Myanmar with kids

Here we share everything you need to know about visiting Myanmar with kids, including an itinerary, things to do, family hotels and useful tips for visiting Burma with kids.

Myanmar with kids

Our 10-day Myanmar family vacation was one of our favourite trips ever.

Myanmar is such a fascinating country to visit and we found during our 10-day Myanmar itinerary we managed to fit in so many varying activities and enjoyed so many memorable experiences.

From watching the sunset at the incredible Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, to hot air ballooning over Bagan and exploring by long boat in Inle Lake, there are so many amazing things to do in Myanmar with kids.

During our family vacation in Myanmar, we visited three of the main Myanmar tourist spots – starting in Yangon, then flying to Bagan and then Inle Lake.

Myanmar longboat with kids

Each of these places to visit in Myanmar had a completely different atmosphere from the next, allowing for a really exciting and varied vacation.

Below are the highlights of our trip to Myanmar with kids, including our Myanmar travel itinerary, family-friendly Myanmar accommodation, Myanmar travel advice, Myanmar things to do and our Myanmar travel tips for visiting Myanmar with kids.

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Our 10-day Myanmar Itinerary

This was our 10-day itinerary for visiting Myanmar with children.

We tried to mix up adventurous activities and sightseeing with some downtime at the pool for the kids to play.

We flew between the three different destinations and pre-arranged all our tours before we went.

You can read more about how we travelled between all the tourist spots in Myanmar below.

  • Day 1: Arrive Yangon
  • Day 2: Sightseeing Yangon
  • Day 3: Fly to Bagan, afternoon at hotel pool
  • Day 4: Full day exploring Bagan temples and attractions
  • Day 5: Early morning hot air ballooning, visiting temples via horse & cart, hotel pool time
  • Day 6: Fly to Inle Lake, long boat tour of Inle Lake to visit local artisan workshops
  • Day 7: Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp
  • Day 8: Morning hotel pool time, afternoon transfer to Samkar
  • Day 9: Exploring Samkar and Inle Lake via long boat, afternoon hotel pool time
  • Day 10: Fly to Yangon and return to Hong Kong

Yangon with Kids

We started our trip to Burma with kids with a day to explore Yangon. Yangon is a fascinating city to discover and wandering the streets here gives you a window into Myanmar life.

There are many interesting places to visit in Yangon. We started our day with a stroll around the Colonial District, taking in the dilapidated buildings, and soaking in Yangon street life, before heading into the stunning Sule Pagoda.

Sule Pagoda Yangon

The Sule Pagoda is less known than the Shwedagon Pagoda, but is an important feature in Myanmar’s history and well worth a visit.

We also enjoyed a stroll around the Bogyoke Aung San Market and a visit to the Bogyoke Aung San Museum to learn a little of Myanmar’s turbulent history. But a total Myanmar must-see and the undoubted highlight of Yangon is the famous Shwedagon Pagoda.

Shwedagon pagoda Myanmar with kids

Myanmar’s most sacred pagoda is certainly impressive, with its nearly 100m-tall golden stupa entirely covered with gold plates. The umbrella crown at the top is covered with more than 5,000 diamonds and 2,000 rubies – and is finished off with a 76-carat diamond.

Read more about exploring Yangon with kids in our article A Day in Yangon with Kids.

Click here to book a private one-day tour of Yangon.

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Bagan with Kids

Bagan is one of the most famous Myanmar places to visit, with the temples here being a major Myanmar tourist attraction.

These 2,000+ temples and pagodas dating from the 9th-13th centuries and are scattered throughout the countryside. But there is so much more to this ancient kingdom than just the temples, with plenty of other fun and interesting things to do with kids in Bagan.

Bagan with Kids

We spent our first day exploring some truly impressive temples, and were particularly impressed by how different they all were from each other.

Click here to book a private tour of the Bagan temples.

We broke up our day of temple bashing with a visit to the Thanaka Museum, to learn about the white paste that the Burmese women and children wear on their faces, and called in at a lacquerware workshop to watch the talented artisans in action.

Ballooning over Bagan

The next morning, we started with an incredible hot air balloon ride at sunrise (suitable for children aged 8 and above only), before hiring a horse and cart to explore a few more close-by temples.

Click here to book a sunrise hot air balloon ride.

We also called in at a local village to see how the local villagers live off the land, growing cotton and peanuts. We learned how to make peanut oil, and had a go at operating the farm machinery and weaving loom. Great fun – and educational!

You can read more about exploring Bagan with kids in our article Things to Do in Bagan with Kids.

Inle Lake with Kids

Inle Lake is one of the best places to visit in Myanmar, and was one of our favourite destinations during our trip to Burma with kids. We loved exploring this incredibly beautiful freshwater lake by long boat, taking in the charm of the wooden houses built on stilts and watching daily life unfold.

Click here to book a Inle Lake full day sightseeing boat tour.

