Need Burma Travel Agent

Old Sep 11th, 2015, 06:46 AM
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Need Burma Travel Agent

We're planning a trip with Pandaw from Mandalay to Rangoon in early December. We would like to spend a few days in country before and after. Can anyone recommend a local travel agent to arrange transportation and lodging for me?
Thanks much,
Don
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Old Sep 11th, 2015, 07:23 AM
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If you search this board, you will find the names of many local travel agents that people recommend. Santa Maria and Myanmar Shalom are the ones that come to mind immediately.
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Old Sep 11th, 2015, 08:52 AM
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One Stop is another agency well-used by people on this site. What do you want to do/see/experience in Myanmar?

Be aware that the first response from most agents will be a complete package with guides, etc. But you are in charge here - tell the agent exactly what you want and don't want.

Have a wonderful trip!
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Old Sep 11th, 2015, 09:02 AM
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Thanks. I've sent emails to both agencies.
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Old Sep 11th, 2015, 09:08 AM
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Thanks Kathie. I'm not really sure what I want to do/see/experience yet. I've only begun to think about it. We're not all that fond of cruises, but I do like small boats and rivers and we've had good experiences cruising rivers in the past. So that's what started all this. Right now I'm just thinking a few days in each city before and after the cruise. But I'm open to expanding that if my research suggests we should.
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Old Sep 11th, 2015, 11:22 AM
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We will be taking a Pandaw cruise in November - the Chidwin one from Monwya to Homalin. I've always wanted to take a Pandaw cruise in Burma, one that gets us off the tourist track. We also are not cruise people, but I expect this cruise to be a real treat.

Burma/Myanmar is a place that rewards lots of research. I read dozens of books before our first trip. I have two trip reports here, from 2009 and 2011 - ignore the first parts about politics and money, as things have changed a LOT since then. You may actually find our photos more helpful in deciding where to go: www.marlandc.com

Enjoy your trip to this magical country!
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Old Sep 11th, 2015, 01:58 PM
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We've used Diethelm Travel many time when traveling through Asia and were very happy with the guides, pricing. We had worked out our own itinerary and just used them for guides/transfers and advice. You will love Burma! http://www.diethelmtravel.com/Pages/home.aspx
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Old Sep 12th, 2015, 04:37 PM
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We were in Burma in March and used Myanmar Shalom. I designed our own program and booked cars drivers hotels and river cruise through them. Did lots research with this boards help before telling Tin..the agent, what we wanted. He gave me the prices on each hotel, flight and the cruise before I booked. I could take what parts I wanted, but went with his whole program in the end. All parts were c the same or cheaper than I could do on liner. We were very pleased with the whole package except for our driver in Yangon...he was not that great...all the others had been so good!

The traffic in Yangon is terrible, so allow plenty of time to move around from place to place...that was the real problem for us and probably effected the whole touring time there.

Look at our blog for details on what we did and pictures....

www.rtw50thanniversary.blogspot.com

Go to the bottom of the page for the index and click on March 21 for the start for the Burma part. Then click new post at the end of each day to read the whole part . We were there March 21 - 27. Also I asked for a very low key trip... More so than most others. Tin worked hard to give us an easy trip.
F
Hope you enjoy your cruise as much as we did....our favorite part or some great experiences
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Old Sep 13th, 2015, 03:01 PM
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Just a late input (been away with poor internet) but I am also on a Pandaw cruise later this year.I have used One Stop Travel for the last couple of visits and this time they are arranging 3 flights and a hotel for me.
SS
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Old Sep 14th, 2015, 10:14 AM
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Thanks Carolyn, I enjoyed reading your blog and picked up some pointers.

Silverswimmer, I just received recommended itineraries from One Stop and Santa Maria. One Stop quoted about half the dollars as Santa Maria. It will be interesting to see where we end up.
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Old Sep 14th, 2015, 10:31 AM
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Are you comparing apples with apples? Same hotels? Same number of days with car/driver/guide? Last time someone told me they found a much better price with a different agent, the lodging chosen was entirely different. In general, I've found that local agents (not foreign agents) have very similar pricing
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 05:22 AM
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You are correct Kathie. Revised itineraries with same lodging are much closer in price - Myanmar Shalom is similarly priced.
I'm still playing with the itinerary - thinking about adding a trip to Inle Lake.
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Old Sep 15th, 2015, 01:31 PM
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Thanks for reading....it was a great trip.

Do try to work in Inle Lake. It and the cruise were our favorite parts. I would really have liked at least one more day there. The whole area had lots to offer and so many different things to see. It was a long way for just one night, but we were so glad we took a night away from Bagan and flew to Heho instead!
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Old Oct 23rd, 2015, 01:12 PM
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I spent 12 days in Myanmar last November 2014, all arranged by Myanmar Shalom. My favorite place was Inle Lake. We stayed 3 nights, arriving late afternoon the first day. We had 2 full days and one half for touring and it was just right. Do not skip Inle Lake. I can vouch for Myanmar Shalom's service-not a glitch the whole 12v days.
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Old Feb 25th, 2016, 02:45 PM
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We also used Sammy from Shalom Travel, and we were quite pleased. He found great hotels for us, and arranged all the flights perfectly. My older son was our trip captain, and he pestered Sammy endlessly about getting the flights and hotels we wanted, and Sammy managed to get us off the wait list, and onto "accepted" for it all.

If you get to Yangon, visit the beautiful synagogue there, of which Sammy is an active member. You don't have to be Jewish to appreciate its beauty. Avoid visiting Friday sundown to Saturday sundown for the Sabbath.
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Old Feb 29th, 2016, 09:01 AM
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aslonimne
So-who did you end up using and how was it?
SS
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