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Returning to Myanmar and Cambodia Would you Help us?


Jun 6th, 2012, 08:29 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 108
Returning to Myanmar and Cambodia Would you Help us?

Dear Fodorites, after many years away, we are considering a second take to Myanmar and Cambodia this November. We are considering to visit again Bagan, but now including Mandalay and nearby ancient sites, and Mrauk U. In the case of Cambodia, we would only thinking on Siem Reap to visit again Angkor complex. Finally using BKK as arriving Hub.

1.- Flights:
We are considering Premium Economy with Thairways from LAX to BKK. Do you know which is the best way to book this flight? Another alternative could be EVA. Pls. advice if there´s another value way to reach BKK.

For the interSEA flights we are searching on Bangkok Airways Discovery Pass to flight from BKK to Yangon / Yangon to Siem Reap / Siem Reap to BKK. We don't know if this will be cost effective but we might add Phuket at the end of the trip Moreover, is it possible to flight from BKK to Mandalay?

2.- Nights Allocation and Proposed Hotels

BKK - 1 night airport which one?
Mandalay 3 Nights at Sedona
Bagan 3 Nights at T.Sakura
Mrauk 3 Nights U at Princess Resort
Siem Reap 4 Nights at H.Paix or FFC
BKK - 2Night thinking on river side hotel but not decided yet, pls. help

What do you think? We would like to be at nice places to relax after touring.

3.- Restaurants / Bars / Shops /other attractions

We always try to go to the best restaurants/places on each our visit but Its been several years since our last trip to South East Asia, so if you recall a find restaurant or bar, or other activity to enhance our trip pls. advice (we are considering taking ballon ride at Bagan and quad tour in Siem Reap, any thoughts?) Also we are serious crafts shoppers so your advice on this topic will be appreciated.

Sorry for this long post and really thank for your guidance and help!
jcontreras is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2012, 07:38 AM
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Here are my thoughts about your Burma time. You'll need to add another day or so to make it work, IMO.

No flights (right now) from BKK to Mandalay, you have to fly to Yangon. So plan to take a flight as soon after you arrive in Yangon as possible. Book your flights and hotels ahead via an agent in Yangon. In Mandalay, I'd recommend the Rupar Mandalar if you can get it.

Bagan - I assume you are referring to the Thiripyitsaya? If you can, opt for a riverfront suite. As you may know, I have a guide/horsecart driver who has become our friend that I can highly recommend. Let me know if you want his contact info.

To get to Mrauk U, you will likely need to spend a night in Yangon between Bagan and the flight to Sittwee, depending on flight schedules. The rather pricey Princess boats will take you as long as you can get on the river by 3:00 or 4:00, so you can make it in one day.

Here is a link to my 2011 report which included the places you are going:
Kathie is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2012, 09:45 AM
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Kathie, thanks for your reply, I already read your whole report and have to tell you are in part guilty of this trip! Thanks for sharing that great report!

Regarding our flights, so I will try to flight to Yangon the next morning after arriving to BKK. Do you think BKK is still the best hub to getting there? I was also thinking on Singapore Airlines, but dont know if the RGN-SG-SiemReap flight would be mores expensive.

As for the Hotels, last time we were att eh Thiriptsaya, thats the one Im refering, We will try to get the river view room. Thkks for your suggestion on Rupar Mandalar.

What do you think on time in Mandalay? Another possibility will be to skip Mandalay altogether adding more nights to Bagan or Mruak, Im still wondering if Mandalay (I mean the nearby sites) are worthy enough compared to the other places? One feature of Mandalay I like is that as a big city, shopping (crafts and so on) would be better and also better restos, but not sure on this.

Thanks again for your inputs! All ver appreciated and taken.
jcontreras is offline  
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Jun 7th, 2012, 09:55 AM
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I'm glad to plead guilty to inspiring this trip!

BKK is the least expensive hub to get to Burma. Singapore is much more expensive for flights to Yangon.

Did you go to Inle Lake last time you were there? Inle Lake is a much more interesting destination than Mandalay. You'll also find the best crafts at Inle (particularly at InDien).

Good restaurants are hard to find. We had good food at several hotels, but generally mediocre was the best we could hope for... Burma is not a foodie's destination.
Kathie is offline  
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Jun 8th, 2012, 11:12 AM
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I have been researching trips to Asia (Borneo, specifically) and wanted to fly Premium Economy (or upgrade to Business Class). One thing I considered was the availability of a flight pass for the Asia portion of the trip because I expected to take a number of one-way flights on arrival. But typically you can only buy a pass from the airline you flew to Asia with (or maybe from another airline in the same network). So you might want to consider whether flying with Thai will enable you to get a pass that will get you to the places you want to go, and whether it will be a good value.

Ultimately, we ended up deciding to book business class flights with points to SIN/from HKG, instead of paying for Premium Economy to BKK, and we'll use the cash saved for intra-Asia flights.
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