Help with Inle Lake options, please

Old Sep 7th, 2009, 04:53 PM
  #1  
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Help with Inle Lake options, please

In trying to book my flights in Burma, I have discovered that "you can't get there from here" - at least easily. Previous reports had led me to believe that if there were problems with the flight schedules in Burma the problem was that all the flights left at 6 am. So as I drew up my itinerary, I planned to take morning flights between my destinations. I have since discovered that things are not quite so simple.

We'll fly from Rangoon to Heho after a day and a night in Rangoon, leaving Rangoon about 10:30 am and arriving HeHo about 11:40 am. I believe it is a good hour from the airport to the Inle Lake View. No doubt it will take some time to get our luggage, so I'm guessing we'll be at the hotel and ready to do something by 2. My thought was to get out on the lake for a couple of hours, maybe do some touristy things we don't want to spend a lot of time on.

We'll have the whole next day and the following day at Inle.

The day we fly to Bagan - there are no flights from HeHo to Bagan - we will leave HeHo about 4:40 pm, connect through Mandalay, and arrive in Bagan about 5:40. I expect we'll need to leave the hotel about 2:30 to make the plane. This means we have the better part of a day in Inle we had not anticipated having.

What can we realistically do with that time? Is it enough to get to Kakku and back if we leave at dawn? Is there something else you'd recommend? Given this "found" time do you have recommendation about how we might organize our two full days?

Alas! we'll only have three whole days in Bagan now, but the fates have conspired to give us this time at Inle, so we want to make the best of it.

I appreciate any input you Burma veterans have for me.

PS I am aware than Burmese airlines are given to last-minute schedule changes. I do not intend to cast any of my plans in stone... probably not even plaster.
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 05:05 PM
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Well, all of this is very interesting as flight schedules seem to be a lot different than when I was there only a few years ago. As a veteran traveler to Asia, you already know the answer to your question about Kakku - no, you can't do it in the time allotted (unless of course, you rule out having any unanticipated experiences that would otherwise make your trip memorable). In other words, of course, it is doable but as you know, that is not what travel in Asia is all about.

Heho is a tiny airport and in spite of the confusion, you will probably be out in 20 minutes, including a bathroom break. You'll have plenty of time to tour that afternoon.
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 05:31 PM
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Alas, yes, I do know I can't do Kakku in that amount of time... Ideas on what I might do that morning?
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 05:46 PM
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I'd just keep that juicy morning free, have an early, early morning boat arranged and use it to go back to all of the places I liked.
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 05:52 PM
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Hmm - I would do Pindaya and the caves. Don't remember why we ruled that out previously. The town of Aungban is on the way and if it is a market day, that would be an interesting detour.
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 06:30 PM
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Good ideas, both of you. If you or others have more, I'm interested.
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 06:49 PM
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A more serious question about Kakku... I have just two full days (and two partial) days at Inle. As you know, my initial thought was to use a partial day to go to Kakku, but with the flight times that isn't practical. Is it worth taking one of my full days to go to Kakku and the surrounding area or should I just skip it this trip? I've been thinking of skipping it, but I'd be interested in your thoughts.
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 07:08 PM
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Craig liked Kakku a lot more than me. I had quite a negative reaction to it, actually. I got hung up about the horrible restoration. One million bathroom tiles. The world wouldn't come to an end if you missed it.

Afterwards, tho - I was glad I'd been, more for the oddity of the local guide than anything.

There is a nice temple on the way between town and Heho airport worth a stop and a prolonged sit BTW. Me? I'd blow out Kakku and spend your two full days at the place you've gone to in the first place. Take your time.

You're gonna be coralled into the silk place and the rotten dancing cats, the crap tourist restaurant and the hot fire brass-banging place anyway, unless you're very smart. First day may as well submit - second day get pushy.

The old falling down temple on top of a hill in the south is a knock-out. Time, time, lotsa time.

Make the boat turn off the motor when you float thru the floating village.
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Old Sep 7th, 2009, 07:31 PM
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I knew you didn't like Kakku as much as Craig or Robbie. Were you forewarned about the Korean "restoration" of the stupa? (I'm wondering if that makes a difference.)

I was going to avoid all of the usual tourist places, but my thought, like yours it to do some of them briefly on the first afternoon, then chart my own course.

We definitely want to go to Samka and the unrestored stupas in that area. And we always want some time to just do what catches our eye.
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