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Loved Myanmar, but it will be a while before I want to see another golden pagoda

Loved Myanmar, but it will be a while before I want to see another golden pagoda

Dec 16th, 2018, 05:25 PM
Join Date: Jul 2005
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The photos are perfect The festival looks amazing!
odie1 is offline  
Dec 17th, 2018, 01:48 PM
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Over the next 4 days I explored the lake with my trusty guide and boat man. I’m sure that many tourists might spend only one full day on the lake and will go home saying that had a wonderful time, but I am more of a ‘go slow’ person if I can. I think you would need two full days to say that you had really covered the major sites. I spent four of the five days on the lake (not full days) the other day purely being a rest day lazing around the swimming pool and having a pedicure at the on-site spa. It’s the first-time I’ve ever indulged in a pedicure but was well worth it as I still had mud clinging to edges of my toe nails after my trek in Kalaw! There are bikes to borrow at the hotel to go down to the local town but I was happy to forgo them.

As I’ve mentioned, I was happy with the Sanctum Inle Hotel but as we went around the lake, I saw a number of places which also looked like they would be fabulous to stay in. It appeared to me that it probably didn’t matter too much where you were on the lake because, if you are travelling by boat, you just simply criss-cross the lake. The local town of Nyaungshwe had lots of accommodation options ranging from back packer upwards but I think all the resort type places were out on the lake. It looked to be a bustling town with lots going on.

Boating around the lake was a delight. The breeze as you zoomed around made the temperatures quite bearable. When we got out to see a village it didn’t take long for me to get very hot. Just being on the boat and watching the scenery go past was a delight in itself. There are lots of boats on the lake, most locals, as it’s used as a major form of transportation. We would pass other boats with the workers, groups of women out to go shopping, children going to school, women selling good and items from their small boats etc. The long tail boats are very noisy as basically everyone uses cheap Chinese engines but when you didn’t have any near you (which was often), the peace and tranquillity of the lake was beautiful.

I was amazed at the amount of food that is grown ON the lake – basically every vegetable that you can think of that isn’t a root vegetable and with tomatoes being the queen of the crop – the area is famous for its tomatoes. There are rows and rows of market gardens set up. It’s very organised and you watch the locals in their tiny little boats caring for their crops.

Harking back to how much time to spend there, in one afternoon you could easily see the local fisherman, visit a typical farming village, a fisherman’s village on stilts on the water but with the extra time we visited a number of them and my guide was able to point out the differences between one village and the next and explaining things like why this village was a bit wealthier than the previous one or how to tell if the inhabitants are mainly fishermen, market gardeners or merchants. Without a guide, I wouldn’t have appreciated these and would have said “yes, I’ve seen one of those, let’s move on”. This isn’t to say that you need a guide or need to see so many villages but I found them interesting and the explanations of how the people worked and lived. But by the last day even I said to the guide let’s head back, that I don’t need to visit any more - time for cocktails by the pool instead.

We visited a number of workshops with areas set up primarily for tourists. There were a lot of things you could buy but I never was made to feel that I was being pushed to buy anything. For the most part you were left to your own devices to have a look around. I did end up buying a bit more than I normally would have but, in large part, that was because I was feeling a bit sorry for the locals with so few tourists around. We had lunch each day at different places and they would be set up to seat 200 people or so and there would only be a dozen or so there.

Workshops that I enjoyed were the third-generation silver smiths where I was given a demonstration all the way from how they extract the silver to making the finished product. I did end up buying a pair of silver earrings from them, made to look like the traditional cane balls that the children play with. They did have a very large variety of things.

We also visited a hand weaving site which, at first, I thought was a hit ho hum as I had seen that type of thing before but what was amazing was the demonstration of how they extract threads from the lotus roots (there are lotus plants in lots of places over the lake – very pretty) and then weave using those. It was fascinating. I had no idea that such a thing was possible but the cost of those items were quite pricey compared to the other goods as they are so labour intensive in extracting the threads in the first place.

One place that I didn’t care for was visiting some Kayan women who are famous for the brass coils they wear around their necks and also, sometimes, on their arms and legs. These are the women who look like they have long elongated necks but, in fact, it is not that the coils have made their necks longer but that the weight of the brass pushes the collar bone down and compresses the rib cage. They start using a single coil when a girl turns 5 and then keep adding to it as they get older. On seeing them, I felt that this particular place was entirely set up for tourists and thus just encouraging the practice. My guide did tell me that the government has been actively discouraging the tradition and more young women are starting to break away from it. In Thailand though, the practice has been increasing because of the tourist potential.

