Booking flights from Burma to China (?)

Jul 3rd, 2009, 03:36 AM
  #1  
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Booking flights from Burma to China (?)

I think I posted this on another thread but cannot find it.

I am looking for flights from Mandalay (first choice) or Yangon, to Shanghai. There are good connections via Kunming on China Eastern and Shanghai Air. Using these carriers, I can get from Burma to Shanghai in one day.

Travel Agent in Yangon has come back with a price of $593 per person including taxes and fees for the Yangon-Kunming/Kunming-Shanghai flights. He is still checking the options departing Mandalay.



I know that I should wait to buy the China portion of the itinerary, but I do not want to wait until I arrive in Burma to do this. I want to wrap up all details a few months before we leave, if possible. I tried to see if I could book online, but it does not seem to be possible for the China Eastern Burma-China leg, which is the segment that I tried. (At least not possible in English)

This is the website:

http://www.flychinaeastern.com/

For the Shanghai Air Kunming-Shanghai portion, the fare seems to be 1900 RMB, or about $278US (this is the price using today's date).



http://www.shanghai-air.com/salnewweb-en/index.aspx

Given that information, perhaps the total fare is NOT out of line (???) (I do have one recommendation for a TA in Bangkok (thank you, Agent H); I could try pricing the flights with them.

Does $597 sound reasonable for this routing? Any other leads to well priced-tickets?



I apologize that I may have asked this before. For additional information on the trip, please see thread on "Burma Trip Planning"

http://www.fodors.com/community/asia...p-planning.cfm

Thank you!!
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 18th, 2009, 06:22 PM
  #2  
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The travel agent in Burma has informed me that it is very difficult for him to book the above flights from Burma to China. Any leads on how to book these tickets would be appreciated. (I will check the Bangkok lead offered by Agent Hanuman in another thread)
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 18th, 2009, 07:22 PM
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Have you tried Chinese outfits like ctrip? You can't book that route online, but you might be able to do it by calling or emailing them - the website definitely recognizes Kunming to Yangon, although not Mandalay. The people I know who took this route did it in the other direction, so are unlikely to be of help, but I'll ask.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 18th, 2009, 09:19 PM
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yup, eks: this is gonna be difficult. It'll be difficult because you're doing an unusual thing: and tourism in Burma doesn't really understand that. By all means persevere but a smart cookie would be thinking of a back-up plan, just in case.

If you achieve this little miracle you'll be the FIRST person I've ever heard of that got in, and out of Burma, without using the traditional Yangon/BKK route. It MUST be doable - but things are just not the way they are anywhere else in Burma.

Totally, despite anything you might read, book and plan your China trip in advance. Of course. You'll find pretty much everything difficult to arrange in Burma.

Let's have a plan B, eh?
dogster is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 12:25 AM
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Use www.airasia.com for from
. US$29 Rangoon to Bangkok
. Thai Baht 1500 Bangers to Shenzhen
You ought to be able to get from there or HK easily enough with major airlines out of HK a bit over $200

but have a look at www.shenzhenair.com for I wouldn't mind betting it'll be a lot cheaper.
www.attitudetravel.com will give you links to other budget airlines for in China.

Be so much cheaper than $593 and you ought to have no problems booking with airasia at least and you'll be able to afford to buy me a few dozen beers.
Bushranger is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 01:30 AM
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Must be dinner time in Oz if you call Bangkok - "Bangers"!

Eks,

I'll give my agent a call tomorrow and report back.
Hanuman is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 03:28 AM
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Ok--the new membership applications for the Ekscrunchy Detective Agency are being filed as I write. You guys deserve commendation for your sleuthing.

I never thought that it was Burma itself that might be putting the kibbosh on the flights. First, the Yangon agent had me send copies of our passports, saying that that was necessary in order to investigate the flights. And now (even before the copies arrived) he has written me to advise that "it will be better if you do this from your side."

I really do not want to have to return to "Bangers!" That is just so much more complicated and I have my two charges to think about. (For more on what this entails, see my (as of yet uncompleted) SA Trip Report with details of misplaced cans of prune juice and CapeTown ATM debacle)

It is so simple: flights Mandalay to Kunming, Kunming to Shanghai--all in one day!

Hanuman: This will be a chance to prove your mettle and put the naysayers to shame. I will be "out of computer range" until Wednesday but will eagerly await the word from your "agent." That would be a tremendous help. You can now take the Dili pins out of your wall map.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 03:53 AM
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'...It is so simple: flights Mandalay to Kunming, Kunming to Shanghai--all in one day!...'

Famous last words. lol lol lol. What's that phrase about 'Kansas?'. Bless you eks: I'm following along. Of COURSE the problem is the Burmese government. This is all about control. Tourists are welcome as long as they do what tourists are meant to do. As soon as they get creative, as you've discovered, the shutters close.

Burma isn't there for our convenience, alas - we are there for Burma's. So logic won't come into this. AND the rules change on a whim. Petulance won't help. lol.

But I've traveled with a nervous 76 yr old with a gammy leg and, trust me, I'd pay ANYTHING to reduce the travel stress. So I know where you're coming from eks - BIG time. Hanuman to the rescue.
dogster is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 04:51 AM
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Oh, Dog, I wish I could give you a big hug!
.
Forget my original complaints about the price. I am determined to get tickets to those flights.
After having managed to save the day even when things were looking dire on the prune juice front, the expectation bar is not set rather high. Having never been to Asia before, let alone Burma, my friends seem to be aghast at the fact that these flights cannot be booked in one easy phone call.

