Eight Days Solo in Burma

Old Jun 18th, 2013, 09:54 AM
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Eight Days Solo in Burma

I'm a late-20's guy about to spend eight days in Burma in September as a solo traveler, and I desperately need help with my itinerary. I want to visit Rangoon and Bagan, but other than that I'm open. Here's what my itinerary looks like so far:

Day 1: Late evening arrival in Rangoon; straight to bed (staying at Bike World B&B).
Day 2: Rangoon
Day 3: Rangoon
Day 4: Travel to Bagan (train? plane? automobile?) Staying at Blue Bird Hotel.
Day 5: Bagan
Day 6: Bagan
Day 7: Bagan; Travel somewhere else (aeroplane? jog? velocipede?)
Day 8: ?
Day 9: ? (travel late evening to Rangoon to overnight)
Day 10: 10:25am flight to Singapore

I am completely open to changing my itinerary - adding, subtracting, or changing the order of operations. I want to see the highlights, but also get off the beaten path a bit.

On a side note, if you have any suggestions for a solo travel in Burma please tell me. Everywhere else in Southeast Asia it has been pretty easy to meet other solos, but I'm not sure that will be the case in Burma.
joelingermany is offline  
Old Jun 18th, 2013, 10:15 AM
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I have a few suggestions. First, read some of the trip reports here. I have two, from 2009 and 2011, but there are more recent reports as well. Just go to the top of this page and choose Burma from the drop-down menu.

The two most high-impact places in Burma are Bagan and Inle Lake, so I would concentrate most of my time there.

I'd suggest you leave Yangon on Day two and fly to Bagan. Stay three nights in Bagan, which will give you two full days to visit the temples, and you may have half a day on your arrival day. We loved seeing the temples via horsecart.

On Day 5, fly to Inle Lake. Spend three nights there, getting out on the lake both full days you are there. Spend one of those days at the southern lake, Sankar.

On day 8, fly to Yangon, so you will have that afternoon and all the next day to explore Yangon.

You will have no difficulty meeting other travelers.

Note that the money situation in Burma is odd and has changed in the last few years. You will get the best exchange rate at the bank windows at the airports. Avoid the black market, as you won't get as good a rate and you may well get scammed.

You can buy your plane tickets ahead of time through a local agent in Yangon. You can't buy them on the airlines websites, except for "copy" websites that have a hypen in their name - no guarantee you'll get useable tickets from those.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 10:24 AM
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I think you are missing one of the most scenic parts of Burma-Inle Lake, and that is what I would do with your extra time in Burma. I don't think you need 2 full days in Yangon. Bagan and Inle Lake are infinitely more interesting and memorable. I'd definitely recommend travelling by plane. I visited Yangon, Bagan and Inle on my trip and if you'd like more of my take on these places, click on my name and read my TR. If you want to get a younger persons advice on Burma travel and how/where to meet othere solo travellers, go to the Thorntree Forum on Lonely Planet's website. .
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 11:31 AM
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Thanks for the great advice! I think I'm going to cut a day from Rangoon and concentrate on Bagan and Inle Lake. I had considered taking a night train from Rangoon to Bagan, but considering I'll only have eight days in Burma I think it would be a better use of my time to catch a flight.

Just checked out Thorntree. It looks pretty useful. I also scope out bars and hangouts where I can meet other travelers.
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Old Jun 19th, 2013, 09:14 PM
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@Joelingermany - I stayed at Blue Bird and loved it. The only two downsides are thin walls (bring earplugs) and that's it's far from the temples - it's probably 20 minutes on a bike, and I'm a regular cyclist. I don't know if you've traveled in SE Asia before, but after a while the temples start to run together; IMHO two days in Bagan is enough. Inle Lake is beautiful but, for die-hard urbanites, one-day will be enough. Where to stay is a bit of a toss-up: the hotels on the lake are lovely, and I particularly like Golden Island Cottage, which is budget-friendly and run as a cooperative by a local ethnic group. However, because it's on the lake you're removed from the town and your meals are limited to the hotel; nighttime activities are nonexistent.

As the other commenters have said, you'll need to book airline tickets through an agent. I really liked working with Myanmar Damsel; you can contact Nwe Nwe at [email protected] We had tons of last minute changes to our trip and she was really patient and replied to email very quickly.

If you're in Rangoon on a Friday night, head to the Strand for expat happy hour, or visit the British Club for their monthly event. 50th St. Bar and Grill also has a trivia night which is good for meeting people.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 10:43 AM
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I just returned from Myanmar and had about the same amount of time as you do and I spent it in Yangon,Bagan and Inle Lake. For a single guy I suggest you stay in Nyaung-u when in Bagan and Nyaung-u in Inle Lake. I really loved Yangon and there's lots to do. I keep a travel site for fun with tips and prices if you want to take a look it's kimsegal.com and feel free to let me know if I can provide more specific infomation. Cheers! Kim
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 11:49 AM
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I expect Kim wants to recommend that you stay in Nyaungshwe at Inle Lake, the town near the lake which will allow you to walk to bars and restaurants.

While I much prefer Old Bagan to Nyaung-U, many people like Nyaung-U because of the many bars and restaurants in the area.
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Old Jul 5th, 2013, 07:20 AM
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Thanks! Since I'll be solo, and I'd like to walk to some restaurants/bars in thee evening, I think I'll see if I can find a nice hotel in Nyaung-U. Does anyone have a nice hotel recommendation? I'm not on too much of a budget, so I'm happy to spend more for a nice hotel.
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Old Jul 8th, 2013, 05:27 PM
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Hi Joel
I am a female solo traveler and spent a few days in Bagan, stayed at the New Park Hotel in Nyuang-oo, this was Feb 2012. It was a great stay for me. There are quite a few restaurants/bars within 5 min walk and heaps more if you get a bike and tour around. Since I was solo, I just asked people if they want to share in hiring a car (highly recommended as it is very hot and the really big temples are quite a distance)3 of got together and it was quite affordable. We negotiated with one of the local travel agents. There are some reviews on Trip Advisor that go both ways.
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