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Trip Report Can Myanmar be enjoyed in just a few days? Yes!

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We just returned from 4 days, 3 nights in Myanmar, following the "Glimpse of Myanmar" package from Santa Maria, and had a great time, in part because of the great and helpful advice received here on the Fodors Forum.

The one piece of advice that we received, and disagreed with (happily), is how much time one needs to enjoy the country. Because of other obligations, we only had 4 days for a side trip from Bangkok. Although some cautioned that this was not enough time to see Myanmar, we plunged ahead, and are glad we did, seeing Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake, and then Yangon for another half day.

I'm not sure we have anything new to say above what others have commented on, but here are a few observations:
-we had to get up early each day to catch flights and really wish we had more time to see Bagan in particular, but it was better than spending 4 days any other place we could think of
-Yangon and the rest of Myanmar is in far better shape than we had read or heard. None of the cars in Yangon were missing back doors as we had read, the KBZ planes all seemed modern and clean, changing money was not that big a deal (although we had the newest US dollars we could bring), and the food was terrific
-Bagan was most fascinating because of the temples, and because the locals look like a National Geographic article come to life; Yangon was more interesting than I had expected; Inle Lake is about an hour from the airport and we had a late arrival because of flight delays, but still had time for a 4 hour boat tour. It was great, but frankly not sure there would have been a lot of new stuff to see even if we had a second day, with the exception of the 5 day market which we had missed
-the guides assigned to us were all very good, with their English skills ranging from pretty good to excellent, sometimes the drivers spoke better English than the guides, but all pairs were fun to spend time with
-the Park Royal, Hotel Bagan River View and Golden Cottages 1 at Inle Lake were all very nice to stay at, and comparable to western style lodgings.
-our Myanmar visa took 2 to 3 weeks to receive from DC once we sent it off; we met others who said they had done visa on arrival as tourists, but they were Canadian and traveling from one Asian country to another, so don't know how that extends to others
-our guides and some hotel staff all seemed very "pro lady" and anti-dictator as far as we could tell, so there were no obvious connections to nefarious dictactor types
-in Yangon, go to the "vegetable market" if you can, its fun and you'll be the only westerner there; also go to Augustine Antiques for affordable buys. Don't see the white elephants near the airport, as its too sad to see them chained in place and pacing in a psychotic manner; try the eggplant salad where ever you go, its always good.
-a $5 adaptor with two pins worked everywhere in Bangkok and Myanmar on charging iphones, cameras and so on, a currency adaptor was not needed

Bottom line: even if you have only a few days, and have the energy to get up early, don't miss out on your chance to see this amazing country!

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