Help with Bagan Hotel

Old Jul 9th, 2009, 07:52 PM
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Help with Bagan Hotel

On the advice of other posters here, we had decided to stay at the Aureum Palace in Bagan. But further research has turned up Tay Za (a close crony of the generals) as the owner of the hotel. I'm trying to avoid putting my money into the hands of the generals, knowing that I can't avoid it all. So I'm looking at other options. The one that seems to be best reviewed (though all of the hotels have their problems) is the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate. Last time I planned this trip, the Thiripyitsaya Sakura Hotel got the best reviews, but it sounds like it has deteriorated some. I'd appreciate input from others who have stayed at one of the better hotels in Bagan as to your experiences and recommendations.

Many thanks.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 07:37 AM
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Anyone?
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 08:09 AM
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I was dismayed to find out that info also but it's such a small amount of $ that I decided to keep my res. there.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 09:11 AM
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I stayed at the Thiripyitsaya Sakura a couple years ago. It was very nice, though the room itself wasn't posh, and I can't imagine it having gone down hill that much. There were several bungalows, as well as one 3-story building, all of which ha been built over a long period of time. It may just be a matter of how new your room is.

I have heard very nice things about the Gate hotel, so I'm sure either one would be good.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 10:16 AM
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Thanks, Michael. Did you see the Tharabar Gate?

The Tharabar Gate, especially, is well-located. Dogster mentioned it in another post. If I can find a very nice hotel which is not the Aureum Palace, I'll go with it. Otherwise, I, too will "hold my nose" and book the Aureum.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 10:54 AM
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Kathie, just go stay at Tharabar gate. What's your problem with this place?

I spent a week there - it's perfectly fine. I've been to Bagan four times. It's fine. ['Fine' is about as good as it gets in Burma] Get a suite and try get better rates than the $260 they mention [$120 normal room]. The food is o.k. All food in Burma is just o.k. At Tharabar you have options, transport and location.

Just do it. I'm not gonna try and sell it, 'cos I don't think you want to go there - but I don't really get why.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 12:05 PM
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Dogster, while initially I felt I wanted to stay at the Aureum, I'm now leaning toward the Tharabar Gate. My intention is to try to get the suite. I'd love any other comments you have about it. You don't need to sell it to me, just give me more info! I agree the location is great, I just want to know that the hotel is nice - good bathrooms, no mold, comfortable beds, etc.

tripadvisor reviews are always confusing. I just shouldn't read them.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 12:45 PM
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I can't really remember any problems - which, I guess, is the compliment. The front desk were determinedly Burmese, alternately hopeless or efficient. They de-mosquito the place each evening with clouds of smoke. That's a good time to be out at the temples.

The best thing is to trot around in a horse and buggy at sunset. Ignore that stupid sundown temple viewing, it's crap. Go to YOUR OWN temple. Let it get dark then clink off home to the Tharabar Gate, just down the road. Ahh - bliss. Clink clink, clink, clink...

There's a buggy stand outside the front door. It's a straight line and about 20 mins in a tuk-tuk to New Bagan. Easy as pie. There are restaurants outside too.

Suite is two rooms, outdoor walled private garden, perfectly good, huge bed, comfy, blah. I had no issues there at all. Which, given my curmudgeonly nature is unusual. I'd go back there again, entirely because you are not trapped. And, as you know, I like to suddenly lurch out on whim. This is the perfect place for that - the REAL DEAL SMART TRICK in Bagan is to do the temples with a horse and cart. Just get the map, you've got Paul's book, pick an area each day, mark on the map where you want to go and clip, clop, clip, clop.

A guide will be useless for your purposes. For the rest of Bagan, fine - but in the old temples, unless you get lucky, if you want to head off to the ones not on the basic circuit [and you WILL] they won't know any more than you.

BTW: beware the sunset river cruise, too. And the so called 'authentic' villages just outside town. They aren't. [Very photogenic - but a weird, goverment controlled fabrication.] A better glimpse of life as it actually is in Myanmar, is to spend a while wandering round New Bagan [I hope I've got the names right - I'm talking about where the market is]. Go into the shops. Time, not a tourist walk-thru.

And, if you want to buy new laquer ware, Bagan is the place to do it. Only your sense of good manners means you have to sit thru the dreaded demonstration.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 12:48 PM
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I'm remembering the bathroom. Huge. Shower stall AND biggo bath. Huge. No mould, although, once Dogster has stayed in a place - mould follows.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 12:58 PM
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Dogster, thank you so much. That's just the kind of info I need.

We've been pouring over Paul's book, and we'll be ready to choose the temples we especially want to see plus add on ones that catch our fancy. I agree, no guide.

Now all I need to do is book. I haven't yet found a discount website that has the suites, indeed, I've only found one site that books the hotel. I also have a travel agent I'll have check on rates for me.

By the way, I have the Strand all booked, $200++ per night including breakfast and a complimentary upgrade to the Deluxe suite. One night at the start of the trip, two at the end.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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Well, book it direct if push comes to shove. Burma ain't the place to score great hotel deals, anyway. I went direct, I always feel safer that way. I just find I get more personal attention. Why not contact them direct and see if there's a rate - you're there 4 days, you should get something.

The ladies handling bookings are very together... but it'll be cut and dry.

www.tharabargate.com/
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 01:24 PM
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Thanks, I've emailed them. We'll see what they offer.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 05:38 PM
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Kathie, based on my travel experiences to date, what dogster suggests is spot on. However, you will get your best rates through a local agent rather than direct - I am pretty sure of that. I think it would be worthwhile to go to the Aureum Palace for drinks at sunset and dinner as the food was pretty good. Just remember that the natural gas deals with China etc the generals have in place far exceed one thousandfold anything that tourists will ever bring to the country.
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Old Jul 10th, 2009, 08:35 PM
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Thanks, Craig. I have asked for a quote from an agent as well as from a discount hotel site and the hotel itself. So far, of the three hotels I've chosen, one I got the best deal though the hotel company (Leading Hotels of the World for the Strand), one the best deal was from a discount site (directrooms.com for Inle Lake View). For the Aureum, it looked like the travel agent would have been best.

We do plan to visit the Aureum, and thought that having dinner there would be a good idea.
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Old Jul 20th, 2009, 11:24 AM
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Please make every attempt to stay in Bagan Thande hotel. They are the most attentive, the rooms are beautiful, the staff totally solicitous, the river views are breathtaking, and it's a relaxing place to just chill after viewing the magnificent sites. Let me know how you do.
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Old Jul 20th, 2009, 07:20 PM
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I have made reservations at the Tharabar gate, By the way, the best rate was direct with the hotel. They confirmed at $260 per night in a suite including taxes, service and breakfast. The agency and the internet booking site were both over $360 for the suite!
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Old Jul 20th, 2009, 08:14 PM
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the generals thank you kathie----$360 YIKES, its myanmar
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Old Nov 19th, 2009, 03:26 PM
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For those of you who are planning a trip, the ultimate place is Bagan Thande hotel. Can't speak highly enough about the location, staff, rooms, and ambiance. Prices not bad either. We were there end of June 2009. Would go back in a flash.
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