There were of course temples and pagodas all around the lake. They looked absolutely beautiful. Most of them were very elaborate and many of them covered in gold. They ranged from fairly small ones to large complexes with monasteries attached.

The most famous site by the lake is Indein and deservedly so. There are over 1000 stupas there – ancient ones, many of them crumbling to pieces and often with vegetation growing all over them. I loved the crumbling ones which were so evocative as compared to the renovated ones. Locals still worship at them and so they pay for their reconstruction and covering of them in gold.

It’s a long walk up to the elaborate Pagoda itself and the covered walkway was lined with probably 200-300 small stalls selling things. For those wanting to buy things, this would be a great place to do so as you can wander along the stalls and make comparisons between the stalls selling similar things. It seemed to be set up just as much for the Burmese as it was for foreigners.

Indein is located on a canal offshoot from the lake itself and is about an 8km long ride along the canal. It was very peaceful and quite lovely taking the boat out there.

All the boatman are local born and bred as it is too hard for an outsider to learn how to navigate around the lake. There is virtually no signage of how to orientate yourself on the lake and one farmer’s market area on the water looks just the same as the next.
shandy is offline  
Dec 17th, 2018, 02:01 PM
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Local fisherman but very few of these type left and are keen to pose for you for a small amount of money

Collecting seawood. The stooped man is baling water as hard as he can draining off from the seaweed.

Crumbling stupas at Indein

More stupas at Indein, inclduing renovated ones.

Lake Inle

Passing by yet more pagodas

Local bus (boat) stop
shandy is offline  
Dec 17th, 2018, 02:22 PM
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Lovely photos. Thanks for sharing!
Marija is offline  
Dec 17th, 2018, 02:55 PM
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Thank you Marija. How did you go with your Russian trips? I remember your fun with your Russian visa. I can well remember how long it took me to fill out the forms three years ago when I went and, in particular, stressing out over what dates I was in Russia over 20 years ago as I no longer had that old passport. Fortunately my trusty old travel diaries were a lifesaver. My travel agent was very impressed that I was successful with both applications on my first go. She said that rarely happened. A girlfriend of mine who went not long before me had her first attempt rejected because she hadn't put in a working history. She married not longer after graduating and never really worked again. The Russians said they didn't believe that some who had gone to the effort of getting a degree wouldn't have worked!
shandy is offline  
Dec 20th, 2018, 12:57 PM
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Love "The African Queen" moment!! I hope he got unstuck, Bogie and Hepburn style!
CaliNurse is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2018, 02:37 AM
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It was time to leave Inle Lake and I asked my guide if we could stop in the township of Nyaungshwe as I had nearly run out of cash. I was rather surprised to realise it was only about 15 minutes by car, it had seemed quite some distance travelling by long boat. Of course, travelling by boat was much more of an experience, especially arriving for the first time and, besides, I would have missed out on my “African Queen” moment. Whilst the drive into the town was short it took about another half an hour before I could access an ATM as there was a long procession snaking its way through the township. Watching it was entertainment in itself and I was happy for the wait. On seeing this procession and others later on I was amused by the number of small open vans that would be collecting for the local monks. Forget about giving them money (though that may well be acceptable) but people were running up to the very slow moving vehicles and giving them kettles, toasters, chairs, radios, umbrellas, bedding – you name it and it was probably somewhere on one of the vehicles.

Before heading to Heho Airport to fly to Bagan I went to Pindaya (about a 2 – 2/12 hr drive) to see the limestone cave complex. Its claim to fame is the over 8,000 buddha statues located within the caves. It is set up high with hundreds and hundreds of steps to get to the top but, fortunately for me and others, there is a lovely elevator to whisk you to the top. If you have ever been to the Marble Mountains complex near Da Nang in Vietnam, the entrance was a little like that.

Every single hole, crevice, ledge etc within the cave is stacked with buddha images, some dating back to the 10th century all the way to the present. I laughed at the ones which were presented by multi-national corporations. It is quite wet and damp and inside with water dripping but not too bad to walk through as they have non-slip mats in most parts. Some areas were rather claustrophobic but others were of a good size. I did enjoy being given some gold leaf so that I could choose a buddha to adhere it to.

