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Help with First PLans for Burma

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Mar 2nd, 2013, 05:57 AM
  #1
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Join Date: Apr 2006
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Help with First PLans for Burma

We have been reading Lonely Planet, and posts on travel boards and Trip Reports here. We've developed a preliminary list of places we may want to visit while in Burma. This is our 2nd trip to SE Asia and our first to Burma. We will be there late January/early February and would like to spend about 3 weeks. We are flexible on the time frame as well as the number of days. We arrive on Jan 17 in BKK and will sepnd 5 days or so there before flying to Burma.

We are interested in the culture of the country - ruins, temples, markets, textiles, crafts, etc. We also enjoy trekking, but believe it best practiced in cool climes. We aren't looking for any beach time. We prefer traveling at a relatively relaxed pace and prefer ground travel to air when it makes sense. We plan on using Santa Maria Travel for our eventual arrangements. The following, in no particular order, is our itinerary and planned duration of stay at each site. We welcome any suggestions in regard to additions, deletions, changes to length of stay and sequence. Thanks!

Yangon - 3 days beginning, 1 at end
Mandalay - 2 days
Pyin Oo Lwin - 2 days
Bagan - 4 days
Inle Lake - 5 days
Pyay - ?? days
Mrauk U - 3 days
yestravel is online now  
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 06:39 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I was in Burma last Jan/Feb for 3 weeks and covered much of what you plan to cover. I did not visit Pyin OO Lwin or Paya, so can't comment on that, but the days you have allotted to the other places you mention seems right. Although we visited Mrauk U last year and enjoyed our visit very much, it is currently closed to foreign travelers because of fighting in the area. Things might change by the time you go next year, but you should have a backup plan for those days just in case the area is still close. I've heard Monywa is interesting and worth 2 days. I almost included it in our itinerary, but did not have time. It is a 3 hour drive from Mandalay.
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 06:48 AM
  #3
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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First of all, I would save your time in Yangon for the end. Fly to your first destination as soon as you get to Yangon.

In general, this looks like a reasonable plan. Personally, I don't think you ned two days at Pyin U Lwin. We did it as a day-trip from Mandalay, and it was enough for me. I found the overwhelming military presence there to be unpleasant. And the lovely old houses are being torn down to make way for mansions for the generals.

You don't "need" 5 days at Inle, but is it such a lovely place, why not? As you know, we loved the Inle Lake View for lots of reasons. I hop you can stay there.

The question will be whether Mrauk U will be open to foreigners. I do hope it will be. If you can go, remember that it takes time - you have to fly from Yangon, then get a boat from Sittwee to Mrauk U. If you are very lucky, you can get from Yangon to Mrauk U in one full day, and likewise for the return. IF you don't time it right, then you'll over night at Sittwee. This is part of why I recommend all of your Yangon time at the end - you want some flexibility in case of travel glitches. If you can spring for the Mrauk U Princess, do. It was a beautiful. atmospheric place. And the owner has done such a wonderful job of investing in the community (both here and at Inle Lake).

Have a wonderful trip!
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Mar 2nd, 2013, 07:26 AM
  #4
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Thanks, shelley & Kathie your TRs were so very helpful in planning -- I have been cutting and pasting notes from your 3 TRS as well as some others. I would love to stay at the places you stayed, kathie - just have to see how it all prices out. And your pics are gorgeous.

Other thoughts are welcome.

I'm sure I'll be back with lots of questions. Do you think an outline such as this is enough to start with Santa Maria? I was hoping we could book hotels and transfers and then work on specifics in a bit.
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Mar 4th, 2013, 11:31 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi yestravel, I've been off line for a few days as we went for rainy, cold Seattle to wonderfully warm and intermittently sunny Kauai.

Yes, I think a basic outline with places and number of nights each is enough to start with Santa Maria. And if there are one or two special places you want to stay, mention those.

Happy planning!
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Mar 4th, 2013, 12:12 PM
  #6
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thanks, Kathie--kauai sounds wonderful -- it's cold and awful here in the other other Washington. Enjoy!
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