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If Burma trip cancels, need ideas for "Plan B"

If Burma trip cancels, need ideas for "Plan B"

Old Sep 25th, 2007, 07:15 AM
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If Burma trip cancels, need ideas for "Plan B"

Needless to say, we are watching as events in Burma unfold. We hope that the current courageous protests are successful in bringing positive change for the people. Given the timing, we are also realizing that (depending on how things unfold) it may not be advisable to take our planned trip to Burma in December.

We think that we should probably come up with a "Plan B" in case we have to cancel Burma. We have flights into/back from Bangkok for two weeks at Christmastime and can go anywhere in the region from there. We are looking for ideas from Fodorites -- suggestions on another trip in the region that we could plan (and still get rooms at this late date) would be greatly appreciated.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 07:42 AM
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Don't prepay for anything and wait and see!
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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I can understand your concerns.

Where haven't you been in SE Asia? Places I'd immediately think of are VN, Cambodia and Laos. Also consider locations in Malaysia.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 08:05 AM
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I strongly suspect that this will be over, one way or the other, by December.
I would start looking into a plan b and maybe even make some reservations but make them in a way that they are fully refundable (i.e. thru the actual hotel website or phone).

If you have two weeks you could do Laos and northern thailand focusing on the burmese refugee areas; Vietnam (needs at least 2 weeks to do properly); Laos and Cambodia.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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wait a while and see and in the meantime develop a back up plan, even make some refundable hotel res....
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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If you've not been, both Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Luang Prabang in Laos are worth 4 days. Hoevere, Christmastime is the very high season. Try ro make refundable resevations as soon as possible.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 10:57 AM
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how about india??

bali

malaysia

or more thailand
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 11:33 AM
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I love Luang Prabang, and there are other places to see in Laos as well, but reservations might be difficult. Vietnam might be easier. And Malaysia could easily fill two weeks.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 12:23 PM
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Wait awhile - events are unfolding on a daily basis - I'm also in the camp that this will be over soon. In the meantime, do some research, develop a back-up plan and make refundable reservations. Sri Lanka might be a good last minute destination as tourism has been down - we are headed there in February.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos are wonderful, but due to their recent surge in popularity I think it would be difficult to get holiday reservations at this point, particularly non-refundable ones. Sri Lanka and Bali would likely offer more available accomodations at this point.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 12:37 PM
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So if the idea is that this will "be over soon" then either one of two things happens, right? (A) The government starts shooting monks and/or protestors or (B) the goverment doesn't interfere and the protests are a successful steps towards democracy.

If it's A, why on Earth would anyone want to be there after something awful...or give a modicum of support to a government that does that to its own people (and yes I am aware that not all business are government-sponsored, but how can you visit and not end up supporting some of those businesses?

If it ends up being B, then wouldn't it just mean more protests and continued tensions?

It's a scary yet exciting time for Burma...and I'm all about visiting. But the country is perhaps on the verge of a very delicate and monumental turning point. I don't think things of this nature generally go away overnight, even if quashed by the junta.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 12:50 PM
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I agree with Filmwil. Happy Travels!
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 12:52 PM
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There are no easy answers, are there? I am not saying that the simmering conflict between the Myanmar people and the junta will be over soon - its been going on for years and will continue to go on as long is the military is running the show. What I am saying is that this particular phase will be over soon, most likely due to possible or actual violence on the part of the military.

I strongly believe that visiting Myanmar is NOT a show of support for the government regardless of what is or has been going on. The money the government makes from tourism is minuscule compared to what it receives from China from the sale of its natural resources, particularly natural gas. That is why the United Nations and China in particular, have done nothing to pressure the government to change its evil ways.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 01:13 PM
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I agree with Craig. All our economic sanctions have not hurt the generals or government big wigs one bit. But it has hurt the people. Even this demonstration didn't start because of democracy -- it started because of the price of fuel; the financial crisis. Believe me the generals are not suffering but the people are and they will suffer even more if tourism ends. I know I can't change their goverment -- although I personally support many advocacy and democracy movements and have volunteered in terms of letter writing campaigns and demonstrating (recently in front of the Chinese Consulate). But I can do what I can to help a few people and what they need is MONEY, contact with the outside world, the ability to get letters and photos to family and friends who have left Burma and some emotional support. From my perspective this would be a wonderful time to be in Burma. My guess is, however, that the government may clamp down on visas from the west because they are the ones who don't want us there at this time. My guess is the people would beg us to come. maopefeiifina
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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Interesting perspectives:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/...507694,00.html
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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We will definitely hold onto our Burma reservations and hope that things are okay for travel in December, but will hold refundable reservations elsewhere just in case.

Thanks for the ideas all. We have done trips to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and India in the last couple of years. We loved Laos in particular and hoped to go back to Luang Prabang again on this trip but could not get rooms (it has apparently become very popular at Christmastime). The only place we've been in Malaysia is Kuala Lumpur, so that is a possibility. Our big question about Malaysia is weather -- KL weather in December/Jan was quite rainy (like Singapore at that time of year). We are hoping to go someplace where the weather isn't gloomy. Any advice on other places in Malaysia that would be nice in Dec/Jan? Any other ideas most welcome too, since we may have challenges given high season. Thanks all!
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 07:47 PM
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take a look at langkawi...not sure of the weather situation...along the east coast i believe there are some nice resorts....

we are going to look at melaka and kuantan this trip...
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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The east coast of Malaysia will be rainy.

You might consider a stop in Penang... you've probably read my Penang Trip report (November, 2006). The E&O is really wonderful. You could combine that with some time in KL and a stop in Singapore. A beach (Thailand or Malaysia) on the Andaman Sea side would have good weather.

Of course, Borneo is a real treat as well.
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Old Sep 25th, 2007, 08:08 PM
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how many days are you planning in melaka?
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Old Sep 26th, 2007, 06:58 PM
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Kathie - We've read that East Coast Malaysian locations are not ideal in December due to rain. Penang is a great idea. We have been trying to get on the E&O website since your suggestion but no luck. Do you, by chance, have the email address?
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