I found it interesting but I don’t think that I would be making a big detour to go there unless you were very keen on seeing yet more buddhas. In my case, it was a good way to fill in some time until my plane was due to leave.

I also stopped at a small workshop just outside of the town where they make handmade paper pressed with flowers, leaves etc. The process wasn’t any different to what you would have seen elsewhere but it was indeed beautiful paper and I bought several sheets to use as a gift wrapping. What was different, was seeing how they then made gorgeous umbrellas with the paper to use as sun parasols. I found it fascinating, especially the bending of the bamboo to make the curved ribs.

The township of Pindaya it set beside a lake and the views over the lake were pretty. As I didn’t explore the township itself I can’t make any comment on whether this would be a nice place to stop for a day or two. I had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the lake (once again virtually deserted) and the meal was OK but that was about all. More to the point, this was the only place in Myanmar that I got attacked by mosquitos. I probably had about 20 bites by the time I finished lunch. I think I can say with confidence I didn’t get a single bit anywhere else. Incidentally I didn’t take any anti-malaria medication before/during the trip. According to the travel doctor that I saw before the trip, my one night in Kalaw was the only place I was going to which fell within the malaria zone and that was right on the edge of the safe/non-safe zone.

During the morning my guide and the tourist agency in Yangon had spoken with each other a number of times and thus we knew that my 1.30pm flight to Bagan had been delayed to 3.00pm. We got to the airport about 1.30pm and Trwe (my guide) said he would wait with me until I got on the flight but after half an hour I insisted he head off and that I would be fine.

This was a small regional airport which is basically just one large building divided into three sections. Where you first enter, you check in and everyone’s luggage is just put in a line in the middle of the room until its time to take it airside. Once you go through the security scanners there is another area about the same size, divided in half with the “gates” being just a door either side leading straight out on to the tarmac.

I made myself comfortable, got out my book to read and duly waited. Then there was the notice that the flight was delayed, then it was cancelled and then the replacement flight delayed. Most of this information was imparted by notices stuck on a chalk board which they used to say which plane was out on the tarmac. Time kept marching on and it was starting to get dark. You could tell this was a small airport as no one fussed about the passengers walking out the gates and wandering around on the tarmac to take photos of the rather beautiful sunset despite planes still taking off.

By this time there were probably about 200 people in all waiting for various flights and then we found out that it was likely that we were all going to be stuck there for the night as they were unable to get the landing lights working so nothing more could land.

It has been my practice not to use travel agents and simply organise everything myself, but as mentioned, this time I had used one in Yangon and I was indeed glad that I did, and that I had chosen to use a Myanmar travel agent not an Australian one.
About 7pm I decided that I had better ring my agent but was unable to get through despite turning on my international roaming I then asked a young Burmese girl if I could use hers which she happily handed over. I think my agent was in the middle of her dinner with her family when I rang but when I explained my situation she said don’t worry she would sort something out. I wasn’t so much concerned about the possibility of spending a night at the airport but missing out on the hot air balloon flight I had booked and paid nearly AUD500 for. I had booked this myself so my agent didn’t even know I was doing it. I knew that if I failed to turn up first thing in the morning I would forfeit my money and it was also the only day on which I could do it as the river cruise started late morning. I wasn’t too fussed in relation to the river cruise as I knew it actually stayed in Bagan the first night so I would still be able to get on the boat. My agent assured me that she would be able to fix the money side of things if I missed the balloon flight and she would find out what the situation was at the airport.

It was probably no more than 10 minutes later when an airport official came and found me, complete with my suitcase in tow, and told me that I was now going on another flight if they could get the landing lights going. My original flight had me going to Bagan via Mandalay and now there was one going direct to Bagan. If I had used an Australian agent there was no way this could have happened so quickly, they would still probably have been trying to contact their consolidator who would have then had to contact the local agent, not to mention the time differences involved.

So I sat and waited again and chatted to the others who were in the same pickle as me. I have to say the airport staff were great. My agent rang back the phone of the young girl who then went and found an airport official as she didn’t know where I had disappeared to and then they came and found me so I could talk to my agent again. The airport staff tried to answer questions, handed out water and juices and provided snacks and hot meals (noodles) to all and sundry as we waited.