There is so much to see here if you are visiting Myanmar with kids. We spent our first day visiting the local artisan workshops to learn how to make paper, carve wooden boats, make thread for weaving from lotus plants and even how to make cigars!

Inle Lake Longboat

Another of the highlights was to head out into the countryside to visit Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp – a family-run elephant sanctuary, where they look after elderly and disabled elephants, rescued from the logging industry.

Importantly there is no riding the elephants here – just the opportunity to join in with the daily care program – including feeding the elephants and giving them a cuddle of course!

We also took the opportunity during our stay in Inle Lake with kids to get off the beaten path and visit a tiny rural village called Samkar.

Samkar Pagoda

This was a good two hour-long boat ride from the bottom of the lake, but so worth it to get into the countryside and get a glimpse into rural Myanmar life. It is also where we came across the most incredible pagoda of our visit to Myanmar with kids.

Read more about exploring Inle Lake with kids in our article Things to Do in Inle Lake with Kids.

Family Friendly Accommodation in Myanmar

Tourists to Myanmar must stay in registered hotels, resorts, guesthouses, motels and inns, and there is plenty of choice of family accommodation in Myanmar to suit all budgets. Below are details of where we stayed in Myanmar, and other family friendly accommodation options.

Family Friendly Yangon Hotels

In Yangon we stayed at the beautiful Belmond Governor’s Residence, a restored 1920s colonial mansion with a lovely swimming pool. You can read our full review of the Belmond Governor’s Residence here.

Other luxury family hotels in Yangon include the Sule Shangri-La, Yangon and the Savoy Hotel Yangon.

More budget friendly options include the Thanlwin Guest House and The Willow Inn.

Click here to read more options of family hotels in Yangon.

Belmond Governor's Residence Yangon

Family Friendly Bagan Hotels

In Bagan we stayed at the Aureum Palace Bagan Hotel, which had a gorgeous swimming pool overlooking some of the pagodas and was very handy for the airport. However, we found the rooms in need of refurbishment and the food was the most expensive of anywhere we stayed.

Other luxury family accommodation in Bagan includes The Bagan Lodge with its fun tent-style accommodation and The Hotel at Tharabar Gate.

For more wallet-friendly options, check out the Blue Bird Hotel and Shwe Yee Pwint.

Family Friendly Inle Lake Hotels

In Inle Lake, we tried out two different hotels – the Inle Princess Resort and the Aureum Palace Inle Lake. We loved both hotels and would happily recommend them both to travelers looking for luxury family accommodation in Inle Lake. Both featured spacious bedrooms, nice swimming pools and child-friendly restaurants.

Other options to consider include Sanctum Inle Resort, the Novotel Inle Lake Myat Min. The Thanaka Inle Hotel in nearby Nyaung Shwe is a good budget option.

Travelling around Myanmar with Kids

While it is possible to travel in Myanmar by train or bus, for comfort and ease we chose to fly between our major destinations in Myanmar. We flew from Yangon to Nyaung U (Bagan) and Nyaung U to Heho (Inle Lake) with Air KBZ, and we flew from Heho to Yangon with Mann Yadarnapon airlines.

We booked all flights ourselves online and found all flights comfortable and on time. We did, however allow for several hours connection time between our flight to Yangon and our international onward flight home to be safe.

Travelling in Myanmar with kids

To ensure we could get to see as much as possible in a short space of time and also allow us to set our own pace of sightseeing, we booked private day tours through Myanmar tour operator THAHARA for each destination – Yangon, Bagan, and Inle Lake.

THAHARA also helped us with booking the hot air ballooning in Bagan, Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp, and our trip to Samkar.

Applying for a Myanmar Visa

Citizens of 100 countries are eligible to apply for a Tourist eVisa for Myanmar. Applying for a Myanmar visa online is by far the easiest way to do it, and processing time is up to 3 working days. The Myanmar Tourist eVisa is valid for single entry only and is valid for 28 days. Citizens of certain Asian countries are given visa exemption for 14 days.

You will need to ensure you passport has 6 months validity, have a color photo to upload and will need to pay $50 USD per visa. You can apply for your Myanmar Tourist eVisa online at their website here.

Money in Myanmar

You can’t buy Burmese Kyat outside of Myanmar, nor can you change anything you take out of the country when you leave. So your best bet is to take US Dollars with you to change. Note that these need to be crisp new bank notes, or you will have trouble changing them.

We read a lot of information before we left to say that finding ATMs in Myanmar can be difficult – however, we didn’t find this at all, especially if you are in the Myanmar tourist places of Yangon, Bagan and Nyaung Shwe (the gateway town to Inle Lake). There was even an ATM in our hotel lobby in both Yangon and Bagan.

However, note if you are visiting Inle Lake you would be advised to use the ATM in Nyuang Shwe before you set off on your long boat as we didn’t manage to find one while we were on the lake.

At the time of writing there was about 1,300 MMK to 1 USD.

