Myanmar - starting point

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Feb 6th, 2014, 06:20 AM
  #21
 
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Inle Lake View - beautiful place, on the lakeside. You can drive to it. Some agents will include a boat transfer, not because you need it, but because some people want a boat transfer. Also, the hotel will help you put together your itinerary on the lake and communicate with the boatman.
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Feb 6th, 2014, 07:19 AM
  #22
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I contacted Inle Lake View, but they don't have their rates for November yet, so I was given the impression that I couldn't make a reservationyet. It would be nice to get an idea of what their rates were so I can decide if it's within the realm of possibility.
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Feb 6th, 2014, 07:23 AM
  #23
 
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Ask if you can reserve. I don't know what your budget is, but I think we paid $140 for a junior suite years ago, when the rate at the Inle Princess was $200. I'm sure the rate is higher now, but I have no idea how much higher.
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Feb 6th, 2014, 05:02 PM
  #24
 
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We worked with Santa Maria and started in March trying to get a res at Inle lake view. They did not have rooms available for February of this year. I asked to be put on a wait list as I understand tours book blocks of rooms and then release them. By Fall there was still nothing. Since I was going to be traveling most of fall I wanted to lock in a room. decided rather than stay on the lake wanted to be in town so we could go out in the evening. SM recommended several places and we selected Pristine Lotus Spa resort which is lovely. However we might as well we on the lake since it's 40 minutes to NyaungShwe (sp) as the road is all torn up. It is about a five minute walk to a very small village. By boat from out hotel is $20 and takes twenty minutes to get to NS. Boat will wait as long as you like. so really we are just as isolated here as we would be on the lake, our lovely room is $190. They have just opened less expensive units right on the water at their pier. We arrived by car from HeHo airport which was forty minutes car ride.

Be prepared for sticker shock when you price hotels. I, like you had read lots of TR and rates were doubled at least.

So happy to be missing the lousy winter in DC.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 05:46 AM
  #25
 
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We really loved Inle Lake View more than any other place we stayed in Burma. Do what you can to reserve there. The full day we spent on the water going to Sankar was probably our best time of the entire trip (although we loved Min Thu and his brother/cousin also).

It was 30 degrees this morning on my way out. Two more days and then back to Anguilla.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 06:41 AM
  #26
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Kathie, as an FYI, I just heard back from Inle Lake View. They will hold a room for me if I wire money to Singapore, even though they haven't posted their 2014 rates yet. Their current rates are $220 for a deluxe room and $255 for a junior suite (with the upper floors costing a bit more). Yestravel, you're right about sticker shock. I'm more leery about wiring money to someone (vs. PayPal), but I know I'll have to bite the bullet soon.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 07:13 AM
  #27
 
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Wiring money to pay for hotels for Burma is typical. We met the owner of the Inle Lake View, a woman who was ready to go to university when the big crackdown happened. She started a travel agency instead, then when things got better decided to build a hotel at Inle, using local materials and labor. The hotels employees are locals she has trained (though she may have brought in a foreign GM by now). She had wonderful ideas for producing food for the hotel locally. For me, it wasn't only a lovely place to stay (and the food was excellent), but I loved supporting the local community through her projects.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 08:39 AM
  #28
 
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I understand your concern but I agree with Kathie that it is a very well run operation. The GM when we were there was French. Sometimes you have to take these kinds or risks.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 02:50 PM
  #29
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Kathie, FromDC, this is a dumb question, but is Inle Lake View air conditioned? It doesn't say anything on their website. My husband is extremely sensitive to the heat, but I can't imagine a place of this calibre not having AC. I've just written back to them but though I might get an answer from you quicker.

Also, is Indien worth going to? How about the 5 day market? We've been to markets all through SE Asia and love them, but if there's a better use of our time, I'd rather plan for that.

What hotel would you recommend in Bagan? I know a lot of people stay at the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate. My friend just stayed at the Bluebird and said it was very nice, but I was unsure about the location.

Thank you again for your time in answering my questions.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 03:05 PM
  #30
 
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No air conditioning at Inle Lake view. In November, you are more likely to wish it had heat!