In the end they did get the landing lights working and we quickly piled on to our plane for the short hop to Bagan. I was originally meant to be in Bagan about 2.30pm but it was about 12.30pm when I arrived at my hotel. My poor driver had been waiting all day in the hopes I would turn up. It was quickly off to bed with a wake up call for 4.00am for my balloon flight.
shandy is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2018, 02:46 AM
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Girl handmaking paper and wearing thanaka paste which was very common. Used as a sunscreen, decoration and for medicinal purposes.

Just loved the way they stacked their vegetables.
shandy is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2018, 08:58 AM
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Burma is the one country I recommend to people that they use a local agent. I'm glad your agent came through for you.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2018, 06:38 PM
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Waiting to read about your hot air balloon ride. I did it once in Lithuania and that was enough.
Marija is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2018, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Marija View Post
I did it once in Lithuania and that was enough.
Marija, that sounds like it might be a story in itself. Did you not enjoy it?
shandy is offline  
Dec 23rd, 2018, 11:25 AM
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Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas tomorrow and a day of love, friendship, good food and even some presents. It's expected to be a perfect day here, 26° (79° F), not too hot to eat outside, although I am rather envious of those that have a "White Christmas".
shandy is offline  
Dec 26th, 2018, 08:00 PM
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Don’t they say “it’s all about the journey”. Well after my journey of getting to Bagan it was a very quick four hours before that 4am wake up call arrived. It was just as well it was an automatic one done through the telephone system rather than the night manager making the call personally. I was so flummoxed when the phone rang that I couldn’t remember immediately where I was, couldn’t find the light switch, couldn’t find the phone on the other side of the bed and so took the best part of a couple of minutes to pick it up.

However, once actually up, I was fine and in short order was sitting downstairs in reception wide awake ready for my bus pick up.

I used Balloons over Bagan for my flight who I believe are the original company. I think there are three companies who do the balloon rides and I don’t know that there is much difference between them. Until I went to book the balloon flight on-line I wasn’t aware that they do not run all year and that there is a season. I was very fortunate when I went to book because ‘today’ was the first flight of the season. A day earlier would have been too soon and tomorrow I am already on the river cruise – what luck!

The entire operation was very professional. The bus quickly did the rounds of the various hotels, with several buses so no bus had more than about 5 pick-ups and as they are fairly close together it didn’t take too long at all.

It was still pitch dark when we arrived at the field but the sun started to rise soon afterwards. Upon arrival we were given various instructions and broken up into different groups, with 10 people to each balloon. There was hot tea and coffee and some snacks available to keep us going. There would have probably been 12 balloons flying that morning. Two of the balloon companies were departing from the same field. They had a portable toilet set up for those who needed it but it was very basic and not too great I believe. One we were broken up into our groups, we had a session on how to get in and out of the balloons and a safety briefing. They were quite stringent about the safety briefing and made sure everyone, and I mean ‘everyone’, was paying attention.

Just watching the balloons being inflated was entertainment in itself. Not surprisingly it takes quite a while for the balloons to fill. It was really quite beautiful, very peaceful with just the birds singing (at least until the jets started firing) and there was a lovely dawn flush through the skies but still a bit on the dark side. When the fires from the jets were filling the balloon it was quite mesmerizing. Seeing the balloons fill enough and then actually rise off the ground was quite special and we all kept watch to see which would be the next one to rise up.

I was surprised at how many people were involved in the operation, they certainly didn’t stint on employing people to make sure it all went well. Our pilot told us that if we wished to leave a tip, all tips were divided among the ground crew. Our pilot was an Australian and I could here that the one in the next balloon had an Aussie accent as well. Presumably the pilots are sourced from various places throughout the world.

For those of you are scared of heights and wouldn’t dream of doing a ride I’ll let you know that I am not at all good at heights and avoid them. If you know of the Pont du Gard bridge in France, I walked across with it with much encouragement from my husband until I got half way and then absolutely froze. I couldn’t go forwards or backwards. I probably looked like one of those deers caught in the headlights of the oncoming car! In the end, because something had to happen, my husband eventually coaxed me back one step at a time to land. I can go up in a closed gondola but can’t say I like it. Of course, some people’s fear of heights are more extreme than mine.

Having said that, I had absolutely no trouble at all with the balloon ride. I had done one many years ago in Australia and enjoyed it so I wasn’t concerned on this trip. I think I found it easy because it is all so gentle. When you take off you are sitting down in the basket and can’t actually see all that much and we were probably 20 feet off the ground before I realised we had left the ground. There was no sensation of movement at all as we ascended and, likewise, as we floated across the landscape. Because you are moving at the same speed as the wind there is no real sensation of movement.

