Myanmar--Bagan Hotels

Old Mar 4th, 2004, 12:26 PM
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Myanmar--Bagan Hotels

Just got back from Myanmar. Some reports on Bagan hotels:

--The Bagan Hotel. Asking $75 US per night. I had made a reservation by e-mail, but when I got there they claimed never to have heard of me. They offered me a suite for $240 a night, but said they were otherwise out of space. My taxi driver said it was likely they simply threw out my reservation to accomodate a tour group. BEWARE.

Golden Express. $24-30 per night. Never mind the cheesy name. This place was clean, friendly, helpful and displayed an excellent service ethic. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Sakura Hotel/Spa (I forget the first name -- long, starting with a TH). $130 per night. They wanted $100 a night for a very ugly efficiency-type room in what appeared to be their staff dorm. Yeah, right. I had dinner there one night. It was very mediocre and cost $54 US. Save your money. Not worth it.
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Old Mar 4th, 2004, 08:16 PM
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these prices are outrageous....lodging is so cheap in myanmar....why did you encounter these prices??? i have not been to bagan, but have been to yangon where it is dirt cheap in every way, except the strand....
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 01:27 PM
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Well, I found Bagan to be the most "touristy" place I visited in Myanmar. In general, prices were higher, the vendors were pushier, and the people weren't as nice. As for prices, note that the Golden Express (the only one of these places I would actually recommend) was only $24-30. We encountered similar prices for mid-range hotels in Yangon and Mandalay.
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Old Mar 5th, 2004, 07:32 PM
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We've booked New Park hotel in Bagan US18 per twin with air cond etc incl airport transfers)via Santa Maria Tours and Travel in Yangon who were recommended by friends. Not paying more than US26 for accom anywhere in Myanmar. There is no reason to visit Bagan unless you want to see some of the most amazing ruins in the world! Was the visit worth the angst, XS4all? (love your alias). Angkor was spectacular but the touts and kids flogging stuff do give one the heebie jeebies. Just a part of travelling, I guess! The Bagan hotel's staff sound like a bunch of creeps!Good on you for keeping others informed-crappy service is not acceptable anywhere in the world!!
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 07:45 AM
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Lyndie--yeah, it was worth the angst. At the same time, though, it wasn't the stunning wonder that, say, Machu Picchu or Tikal are. For one thing, it's so spread out that you have a really hard time getting a sense for how expansive it is. This is compounded by the fact that at this time of year it is incredibly dusty and hazy. Visibility is reduced to about 2 miles. For another thing, you can't climb on any of the big temples, and the smaller ones that you can climb on aren't marked as such. You just have to wander around looking for which temples have people on top of them. Getting some elevation is critical to getting much of a view of anything.

One recommendation I would make is not to do a "tour" in a horsecart. They are good for getting around the area if you'd prefer not to ride a bike, but the English of the drivers is generally not good and while they may be quite knowledgable, it's pretty hard to figure out what they're trying to say. There is a Myanmar Dept. of Archeology office in Bagan. I regret not going there to arrange a good guide. I think it would have made a big difference in the richness of the experience.

Lastly, the best times we had in Bagan were when we got off the beaten track and visited some of the medium-sized, basically neglected stupas that are away from the main tourist sites. (WATCH FOR SNAKES while doing this--no need to be hysterical, but stick to established paths and do not step in piles of leaves--also, don't stay out after dark.) Those were the only times in Bagan where I felt the real peacefulness and spirituality of the place. You get none of that when trying to enter the main temples and having to run a gauntlet of hawkers and beggars.
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Old Mar 9th, 2004, 02:09 PM
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Tks for your advice, XSall. We are getting pretty excited! I guess we'll just roll with the punches and try not to get too stressed out at all those poor souls who have to do what they do to live. Best of luck!
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