You might benefit from reading about my first trip to Burma: www.fodors.com/community/asia/burma-at-last.cfm as that is when we visited Inle.

Also, I wrote a short article about where to visit at Inle: http://www.travelindependently.com/r...-for-inle-lake

Briefly, go to Sankar, visit InDien first thing in the morning. Choose carefully which craft workshops you want to visit. We only visited the weaving place, as it's the only place I know of that weaves from lotus fiber.

The hotel with the best location in Bagan is Tharbar Gate. We had a huge suite with a charming little patio at the back. We ate lunch there each day. We stayed last time at the Tryptisaya Sanctuary in one of the fabulous riverfront suites. The problems with staying there is that the food is pretty bad. But who knows, maybe it has improved.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 04:00 PM
  #31
 
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Oops, forgot to mention about the markets. Go to the five day market if it is NOT at the floating market, Do not go to the floating market even when it isn't the five-day market. I thought the market was interesting, but not dramatically different from the dozens of markets I've visited in SE Asia.
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Feb 7th, 2014, 04:17 PM
  #32
 
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We stayed four nights at Tharabar Gate and the location is great. rooms could use some spiffing up. Breakfast was ok, but we had lunch there and it was so so. However several good restaurants five minutes walk away. It does seem to get a fair share of big tour groups.

I'm not so much into markets anymore, but we did do a small one on the lake and it was nice. I'm sure you will want to check out at least one if you do like markets. Wasn't overrun with tourist when we were there. We also did the lotus weaving shop and it was very interesting. Also early in the am and we were there by ourselves. We liked Indien for a stop. Just loved observing life on the lake...fabulous!
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Feb 8th, 2014, 07:39 AM
  #33
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Thanks for the recommendations regarding the markets. We also like to stay away from where the tourists are, so we will definitely avoid the floating markets. We love observing life on the water as it's so different than what we have in this country.

I've booked at the Blue Bird hotel in Bagan, based on the strong recommendation from my friend. Min Thu will guide us while we're there. I have a room reserved at the Inle View Resort. I'll look at your TR, Kathie (and hopefully one from you, yestravel) to build my itinerary for our stays in both those cities.

Thank you again for all your help.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 08:35 AM
  #34
 
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Is the Blue Bird in Old Bagan or New Bagan? I wouldn't book a hotel in New Bagan - too far from the temples.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 08:59 AM
  #35
 
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Regarding location, I stayed in both New Bagan and in Nyaung-U and enjoyed them both. The temples cover such a large area I don't think it matters much where the hotel is, unless, for instance, a river view is important. The hotel in New Bagan was at the edge of town and had a view of many temples from the balcony.

I suggest finding a hotel you like the look of no matter the location as you'll often need a taxi to get around in any case.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 09:33 AM
  #36
 
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As internetwiz will be seeing the temples via horse cart, location is of greater importance. Both New Bagan and Nyaung-U are significantly farther from the greatest concentration of temples than Old Bagan is. We stayed in Old Bagan both trips, and used a taxi only to and from the airport, otherwise we used the horse cart.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 09:43 AM
  #37
 
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That makes sense then, Kathie. But, for me, having a place I love to stay may trump a horse cart. Either way, seeing the temples is the thing.
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Feb 8th, 2014, 06:26 PM
  #38
 
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We stayed at Tharabar Gate and thought it was terrific, lovely rooms and very good service. Lots of good restaurants a short walk away for lunch and dinner. We only ate there for breakfast. Sorry, don't remember if there was a/c at Inle Lake but we were there in July, DH is also sensitive to heat, we had no problem.
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Feb 9th, 2014, 06:09 AM
  #39
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The Bluebird Hotel is in Nyaung Oo, so your points are well taken. It sounds like staying in Old Town is a better location, especially if we want to wander around the temples at night.
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Feb 9th, 2014, 06:40 AM
  #40
 
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I'm not sure I would wander around the temples after dark...it's really dark! It's rather difficult to see where you are walking. That said, I would still stay in old Bagan or very near it.
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