Yangon, the economic capital of Myanmar, is home to nearly 7 million people. With its hot weather and intense traffic, people try to escape the big city as much as they can! Here are our 7 most recommended day trips out of Yangon.
1. Moe Yun Gyi Wetlands Resort
We are going north of Yangon, towards the wild sanctuary of Moe Yun Gyi. It’s 100 kilometers north of Yangon on the expressway to Mandalay. Plan a 2-hours drive if you leave Yangon early!
As you approach the site, there are already a few places to stop and see the first birds. We continue our trip and reach Moe Yun Gyi Wetlands Resort. The complex has a restaurant on stilts and several rooms for those who want to spend the weekend there. The rooms are in the shape of a small boat, on the water … rather basic but the experience, in the middle of nature, must be worth it at sunrise!
We arrive at the restaurant where we can learn a little more about the site: it was originally (in 1878) a water tank. Then, over time, nature took possession of the place and the government decided to classify the site as a wild sanctuary in 1988. Asia being at the center of migratory flows of birds, there are several sites in Burma on which many species come to land. At Moe Yun Gyi, we are told that a hundred species are listed. After lunch, we go for a little boat ride, the main attraction for us, passing tourists (count 15 $ per person). In the afternoon, we can already see a lot of birds from the boat, but our boatman explains that the ideal time is early morning or at sunset. Nonetheless, he debarks us at observation towers built on the site, which allow, in addition to a magnificent overview, to observe birds at ease! If you are passionate about ornithology, you can book in advance specialized tour guides.
The site has several small places to sit and have a picnic, so we can advise you to prepare something on Yangon because the food in the restaurant is quite limited and a picnic in nature, it’s still the best!
Sadly, it is already time to head back to Yangon. The site has unquestionably great potential to develop eco-tourism and thus spend good weekends with family or friends outside of Yangon!
*Note that the ideal period to visit is from November to March.
It takes around 1h30 to reach Bago, a famous historical city of Myanmar! Once you are out of Yangon suburbs, you will start to feel the freshness of the air and will discover the lively countryside! A great day trip!
In Bago, you can visit the reconstruction of the 16th century Kanbawzathadi palace! It has been rebuilt at its original place, and there are some excavation sites too. The park is huge and makes it a good place to wander! After the palace, we suggest a visit to the Kyayk Pun pagoda and the beautiful Mahazedi pagoda.
For lunch and a relaxing afternoon with friends and family, we advise you to go out of Bago and book a table at “Hanthar Gardens” or “Bulaeinn Villas”. These two resorts have swimming pools, good menus, and a large park to relax and play! They have great accommodation if you wish to spend the night.
3. Swiss Myanmar Orchard farm
It takes around 1h30 to reach the camp, north of Yangon, in the middle of nature. This resort offers accommodation in a huge park, either lake view lodges or tents. You can come for a day trip too. The place is perfect for families.
You can rent bikes, kayak boats, motorboats and there is a horse club as well on the compound. Any time of the day, you can rent a barbecue and light a small bonfire! You will fall completely in love with nature at this exceptional Orchard farm.
4. The Golden Rock
The Golden Rock, or Kyaikhtiyo pagoda, is one the most famous pilgrimage place in Myanmar! It is about 4h-drive from Yangon, so it is better to make it a 2-day trip, and spend the night at the only charming hotel on top of the mountain!
On the way, you will pass through Bago and the lovely countryside of Myanmar, a truly enjoyable trip! After reaching the base camp, you will have to finish the way up in a local truck, a good moment of fun too shared with pilgrims. Since 2019, you can stop before the pinnacle and finish with a cable car, the first one in Myanmar! Or finish by walking, as it was practiced originally.
On top, you will admire the legendary Golden Rock, a small busy village, and lots of way going up and down around the mountain top. The best time not only for your Instagram shot but to enjoy the spiritual atmosphere of the place is at sunset or sunrise. Not to be missed!
The next day, you can go down by truck in the morning, and our driver could drive you to a small waterfall nearby, popular for locals. It is a good place to swim or have lunch, before going back to Yangon.
5. Dala, Twante and CBT village
Opposite of Yangon, on the other side of the river, you will find Dala Township, completely rural at the moment. You can explore this village and its main market, before heading to Twante, famous for its pottery makers and fishermen.
For lunch and the afternoon, you will go to Kyaik Tha Le village, home of a CBT (community-based tourism). You will enjoy local lunch, visit the bio garden, and the place where they produce bamboo baskets. In the afternoon, you can hop on a bike to visit the village surroundings. A great day trip in nature, very near to Yangon!
6. Pathein, the main port of the Irrawaddy delta
Around 5 hours drive is needed to reach the city of Pathein. It is mainly a port, with hundreds of boats docking in the main river of the city. In the afternoon, you will have the chance to take a small local boat and see the fishermen’s way of fishing, the way they prepare nets, etc.
The next morning, you will go explore the delta region, with many small rivers, local villages. A good opportunity to learn about the daily life of the region!
Around 4 hours drive is necessary to reach the city of Taungoo, the former capital of an ancient kingdom. But there is no more vestige of this era. The city is surrounded by rice fields and there is the beginning of Shan mountains on its east. On arrival in Taungoo, the best is to take a bike, so you can explore the city easily.
There is a lake, popular in the late afternoon, a good place for sunset. The next morning, you will go to the mountains until you reach Pathi creek, a nice river under the trees, with plenty of big rocks. You can swim in the area, and have lunch there (take a picnic could be a good idea). And then there will be another 4.5 hours drive to reach back Yangon.
About the Author:
Hervé Flejo is the General Manager and Founder of Gulliver Travels and Tours, a leading travel agency in Myanmar since 1998, offering tailor-made tours to experience local and authentic holidays in Myanmar.
If you are interested to book one of these day trips, get in touch with Hervé at Gulliver Travels and Tours.