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-   -   Myanmar - internal flights and hotel bookings (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/myanmar-internal-flights-and-hotel-bookings-812465/)

Wonkyknee Oct 30th, 2009 01:38 PM

Myanmar - internal flights and hotel bookings
 
I have now booked my flight from London to BKK - onwards to Yangon return to BKK. I have allowed 14 days for Myanmar 31st Jan to 14th Feb 2010. Now I am stuck!!

I need help/advice with flight from Yangon to Mandalay - cruise down the river from Mandalay to Bagan - flight to Inle Lake area and get back for last 2 days in Yangon.

Hotels along the way - which ones and how do I book them
River cruise - which one and how do I book it
How many days do I allow in each place

I arrive on 31st Jan in Yangon at 9 am and was thinking I should fly to Mandalay the next day and work my way back to Yangon for the ednd of the trip before I fly back to BKK.

Wonkyknee Oct 30th, 2009 01:45 PM

I forgot to ask - where do I book the flight to Mandalay!

Kathie Oct 30th, 2009 03:16 PM

After struggling to book flights through my Bangkok agent, I finally contacted an agent in Burma who booked my flights. I used Santa Maria, which is located in Rangoon. Google them.

River cruise - are you looking for a high end cruise? Then your options are Pandaw and The Road to Mandalay (an Orient Express Boat) Go to their respective websites to see schedules and prices.

If you are looking to take a local boat, you'll need to wait until you are there to buy a ticket. Note that boats don't go every day.

How many days in each place? It depends on your interests. Do you have a guidebook? Lonely Planet has the best (maybe only current) guidebook. What is right for me isn't necessarily right for you.

Hotels - again, that depends on you. What price range do you want? The Lonely Planet is a good starting point for thinking about hotels.

dogster Oct 31st, 2009 03:41 AM

Bravo you wonk, for jumping in - but you're only stuck because you appear to have done no research at all.

Well, no problem - there are a ton of trip-reports in here that will get you started. Read them first, eh? Then you'll find advice in here will work better for you.

But basically, the reality of Burma is that free-style travel is very difficult to arrange. You can try - but you may die of stress before you get there. Kathie nearly did. She is an intrepid, free-spirited, highly competent traveler - if Burma reduced her to getting a travel agent, you can be sure it will do the same to you.

However - we have a spy on the ground. One poster in here called Nywoman is heading to Yangon in a day or so, with hardly a booked arrangement - you can track her progress. I sure will be.

But just go into Santa Maria - or Diethelm's websites and look at their two week tours. I'm not suggesting you DO them, just steal the itinerary.

And use Google search. Everything you need is there. If you want information here, best to answer some of Kathie's questions.

Gpanda Oct 31st, 2009 04:09 AM

Wonk-this forum almost always recommends independent travel. The fact that experts like Kathie and the Dogster suggest using an on the ground travel agent speaks volumes about the difficulty in arranging logistics on your own in Myanmar. Take a look at some trip reports and you will see that most used TA's. There is no award for doing everything on your own.

dogster Oct 31st, 2009 06:00 AM

Hi again Wonk, I've just been reading your previous posts - now I know where you are coming from. No wonder you're confused and stressed - 56 days all over S.E. Asia is a HUGE task to think through. Let me repeat: Bravo you!

Here's a tip: when you post just add those details you put before about your planned trip. People forget who you are.

I don't know how much you have organised but here's a quick fix for all your other flights in S.E. Asia:

http://www.skyscanner.in

I can highly recommend the Pandaw river cruises and also, in a totally different way, Orient Express. River is a really good way to travel. A lot of wonderful stuff is along the river bank and it's so easy. You might like it a lot, particularly as a break from having to do it all yourself..

http://www.orient-express.com/web/rtm/journeys.jsp

[too expensive for a single, I think - only the Bhamo trip is cost-effective. Compare. It's a 'let's pretend we've been to Burma' kinda trip.]

Best option I know [altho' there are some new ones]

http://www.pandaw.com/myanmar-c-22.html

They have a very cool singles policy. Others just rip us off. If you fold and just need a bitta love, then jump on a Pandaw for 10 days, grab a side trip to Lake Inle and you're done. [The Pandaw will mostly include Yangon sightseeing] Easy as pie.

Remember, you can cancel your flights and re-book if you need to juggle dates. You are not locked in.

I'm very impressed with your upcoming adventure. 10/10 for courage, spirit of adventure and all-round lunacy.

Nywoman Oct 31st, 2009 06:52 AM

Wonky,
I will be in Yangon on the 3rd for 3 weeks. However I have no illusions that I can plan this part of my trip without help of travel agents. I have 3 nights booked at a hotel in Yangon, a few social contacts to call and of course the agents.

To try to plan travel in Myanmar by internet and e-mail is an excersize in total frustration, unless you have a very finite time and know exactly what you want to do.

Tomorrow, here in Chiang Mai, I will spend some time with one of the guides who has been there 3 times.Will post whatever I learn

wmbolman Nov 26th, 2009 10:18 PM

We returned from Myanmar at end of October and had a fabulous experience with myanmarfrangipanitour.com or [email protected]. (Check their website). The owner is fun, detailed oriented and quite thorough. Min Min of Frangipani Tours made all the arrangements for flights ( on Bagan Air) and for the boat trip down the Irrewaddy , through a local company with a modern ship. It was quite relaxing. We stayed in Bagan at the Thande Riverview Hotel; the pavillion was built for Edward IV when he was travelling as the Prince of Wales. Overall it was surprisingly reasonable prices for everything including flights, competent English speaking guides, hotels, transportation.
Min Min also replies quite fast using the internet - a day or 2 depending on time zone differences.
With frangipani we basically gave Min Min a rough idea of what we wanted after doing lots of reading and Min Min created an itinerary for us- no big group tour .
We also visited an orphanage which made Mandalay more special.
In Yangon we stayed at the Kandawgi Palace Hotel (on the Lake which is near the Shwedegon Pagoda. You can walk to it and see it at night lit up from the rooms. It is in a more residential neighborhood but cabs and drivers are very reasonable to get downtown or anywhere in Yangon.
Aloha from Hawaii


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