For me it was worth the money. Perfect weather of course contributed to that – not a cloud in the sky, just a little hazy in the far distance. On the ground you just cannot get the same feeling of how large an area the stupas at Bagan cover. It was very atmospheric and they looked divine, whether they were elaborate and covered in gold to those crumbling to pieces and covered in vegetation. There is good reason why Bagan is always very high on the list, if not the top, of a place to do a balloon ride. Because it was so early there weren’t any people around the stupas yet and it was very peaceful – the only noise was when you heard one of the balloons turns on their jets for a bit of height again. Seeing all the other balloons drifting across the area was a delight. They do not fly particularly high at all, so it’s not as though everything looks the size of little ants. Often we weren’t that far about tree height. As we were descending to come into land, we passed over a village and you could see the locals up and about, watering their gardens, children playing or getting ready for school. They all waved and looked just as excited to see us as we were to see them.

Obviously, where you land depends on where the wind takes you and there was constant communication between the pilot and the ground crew working out where we were going to land. I might also add that all the pilots could talk to each other (regardless of company I would think) to let each other know what they were about to do, go up, down etc. We eventually came down with a bit of bump (hardly worth mentioning) in a brick factory of all places and the ground crew were there ready and waiting to help us land and chairs and a table were set up ready with champagne and croissants which commemorates the first ever balloon ride in Paris – or so they say. After that it took a good half hour for the bus to get us back to our hotels, over a very bumpy road. I nearly didn’t get off at my stop at all. As it had been pitch black when I arrived at the hotel and also when I left in the morning, I didn’t even recognise it. Fortunately, there had been another couple staying at same hotel and it was only when I saw them get off that I jumped up and said ‘wait’.
shandy is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 12:59 AM
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shandy is offline  
Jan 1st, 2019, 06:48 AM
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The RV Kindat Pandaw

Different architectural style of pagoda at Bagan

Go and find the Nuclear Catastrophe Overcome Pagoda by the river at Bagan.

Monks were everywhere going about their everyday life

Local transportation
It was finally time for my river cruise. I chose Pandaw, a Myanmar company, for the cruise as compared to the international ones, eg Scenic, Viking, APT. My own preference is to go with smaller, more intimate groups. It also meant that there was a much wider range of options to choose from. It seemed that the Scenic’s etc. simply offered to a straightforward 2 week cruise from Yangon to Mandalay (or vice versa) whereas there were cruises of various lengths offered by Pandaw. They also do river cruises for both the Lower and Upper Irrawaddy areas which no doubt would be interesting, especially as they are away from the main tourist areas.

I booked directly with Pandaw and all my communication with them excellent – both in terms of response times and providing me with relevant info. Their English was excellent I have no doubt if I had used a local (to me) travel agent that it would have been ask them a question, they contacted a consolidator or travel agent in Myanmar who then contacted Pandaw and so this all takes time and allows for the opportunity for the queries to change slightly along the way. We had a German couple on board who were very annoyed with their German travel agent on finding out that everyone else was doing a 7 day cruise. They did a 5 day cruise, so started a day later and got off the boat a day earlier. Their agent hadn’t told them that 7 days was even an option.

One of my queries to Pandaw was why the 10 day cruise through to Yangon was nearly double the cost of the 7 day cruise and what was worth the extra money. They were very upfront at letting me know that there wasn’t anything particularly special about the extra 3 days, most of it was due to the fact that Pandaw has to pay port fees in Yangon. I found it refreshing that they didn’t wax lyrical about what you saw for the extra 3 days in the hope that I would book a longer trip.

The main reason I went with a 7 day cruise in the end was I suspected that on a two week cruise I would end up seeing more of the same. By taking the shorter cruise it gave me the time to go up to the hill country and Lake Inle which exposed me to completely different aspects of the country.

So, after my balloon flight I had a leisurely (second) breakfast at the hotel. I stayed at Ananta Bagan which looked to be a lovely hotel but I barely had a chance to find out. It was then back to my room for a shower (great showers) and re-pack the few odd things I had taken out of my bags. Pandaw turned up at 11am and it was off to the ship. Our ship was the RV Kindat Pandaw which I think takes 30 passengers when full. We were 12 passengers in all, with 17 crew to look after us! As well as myself there were 4 Norwegians, the 2 Germans and a family of 4 (two children) from London and the only other sole passenger, a rather eccentric English lady on her 19th trip with Pandaw! She just loves them and Myanmar and keeps coming back over and over again.