Have you visited Myanmar with kids? Where did you go? Any top Myanmar tips to share?

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Myanmar with kids

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24 thoughts on “Myanmar with kids”

    • Thanks Corinne! Yes sometimes I feel like we try to fit too much in -but then I never want to miss out on anything! This trip was just right actually – we did fit in a huge amount of things, but at the same time we had enough downtime at the pool so that the kids didn’t get too fed up and tired.

      Reply
  1. Wow. This looks like an amazing itinerary for traveling there with kids. Thanks for the additional tips on getting a Visa and money exchange. Looks like your kids had a great time.

    Reply
    • Thanks Allison – yes it worked out really well and we had such an amazing trip. The kids did have a great time – without a single kids club, lol!!

      Reply
  2. Myanmar has consistently been among our top list of places to hit, year after year. We are visiting the Philippines next year, but I think we might hit Myanmar after that. Good tip about the crisp bills. I guess they’re worried about forgeries.

    Reply
  3. Im planning a trip in Feb 2018. Love your review. Will take your feedback and use your links. Thank you 🙂

    Reply
  4. Hi this is great! I love your blog. I really want to do the balloon ride in Bagsn but my kids are 4 and 7. Do they not allow young kids or is is unsuitable because they are alto short to see over the edge? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Thanks Blair! Children need to be 8 years old to ride in the balloons for safety reasons. We booked a babysitter through our hotel who came to our room at 4.30am (!) while we went and did the ballooning. We got back to the hotel room at around 8am and the kids were still sleeping!

      Reply
  5. Thank you for sharing this blog post and itinerary, it’s really great!

    What do you think about travelling to Myanmar with a 1,5 year old? Is it possible or shall we wait until he is older?

    Thanks in advance.
    Emma

    Reply
    • Hi Emma, thanks for your message! I think it would be possible, it’s entirely up to how comfortable you feel. My kids were 5 and 3 when we went and I was fine with it. They were already at an age when they would sit still, for example in a long boat, whereas an 18month old perhaps wouldn’t be yet, but you could adapt your itinerary accordingly. I would advise being super organised before you go though so that the trip runs smoothly and you are not stressing about travel arrangements etc on top of being with a small child. It’s an amazing country, I’m sure you will love it!

      Reply
  6. Hello, we are looking at travelling next year with a 2.5 year old and a 5 year old. I was wondering about hygene. Did your kids get sick at all? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Hi Naomi – no, our kids didn’t get sick while were there. We mostly stayed in good hotels though, and only drank bottled water. Ironically my kids have got most sick when traveling in Europe and the USA – not while traveling around Asia! Have fun – it’s an incredible country to visit!

      Reply
  7. It’s lovely to hear stories and advice from other traveling families! I just tried to organise a private day tour in Bagan through one company and they have stated, due to safety concerns, they will not accept children on their tours, even though it would be a private one. I got a lengthy explation why taking a child around Bagan is a bad idea. I feel judged as a parent who loves to travel with my toddler ??

    Reply
    • Wow, really? What were their reasons for it being unsafe? We didn’t feel unsafe at any time in Bagan with the kids.

      Reply
      • His main 2 points were bad road safety and the distance to a hospital. Both are valid points but it’s up to us as parents to make these choices ourselves I think. First time ever we’ve been turned away with our son. He was even allowed on a slum tour with us in Manila. Hygiene was the main issue there… we knew the risks and accepted them. He was completely fine!

        Reply
  8. Just wondering about vaccinations? Did you get yourselves and kids vaccinated? I know most of SE Asia is ok, but considering the risk and lack of medical facilities, I think it would be worth doing? What about malaria and mosquitos?
    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Jennifer
      As we live in Asia we always have all our vaccinations up to date anyway so we didn’t have any extra to go to Myanmar, but best to check with your doctor. We didn’t take any malaria tablets for this trip but I recently spoke to someone who was advised to take malaria tablets for Bagan, so again I would check with your doctor. Have a great trip!

      Reply
    • As we have lived in Asia for 11 years, all our vaccinations are always up to date so I didn’t look into this before I went. I think making sure your typhoid is up to date is always a good idea, but I would check with your doctor. As far as I know there is no malaria in Fiji, but double check with your doctor!

      Reply
  9. Hi, what was your average daily spend budget not including hotels or flights.. We are going for 10 days and cannot find much on family budgets!!

    Reply
  10. This is a great write up. Thank you. I see you left off going to Mandalay for a visit.

    Was this just because of time constraints?

    Reply
    • Thanks David! Yes, we only had 10 days and so something had to be left off! I would have loved to have included Mandalay and also Ngapali… next time!

      Reply
  11. How were the domestic flights..do they take off and land on time? We are planning a December trip with a 3 year old and an 8 yr old

    Reply
    • Hi Sheela, all of our flights were on time, we had no problems. We did allow extra time for our international connection at the end just in case, but it wasn’t necessary. I would probably do the same again next time though!

      Reply

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