I am able to breathe a small sigh of relief knowing that the trusted Agent Hanuman is on the case. I understand that he has cleared his calendar for the week now that this new assignment has been forwarded to his desk. One can only hope.....
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 05:04 AM
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"you'll be the FIRST person I've ever heard of that got in, and out of Burma, without using the traditional Yangon/BKK route." - as I posted previously (which is how eks knows about this route), I have friends who flew Kunming-Mandalay in Jan '08.

Then in Jan '09 they went overland from Ruili, China to Bhamo, Myanmar, although it certainly wasn't a trip for the faint-hearted, and one of them is fluent in Mandarin. (They say the "standard" route is Ruili to Muse Lashio to Mandalay.) BTW, eks, they mentioned on their blog that Kunming-Mandalay was $250.

"Totally, despite anything you might read, book and plan your China trip in advance. " - only if you don't mind paying more than you need to. In this case, it might be worth it (and I'd certainly want the flights out of Burma ahead of time), but if you read the China threads here you'll see that the advice is the exact opposite, and that fodors travelers have had no trouble booking flights a couple of days ahead.
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 05:26 AM
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Yep, I know thursday: [re: pre-booking China] but I reckon eks is a bit like me. I stress when I'm on the road. I don't like not knowing. PLUS there's three of eks. Not one. Given eks's postings about Burma up till now, I'd sense she was a woman who liked to have things fairly sorted.

I know about the overland route into China from Bhamo. I've researched that. There are a couple of overland ways in - but I think we are talking about eks plus two seniors who like their prune juice.

I'm not suggesting that ANY of eks or thursday's information is wrong. What I'm TRYING to say, gently, is that what seems logical to you - may not be logical to Burma. Things change. There are a dazzling array of stupid regulations about anything to do with entry and exit from Myanmar. Gee, I wonder why?

I'm trying to say, gently, maybe eks should have a back-up plan - just in case. Already one travel agent has thrown their hands up... and they are IN Burma. So I'll wait and watch and be the first to congratulate when you achieve it.
dogster is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 05:45 AM
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dogster - I wasn't suggesting that eks actually take the overland route - far from it! And backup plans are never a bad idea.

I was just pointing out that while you may not know anyone who has done something other than BKK-Yangon, there are people who have, and recently, too. You do keep mentioning that your friends aren't even interested in hearing about travel, so why would they be going to Burma?
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 05:54 AM
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I haven't talk to my t-agent friend yet but from searching the net it seems that you CAN buy the Kunming - Madalay - Kunming tickets on the net BUT you cannot buy the Madalay - Kunming one way trip. I don't know if you are allow to buy a return ticket and only use it one way especially the return sector.

Here's more information - http://www.myanmarairinformation.com...light-fare.htm

Will have more information tomorrow but for now I'm back to the British Open golf on TV.
Hanuman is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 05:55 AM
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Nooo thursday - my friends wouldn't think of Burma. They're too perfect and politically correct, blurting group-think and dated crap at me. I don't talk about travel with them at all.

I've researched every which way in and out of Burma, that's all, trying, like eks, to beat the tyranny of Yangon. So I'm really talking more about lonely planet, trip advisor, etc etc, stealing Diethelm's itineraries...

But I've been researching that flight since my last post. It certainly shows up on a number of different websites and SHOULD be bookable on line no problems closer to the date.

There seem to be three flights a week, 47 seats a flight [scary] China Eastern Airways. But, of course, we're talking about next March - 9 months way. That may be the problem.

So, actually, despite my dire predictions, it may well be possible but just not yet.
dogster is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 05:56 AM
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Aha. Hanuman may have the clue.
dogster is offline  
Jul 19th, 2009, 11:36 AM
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I got a response from one of my friends. She recommends the Seven Diamonds travel agency in Mandalay if you were buying in Mandalay, but says: "If she has to ticket the whole thing in advance, I think she should be able to do it through a travel agent in Kunming. There is no way to buy Mandalay to Kunming online."

dogster - for a description of their overland trip into Myanmar see meckleyearth.blogspot.com/2009_01_01_archive.html

eks - she said you can email her directly - her email address is on the blog. She also said: "If she is starting from Yangon, I would highly recommend AirAsia, Yangon - Bangkok - (Zhuhai/Guangzhou/Shenzhen), then train to Shanghai. It could be cheaper that way." - but I think that's what you're trying to avoid, right?
thursdaysd is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 02:23 AM
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Eks,

My TA did not have a problem with getting a ticket and here's a copy of her email:

Air fare from Mandalay - Kunming by MU (China Eastern airlines)

This rate applicable for MDL-KMG : USD282-/pax. Ticket will issue by agent office in Mandalay.
The delivery ticket will be USD25.-/time as well ka.
Hanuman is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 02:55 AM
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Eks,

Here's my TA email address if you need to contact her: [email protected]
Hanuman is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 03:05 AM
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fascinating, thursday - thank you. I'm very impressed with your friends.
dogster is offline  
Jul 22nd, 2009, 05:26 AM
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dogster - yes, I'd be a bit nervous about doing that trip - at least on my own. I like to travel solo, but I think that route would be better done with a companion!
thursdaysd is offline  

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