The ship was lovely. It was probably not as luxurious as some of the other ships on the river but it was extremely comfortable and I appreciated the fact that it was built to the specifications of the old days of river travel when Burma was the ‘jewel in the crown’ of the British Empire. Everything is teak with a large outside deck complete with rattan furniture. In the afternoons when we sat round sipping cocktails and gin and tonics whilst you watched the scenery flow past you really did feel that you had gone back a 100 years. A couple of the bigger ships passed us by and I have no doubt that those on board were very happy and very comfortable but I looked at their modern aluminium windows on all the staterooms and thought it just didn’t compare to the two sets of teak French doors on all our staterooms. (One set of glass doors in teak on the inside with a second set of teak slatted doors for privacy on the outside).

The staterooms whilst not big were quite adequate. On this ship everyone has the same type of room. There was sufficient room for 2 people to move around the room without getting in each other’s way, a closet for storage, drawers under the bed and still room for suitcases under there. You wouldn’t have wanted 2 people side by side in the bathroom at the same time but the shower was a very good size – bigger than the one in my hotel room in Singapore on the way home – and the water was hot and plentiful.

There isn’t any fancy swimming pools or spas, just the lovely outside deck with plenty of deck chairs, sun lounges and a normal lounge area with large coffee table. There was also a large air-conditioned salon which was nicely furnished. We had all our meals outside on the deck. There was a dining table inside in the main air-conditioned salon but we didn’t need to use it. The food throughout the trip was excellent. Breakfast was buffet style with about another 8 hot dishes cooked to order. Lunch was a choice of between 3-4 dishes and an excellent buffet with a soup and plenty of salads. The salads were amazing. I kept saying that I wasn’t going to order a hot dish and just keep eating the salads but, alas for my waistline, I kept ordering a hot dish as well. In the evening we had 3-4 courses each night. The food ranged from local Burmese to Italian to French and other cuisines.

On our first day, the crew had set up three separate tables for us, one for the Norwegian group, one for the English family and the third being for myself, the other English lady and the two Germans when they joined us the next day. By day 3 we asked the crew to put all the tables together so we had one long table to make it easier to talk to everyone else rather than staying in your own little enclave.

That will do for now. I’ve ended up writing much more about the boat than I intended. For my final section, the actual river trip, I will do just an overall summary and give you some of my impressions as each of the cruise lines have ample information on their websites of where they are going and what they are visiting.
shandy is offline  
Jan 1st, 2019, 09:45 AM
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I'm so glad you went with Pandaw! Cheryl and I took their Chindwin cruise a few years ago. It was wonderful. We were far of the tourist track and saw no other westerners at any of the villages we visited. We would loe to do another of their cruises.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 1st, 2019, 11:36 AM
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Happy New Year. Just came across this report and am very much enjoying it. I’m considering a Burma visit for 2020.
tripplanner001 is online now  
Jan 1st, 2019, 07:54 PM
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Wonderful report @shandy ! So happy you enjoyed Pandaw, our first trip to Myanmar included the Yangon - Mandalay 14 night cruise ! And great that you had a good experience with One Stop Travel in Yangon. I’m still FB friends with a young women who booked my air travel and then recognised me a week later in a shopping centre.
Thank you for writing !
sartoric is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2019, 02:49 PM
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Kathie: I think the Chindwin cruise would have been wonderful. If I get a chance to return to Myanmar that is the one that I would be considering. Had you been to Myanmar before as this would be an interesting choice for your first time? I'm also quite intrigued by the one they offer in Vietnam which goes up the Red River in northern Vietnam. I saw that they just won the Australia Cruise Critic's Editor's Award for Best River Cruise line which is kudos to them.

Triplanner: If you make it in 2020 I'm sure you will love it.

Sartoric: I think it was in one of your posts that I first picked up the idea of looking at One Stop so many thanks for the recommendation.
shandy is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2019, 04:11 AM
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Lovely report and photos! Thank you - I enjoyed it immensely. And if we do ever get to Myanmar (somewhere on that too-long list!), a cruise with Pandaw is a must!
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