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Yet another Santa Maria/Burma trip itinerary question

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I haven't posted on the board for some time, but have been reading and following the Burma reports with much interest for some time. We booked a ten-day Pandaw Golden Land Irawaddy cruise some months ago and have been trying to work out the "surrounding days" with Din at Santa Maria since then. The Pandaw cruise starts in Mandalay and stops in Pottery Villages and Mingun, Mandalay, Ava and Amarapura, Yandabo Potteries Village, Pagan, Tan Kyl Tung Mt. and Sale, Taung Ba Lu School and Magwe, Minhla, Thayetmyo Frontier POst, Prome and Pyu--Din at Santa Maria encouraged us to book in mid-January when the cruise was almost sold out overnight. We have ten days before departure and two after, so that we're in Burma a total of 22 days, I think.

Our present itinerary is:

11/24--late afternoon arrival
11/25--Yangon
11/26--fly to Sittwe/boat to Mrauk OO
11/27-/Mrauk Oo
11/28--Mrauk Oo
11/29--Sittwe/flight to Yangon
11/30--flight to Heho/Inle Lake
12/1--Inle Lake
12/2--Inle Lake
12/3--1/2 day Inle Lake/flight to Mandalay
12/4--Pyinn OO lin
12/5--12/16--Pandaw
12/16--Yangon
12/17--Bago/Yangon
12/18--departure

We have other details/hotels selected, etc.--but our itinerary feels rushed and we've been thinking about eliminating Mrauk Oo, after reading some of the reports of all the Sittwe flight delays. instead, we would extend our time in Yangon, Inle Lake, and fly from Heho to Bagan for a day and a half before going to Mandalay. On the cruise we only have one day and
a morning in Bagan.

As hotels are getting quite filled, we need to make our decision very very soon. We don't like to rush from place to place, but the cruise (which several very well-traveled friends have taken and recommended) really controls the itinerary. It was the only one that we could work into our schedules, and had already booked our 11/23 frequent flyer flights to Yangon before deciding about the cruise.

Thoughts from those who have done the Mrauk Oo trip will be much appreciated. You mentioned the cost, Kathie, and it's hefty--and Shelley, your description of all the delays is what started us rethinking the itinerary.

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