Burma Accommodation Suggestions

Old Oct 10th, 2013, 07:03 AM
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Burma Accommodation Suggestions

Hi everyone,
I'm planing a trip to Myanmar next February. I have noticed that some Fodor's members are going there in Feb as well. I'll arrive from Vietnam so flight isn't a problem. However, accommodation seems like a big deal because hotel prices in general are way more expensive than I expected. I'll visit the usual suspects such as Yagoon, Mandalay, Bagan, and Inle Lake. The hotels and resorts in Bagan and Inle Lake in particular are morbidly expensive as in more than $150 per night during peak seasons (even the ones I stayed at in Paris and Italy weren't that crazy ). I'm creating this thread to seek the hotel suggestions from everybody who has visited Burma before. Which hotel did you stay at in each city that didn't make your wallet bleed? Our budget (me and my friend) is under $60 per night. It would be very helpful for many of us who are about to visit the country. Thank you so much in advance!
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 07:29 AM
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Burma accommodations are expensive and sometimes difficult to find because the surge in visitors to Burma has been more than the limited tourist infrastructure can handle. You might ask a local agency in Yangon or Mandalay to help you. Agents in Burma can typically get you lower prices than you can get yourself.

You might also want to post on Thorntree, Lonely Planet's forum, as there are more budget travelers there. Many of us here stayed in more expensive accommodations.
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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I have some suggestions for you. I booked our trip last fall myseld for the most part with help on transport from our Yangon accommodation, the Classique Inn, which I loved but it was expensive. For the others:

I booked the Kumudara in Bagan and hated it. So we went on a scouting expedition and found the Yar Kinn Tha Hotel in Nyaung U which we loved and seems to be in your price range: http://yarkinnthahotelbagan.com/ Lots of inexpensive restaurants nearby.

Near Inle Lake in Nyaung Shwe we stayed at the Princess Garden Hotel, great location at the edge of town, still walking distance but away from the bustle and near the most wonderful restaurant, Green Chili, where we ended up eating every night.
Hotel: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev...han_State.html

In Mandalay we stayed at the Peacock Lodge, OK for a night or 2 if you don't find anything else. Very nice people but cannot recommend the place overall.

Good luck. You'll need persistence so keep at it.
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 09:16 AM
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Thanks Kathie and MmePerdu. Very helpful advice I have emailed the hotels you suggested. Hopefully something positive will come out of it.

If anyone has any advice about trustworthy travel agents, I'd appreciate it. (Some people in my country suggested Min Thu, but I'm reading the Min Thu thread here so...) I'll fly between cities so I just want to check if agents can help us find some good deals.
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 09:21 AM
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Min Thu is not a travel agent. He is a horsecart driver/guide in Bagan. Shan Yoma is an agency who can be helpful with less expensive accommodations.
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 09:56 AM
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I second the recommendation for the Princess Garden in the Inle Lake area. It is not on the lake but more in town, close to restaurants. Can get cheaper prices for lake tours from this area. Princess Garden does not work with travel agents. I am using One Stop for our trip February 2014 but I had to e-mail PG and book it myself. I booked my room in July of this year. It's a small property with a pool, great location, very good reviews. Price is $55 per night. They will provide airport pick up if you need it for 20000 kyats which is about $20 USD. Don't know if that is reasonable or not. Send an e-mail to Ko Aung.

[email protected].


Can't help with your other destinations as our hotels which are already booked are over your preferred price point. What I did was give our preferred hotel choices to the few agents I had decided to get a quote from and go from there. You can probably say what amount you want to spend on lodging and the agents should then give you some ones that meet your criteria. Then you can search them on goggle or the forums for reviews.

Some names of agents that are mentioned on Fodors and Trip Advisor forums as being good are- One Stop, Santa Maria Myanmar Shalom, Exotic Voyages, Shan Yoma, Asia Central Link. These are just a few. If you want to read reviews go to both forums for Myanmar, type in the name in the search box, and results/reviews should pop up.
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 10:08 AM
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I would have been perfectly happy using an agent for our bookings but did it all myself ultimately after a frustrating month or so trying to get responses from agents. I cannot imagine, with the influx of visitors, that it's better a year later. I found I got much quicker responses from the accommodations themselves. If you can find a means of booking flights then I think it will save you some time and effort. That was my experience.
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 10:31 AM
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Thanks chris45ny and mmeperdu (again) for the detailed response. I'll try emailing some of the agents and see what happens (some agents look familiar as they are suggested by travelers in my country).

chris45ny: it seems like you will be going in Feb as well? You done with the booking and stuff? A friend of mine has been to Burma a couple of times and highly recommends visiting in Feb as the weather is good. Summer is really bad in his experience. Plus visit Burma quick before it gets too commercialized and loses its charms, which is already happening according to said friend.
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 12:42 PM
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confused20s-

