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glorialf Oct 21st, 2005 03:20 PM

Pre-paying for burma hotel and guide
Last time I did this I paid a US agent who paid the local burmese tour operator. This time I'm doing it direct and they need a bank transfer. Has anyone done this? How do I do it? Do I have to go to my bank or what?


NoFlyZone Oct 21st, 2005 04:50 PM

The operator should provide you with all the required routing information. Take that to your local bank and they can easily send out a wire directly from your account.

All commercial banks do wires and I think savings banks and credit unions may.

glorialf Oct 21st, 2005 06:00 PM

I know I sound like an idiot, but do you need to bring a certified check or a regular check or cash or what? I have all the routing information etc.

Lyndie Oct 21st, 2005 06:48 PM

We did not prepay in Mar/Apr 04. It is not necessary. If they don't trust you then why do business with them. Besides it is an expensive procedure from most countries.

twofortheroad Oct 21st, 2005 07:02 PM

We ran into problems last winter with wire transfers, USA to Myanmar. Because of the embargo, US Banks are not permitted to transfer money to Myanmar. Some M agents have set ups to send payments to Singapore, Switzerland, etc. We ended up prepaying for 3 of 4 hotels on line. We booked 1 hotel, internal airfare, & a few other things, about $800 with an agent and payed when we arrived in Myanmar. Perhaps this has changed, check with your bank.

Kathie Oct 21st, 2005 07:55 PM

Gloria, last I heard you cannot get a wire transfer from a US bank to anywhere in Burma. Communicate with your Burmese agent - some of them can route credit card payments through Singapore.

Mealea Oct 21st, 2005 10:07 PM

Gloria, I booked directly with an agent (Santa Maria) for my trip last December. I paid for everything once I arrived in Yangon and they never asked for payment up front.

I remember when I was researching travel agents in Myanmar, I did check out Gracious Myanmar, which I think is the agent you have been using. I remember they asked (demanded) payment up front and I was really turned off by that. None of the other local agents did.

glorialf Oct 22nd, 2005 02:35 AM

actually you're right--it;s a wire transfer to Singapore--not Burma. Personally I'd rather pay up front. i don't want to have to bring even more cash since I know they can't take credit cards or personal checks. I just need to figure out how to do it.

glorialf Oct 22nd, 2005 02:55 AM

I should add -- no one has asked me for money yet. I just read it in the terms and conditions online. But if it doesn't cost a fortune I really would prefer to pre-pay. Burma is not our first stop and I hate having a lot of cash.

nan_49 Oct 22nd, 2005 05:12 AM

Gloria, I too booked with GMT in Yangon. Once I had my trip set, they sent me an invoice and all of the wire instructions were on the second page. I sent mine to Thailand. Mine went through without a hitch. I'm sending my second half before I go even though they are not requesting it. Like you, I prefer to prepay as much as possible so I don't have to hassle with it upon arrival.

laurieco Oct 22nd, 2005 05:21 AM

Gloria, one of the hotels in Burma that we stayed in required a wire transfer and it turned out to be problematic. I requested that I be able to pay once in Burma and they allowed it. Ask tour operator if you can do this, they may say yes.

glorialf Oct 22nd, 2005 05:26 AM

Nan-- you're right. I now remember they sent something when they sent the confirmation. They didn't ask for a deposit since I was an old customer and they haven't said anything about payment but I do want to do it in advance. So what did you do? Just go to your bank and see a customer service person who handled it?

By the way, I got an email from Nyi Nyi the other day and he now has a website.
You might be interested in seeing it. Looks like he will have his own agency soon. You will love him -- I am sure of that.

glorialf Oct 22nd, 2005 05:27 AM

Laurie-- I suspect they will let me pay when I get there but I don't want to. But I misspoke when I said the wire transfer has to go to Burma-- it actually goes to thailand.

nan_49 Oct 22nd, 2005 06:20 AM

Gloria -- I just went to the bank and told them I wanted to send an international wire. I gave them all of the details and it was done. They told me it could take up to a week for them to receive it, but it only took 2-3 days. When reading the instructions fromm GMT, they will tell you not to mention the name of the agency or their country.

rhkkmk Oct 22nd, 2005 07:08 PM

gloria--you will find the wire transfer to be quite expensive...i would ask if they could accept a credit card--not likely however...

the transfer to singapore is easy but costly....maybe they would do an advance on your credit card could e mail the bank and ask them....

go to your bank in chicago and ask about the costs...


glorialf Oct 22nd, 2005 09:52 PM

Nan or others-- what did it cost you to do the transfer? What do you mean by expensive? $100? $500? $50?

nan_49 Oct 23rd, 2005 02:52 AM

Gloria - my bank charged me $40 for the wire transfer. In my opinion, it was well worth it to be able to pre-pay!

glorialf Oct 23rd, 2005 05:32 AM

Thanks, Nan. $40 is absolutely worth it. Especially since I'll split it with my friend.

rhkkmk Oct 23rd, 2005 07:33 AM

if you have a good relationship and tons of $$ in the bank, your bank might do it for $25-75....

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