoy a breathtaking view of Myanmar’s mountains.

2 days in Hsipaw

Myanmar backpack tour: the country from south to north

Do you want to discover Myanmar with a backpack? To help you prepare for your departure, here are our stopover recommendations for a 3-week trip to Myanmar.

Yangon: Myanmar’s capital is so immense that it’s impossible to visit it in its entirety. However, discover the city's must-see sites, such as the famous Shwedagon Pagoda. Then visit Chinatown followed by Downtown with its superb colonial buildings.

Mandalay: visit Mandalay in central Myanmar. Visit the Mahamuni temple, a site not to be missed. At sunset, enjoy an unforgettable panorama over the city by climbing up into the higher districts, and don’t miss the weekly market! After this crazy day visiting Mandalay, set off to discover the royal cities: Amarāpura, Sagaing, Inwa and Mingun.

Visit the famous historic site of Bagan, taking a boat back down the Irrawaddy.

Bagan: UNESCO-listed, Bagan is an absolutely fascinating, magical archaeological site, especially at sunrise and sunset. Come and admire nearly 2000 temples and monuments, including Shwezigon Pagoda, Ānanda Temple or Nanpaya Temple. Plan at least two days and don't forget to rent bikes!

Take the road towards Inle Lake. It takes around 10 hours by bus to get to your destination. If you’re travelling under your own steam, you can stop en route at the foot of Mount Popa, an ancient volcano.

Inle Lake: discover this absolutely unique place in the heart of the mountains of central Myanmar. From the main village, motorboats let you navigate your way through the stilt houses. You can also cycle around the lake. Stay at least 3 days!

End your trip to Myanmar with Kalaw, just enough time to go on a trek for 3 or 4 days to meet the Pao ethnic group and other minorities in the country.

Return to the capital to catch your flight back to France.

Myanmar tour

head for Myanmar!
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