We arrive in Yangon from Bangkok on 2/10/14. I had e-mailed some highly recommended agents but was not getting a quick response-probably due to the increased numbers of tourists wanting to visit. I'm more active on the Trip Advisor forum and had posted my lack of response. Someone got in touch with One Stop for me and the very same or next day I heard back from an agent from OS. Since this was high on my list of preferred agents I was very pleased that all my hotel choices, flight times early in the morning so as not to lose the day traveling, etc. were quoted by this agency. Within a week I heard back from my 2nd choice which was just a wee bit cheaper but my gut told me to go with OS. Things were decided to go with OS mid June this year. Even so far ahead my agent couldn't get the date I wanted for a February stay at Mountain Top/Golden Rock as it was completely booked. OS did get a room for me for early March. It may have been due to the hotels we picked that there were concerns about getting what we wanted when we wanted. The places I picked were mostly around $100 per night except for Yangon and Ngapali which were more. That time of year is high season too I believe. All of my bookings were done by the end of June.

I think you are smart to be doing this now. I think the days of arriving booked in your first destination and being able to immediately find the next place are fading fast.
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Old Oct 10th, 2013, 01:09 PM
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"I think the days of arriving booked in your first destination and being able to immediately find the next place are fading fast."

Chris, I suspect you're right at the higher end of things but maybe the less expensive places and ones not yet in the guides, so not specifically requested, may still be available on arrival. That was true a year ago for the hotel we moved to in the Bagan area, lots of space available. It's now, I see, bookable on some large hotel sites but I'm sure there are others that will take it's place until they, too, are "found".

Which reminds me, when I was looking for contact details for that place, the Yar Kinn Tha, I saw a number of hotel booking sites, Agoda among them, that may be a way to circumvent the travel agent logjam. Enter that hotel name on Google and see which booking sites come up. Then use those sites to check for properties in other locations and to check prices. You may find that will work better than the local agents did for me.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 06:38 AM
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confused20s-There is currently a great trip review running on TA about a low budget trip which would suit your budget. Check it out.

http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic...i9408-k5646454
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 08:14 AM
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An interesting trip report on Trip Advisor but over a year old (mid 2012). Things are changing, especially prices, just something to be kept in mind.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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chris45ny: thank you for the link. It's super helpful. I'm reading it right now. Today some reasonably-priced hotels that I came across in recent trip reports on here emailed me back and their quotes...petrified me. At that rate, I'd rather go to Europe I agree with MePerdu that things are changing by seconds.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 09:47 AM
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And this may be a case where an agent can be helpful. The agents get a contract price and it can only go up so much each year.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 12:54 PM
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www.myanmarmotherlandinn.com within your budget

www.ayarwaddyriverview-hotel.com around $70 per night
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 01:00 PM
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I agree with Kathie that you should try to see what an agent can do for you. Agents are used to working with all kinds of budgets-from $$ to $$$$$.

I'm sure with a bit of perseverance you will find some nice decent accommodations. The only area you may have trouble is the Inle Lake area as prices there seem higher than other places. If Princess Garden has an opening that would be great for you. It seems a shame not to travel here as you state you will be in Viet Nam which is so close. If not Myanmar what about Cambodia or Thailand? They are cheaper and have more tourist infrastructure.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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wow - the motherland used to do a $10 a night place - a favorite of folks on Thorntree for the low price and free airport pick up.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 06:31 PM
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chris45ny: thanks so much for the links. Motherland Inn looks fantastic. I'm based in Vietnam so I would never forgive myself for not going to Burma like NOW Plus, Feb is lunar new year time here and we have more than a week off so better go somewhere. I will have 8 days- Bagan and Inle Lake are must-haves, which according to Fodor's members should take at least 2 and a half days. Let's say 3 days each, so there are only 2 days left for Yagoon and Mandalay. I'm thinking of skipping on Mandalay. They have this wooden bridge named U Bein which looks beautiful in pictures but I'm not really sure as coming from Vietnam and having visited most of our neighboring countries the differences have started to blur. (I like pristine Cambodia, though. Thailand is nice and better than Vietnam but not significantly different.) Also, it seems like a lot of visitors complain about Mandalay's pollution

Kathie: I'm loving your Burma trip report
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 06:46 PM
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Glad my trip report is helpful.

My bias on the Mandalay question is to skip it. More time in fewer places is better - especially in Burma. You can save Mandalay for next trip (that's what I did). We enjoyed our time in Mandalay, but I would say that Mandalay is interesting, but Bagan and Inle and Mrauk U were all "wow!" and Yangon is more interesting than Mandalay. Just my opinion.
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Old Oct 11th, 2013, 06:49 PM
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PS if you think Cambodia is pristine, Burma is more undiscovered... or still was two years ago. While changes are happening rapidly (especially in prices), remember that Burma was in the 1950s until a few years ago, and maybe it's now in the 1960s.
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