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Bhutan or Myanmar for active travelers?


Jan 15th, 2016, 04:57 PM
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Bhutan or Myanmar for active travelers?

My husband and I will only have time for a 7-10 day trip to visit either Bhutan or Myanmar in fall 2016 (this is our normal timeframe, we travel fast and we both work full-time). We have experienced much of Asia (Cambodia, Laos, Singapore, Thailand, etc). We love Asian culture and style but something unique is always appealing, but we also like to be active and are not group tour types (bike, raft, hike). Also, we keep hearing about a daily tax in Bhutan and right now the budget is in the mid-point range for this year's trip (just spent a bit last fall in Africa to see gorillas, migration). Any thoughts regarding what you liked about each country, sites not to miss, food/hotel options, etc. to help us make a decision since we need to book flights soon. Thanks!
kacollier is offline  
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Jan 15th, 2016, 06:06 PM
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Can't see where Myanmar would make sense for active travelers. Either destination can be done on an individual basis but Bhutan offers more, at least for hiking which we did a bit of. Click on my name and reference my trip report for more details and post back with questions. Both destinations seem to be pricey at present, but not sure what your budget really is, as Africa can be insanely expensive.
Craig is offline  
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Jan 15th, 2016, 07:15 PM
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In Bhutan, you are required to utilize a local agency and you have a guide with you throughout your trip. There is plenty of hiking there. There is a minimum daily rate for visiting Bhutan maybe $250 a day, but it includes basic hotel, transport and maybe even food. I haven't been to Bhutan, but others here have been like Craig (above)

I'm not sure why Craig thinks Myanmar isn't for active travelers. There is trekking in the north of the country, and some people like to tour on bicycles. I think any location as be as active as you want it to be. Myanmar is now more expensive than most of SE Asia, mostly because tourism suddenly grew rapidly and there wasn't enough accommodations. But it is less expensive than Bhutan. Supply and demand for accommodations has balanced out more, but you may still want to enlist the assistance of a local agent to make flight and accommodation reservations for you.

I have a special affection for Myanmar, but I don't know if it will appeal to you or not. I have three trip reports here from 2009, 2011 and 2015. Take a look at some photos: www.marlandc.com
Kathie is offline  
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Jan 15th, 2016, 09:23 PM
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With only 7-10 days I think that Bhutan makes more sense, you really need longer for Myanmar, but can get a good sense of Bhutan in that time. Like Craig, I would think of Bhutan rather than Myanmar if I wanted to hike.
thursdaysd is online now  
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Jan 16th, 2016, 05:27 PM
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For a first time visit, Bhutan offers far more hiking options than Myanmar. But Kathie, you would not know that having not been to Bhutan.
Craig is offline  
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Jan 16th, 2016, 06:58 PM
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I defer to Craig's first-hand knowledge of Bhutan.
Kathie is offline  
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Jan 18th, 2016, 05:55 AM
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I have travelled to both and I agree Bhutan would be my choice but do ensure you travel in the weather window AND have some wiggle room at the end as Paro airport can close suddenly with no flights for days-we had to bus out,an unpleasant 10 hour journey over a perilous road.
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