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Please comment on suggested itinerary from Santa Maria

Please comment on suggested itinerary from Santa Maria

Feb 15th, 2013, 07:47 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
Please comment on suggested itinerary from Santa Maria

This is what I provided to them as a starting point: A group of six are planning trip to Myanmar in November. We will be arriving on Nov 9 and departing on Nov 23.
2 men and 4 women. We want to go to Bagan including hot air ballooning, Inle Lake including side trip to Kakku and Sankar. If we have time we would like to do some trekking/hiking. And of course some time in Yangoon.. We do like comfortable, clean but it does not need to be luxury or for business. We like smaller boutique hotels. So we do not need to stay at the Traders Hotel or other big hotels. Can you please put together a trip and add in any of area or side trip you feel is important to do.

It seems that she added alot of Mandalay and not so much Inle Lake but...since I am unfamiliar with some of the towns. Your comments are welcome.

Nov. 9th Yangon – arrival and sightseeing Panorama Hotel/Superior Room
Nov. 10th Yangon – drive to Golden Rock, visit Bago on the way Mountain Top Hotel/Deluxe Room
Nov. 11th Golden Rock – drive back to Yangon in the morning and fly to Mandalay in the afternoon.
Ayarwaddy River View/Deluxe City View
Nov. 12th Mandalay – visit Amarapura and Inwa, proceed to Monywa Nov 2013 (Car / Ferry boat /
Horse Cart) Win Unity Hotel/Deluxe Garden View Room
Nov. 13th Monywa – visit Po-win-taung in the morning and return to Mandalay, visit Sagaing on the way (Car /Ferry boat/Jeep) Ayarwaddy River View/Deluxe City View
Nov. 14th Mandalay – visit to Mingun by boat in the morning and continue visit Mandalay in the afternoon Nov 2013 (Car/ Boat) Ayarwaddy River View/Deluxe City View
Nov 15th Mandalay – travel to Bagan by boat (Car/ Boat) Tharabar Gate Hotel/Deluxe Room
Nov 16th Visit in Bagan ( Balloon over Bagan) (Car) Tharabar Gate Hotel/Deluxe Room
Nov 17th Breakfast at hotel and morning visit around Bagan by Horse Cart and enjoy sightseeing by car in the afternoon. (Car/Horse Cart) Tharabar Gate Hotel/Deluxe Room
Nov 18th Bagan – fly to Heho by drive to and visit Pindaya, then proceed to Kalaw (Car/ Flight) Amara Resort /Deluxe Room
Nov 19th Kalaw – day return trekking to Ethnic Villages Nov 2013 (Trekking /Car) Amara Resort /Deluxe Room
Nov 20th Kalaw– drive to Kakku via Taunggyi, proceed to Inle Lake (Car/ Boat) View Point Lodge/Cottage Suite
Nov 21st Sagar boat trip (Boat) View Point Lodge/Cottage Suite
Nov 22nd Inle Lake – morning visit – fly back to Yangon in the afternoon (Boat/ Car/ Flight) Panorama Hotel/Superior Room
Nov 23rd Morning visit in Yangon – departure (Car)
deanlink is offline  
Feb 15th, 2013, 07:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 128
Looks nice, although I have to say that you are packing a lot of places in a relatively short time. It's a bit a pity you don't have more time at the Inle lake.

We did a similar two weeks trip in 2002. See here our travelogue to get an idea how things went:
The pics of the trip are here:
amln is offline  
Feb 15th, 2013, 08:28 AM
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Posts: 6
I agree. I think that we can skip or trim the Mandalay part so we can have more time in Inle Lake. This is their first draft. I am sure that we will be making some changes. I wanted to see what they would come up with based on my guidelines. Ultimately I would rather spend more time in fewer places. Also I see no Kakku or Sankar on the itinerary which we asked for... I will look at your travelogues.... Thanx
deanlink is offline  
Feb 15th, 2013, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,021
As is typical for agents, they have packed a lot in, figuring you will feel you will get your money's worth. You will enjoy your trip more if you do a bit of editing.

Do you have a special interest in visiting the Golden Rock? Unless you do, I'd cut it, as it's a lot of driving for a short experience of the rock.

For me, the highlights are Bagan and Inle, and I'd try to maximize your time in those two places. You will want three full days in each place, which means four nights.

Since you want to do trekking, Kalaw makes sense.

Mandalay itself was not very interesting, but we loved Sagaing. You could easily cut some (or all) time from Mandalay.

If it was me:

Arrive Yangon and immediately fly to HeHo, drive to Kalaw, 2 nights there for trekking,
Drive to Inle with side trip to Kakku on the way, 4 nights Inle
Fly to Bagan, 4 nights Bagan
Fly to Yangon, 2 nights before departing

If you click on my name, you'll find my two Burma trip reports, 2009 and 2011. photos at www.marlandc.com
Kathie is offline  
Feb 15th, 2013, 08:40 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,021
dean, we were posting at the same time. Their proposal doesn't mention Kakku, but they do include Sankar - Sangar is one of a number of alternate spellings for this place.
Kathie is offline  
Feb 15th, 2013, 08:41 AM
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Bless you Kathie...! I was hoping you would chime in. I agree completely. Yes I did not ask for Golden Rock nor Mandalay....

Thanks to you and amln!
deanlink is offline  
Feb 26th, 2013, 04:33 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 1
I agree with Kathie. Your schedule looks so tight with many destination in a short period. What is your interest on the trip (myanmar). Is your first time? For starter I will recommend classical trip of Yangon-Mandalay-Bagan-Heho. After 24 hrs flight from US, you need a well design plan to fit Golden Rock trip. It needs a long car ride and might need to walk top of the mountain.
Good luck on your trip and welcome to Myanmar
ryan_exquizittravel is offline  
Feb 27th, 2013, 10:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 6
I would agree with all that has been said.

Spending 2 days for the golden rock seems like a lot for what it is.

With 15 days in the country I wouldn't skip Mandalay altogether. We loved everything by King Mindon (Mingun, Biggest Book, Teak Palace). We also liked Sagaing Hill, the teak bridge and the monastery. However, Inwa was a big waste of time with nothing unique enough to warrant the time. Didn't visit Monywa so I can't speak to that.

Traveling to Bagan by boat will take ALL day. The hour boat trip to Mingun was enough for us. The river is so wide that you can't see a lot along the way. There were 6 in our party also and flying from Bagan to Mandalay was only like $50 more total than other forms of transportation and it gave us more time in the actual place we wanted to see.

2 days in Bagan is not enough. We went at the end of September when the balloons aren't available. We had 2 days in Bagan and 1 going to Mt Popa. We wished that we had had 1 more day in Bagan. It is SO hot there. You can only go see stuff in the morning and late afternoon. If I were you I would try my best to add one more day here. Before going I was a little afraid of burning out on the temples. However, that shouldn't be a concern. The atmosphere of the entire place is so amazing.

On Nov 22nd you have the same schedule that we had for our last day at Inle Lake. What happened though is that Santa Maria changed that portion of the itinerary the day before we arrived in Myanmar. Apparently the afternoon flights from Heho to Yangon are sporadic and often canceled. It forced us to spend an extra day in Yangon instead of more time in Inle Lake... not what we wanted. So, I would not bank on that morning being your only time to see the lake.

It seems like this itinerary sacrifices Inle Lake for Kakku and Sagar. It takes an entire day to see everything around the lake (market, lotus & silk weaving, blacksmiths, floating gardens, 5 buddha eggs, etc.). I think staying around the lake for one day would be well worth it.
tland is offline  
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