Santa Maria prices

Jun 22nd, 2011, 02:07 AM
  #1  
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Santa Maria prices

I'm pretty happy with the flexibility and prices of this agency for planning my trip to Myanmar and have used them to book all the hotels, flights, boats, etc. I'm not sure how far to go with this. I don't want a guide schlepping me around in Yangon or Mandalay or Bagan (cart + bicycle) so I don't think I want guides anywhere really, just drivers, and I think I'm good with their rates for that.

The transfers from/to airports seems a bit much ($25 a pop) compared to the price of everything else, I'm wondering what you think about using taxis at Yangon & Mandalay...if it's negligible, I'd just as soon have them do it.

As an aside, I called the Myanmar Embassy in Phnom Penh. I have to show up in person to get the visa and when I asked them what I needed to bring, she said "$20, 3 passport photos, your passport, your tickets, your itinerary and a business card" I said "A business card?" "Yes, no business card, no visa." Interesting twist.
offwego is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 02:28 AM
  #2  
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One more thing...$50 for a car+ driver in Yangon for the day seems excessive?

I can't help compare everything to Cambodia where ground transport seems much cheaper.
offwego is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 02:37 AM
  #3  
 
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I think the business card is another way of asking for proof of employment. When we went to Yangon we took a taxi from the airport but in Mandalay the hotel sent a van to pick us up.
Hanuman is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 03:51 AM
  #4  
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Yes I was advised not to give the "NGO card" but rather the "Guesthouse" card. It's good to have many jobs to choose from
offwego is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 06:26 AM
  #5  
 
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Offwego, Airport transfers in Bagan and Yangon are easy and cheap ($6 or $7) but the Mandalay airport is an hour out of town. I had Santa Maria arrange a transfer for Mandalay but not the other cities.

$50 for a horsecart and driver is way high. If you'd like, I can give you the contact info for my horsecart driver/guide in Bagan who is superb (in fact, we're making a short stop in Bagan this trip just to see him and a few more temples). Min Thu's prices are less than half that.

We had Santa Maria book us a car and driver each day in Mandalay, as we'll be going on long drives out of town. I didn't ask for any guides.

As you know, a travel agency will arrange absolutely anything you'd like them to arrange, but you get to choose. Are you going to Inle? You'll want an airport transfer there. We had them arrange a car and driver to pick us up at the airport and take us to Kakku before taking us to our hotel in Inle last trip. That worked out perfectly.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 06:34 AM
  #6  
 
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i thought the yangon airport and the "system" was chaotic... i can't imagine not having a driver meet me there, no matter the cost.... although that does seem steep as the airport is very close to town...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 06:35 AM
  #7  
 
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btw, make sure to visit the glass factory in yangon..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 06:51 AM
  #8  
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What about $50 for a driver all day in Yangon?
offwego is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 03:10 PM
  #9  
 
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i don't think that is bad probably... i have a great one if you want to contact him privately
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 03:49 PM
  #10  
 
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I found it easy to get a taxi from the Yangon airport. There is a person to assign you to a taxi - it was very smooth - as well as cheap. $50 for a driver all day in Yangon is reasonable. We didn't use a driver, just used taxis as needed. But whether to use a driver depends on what you want to do in Yangon.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 04:13 PM
  #11  
 
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part of what we liked about having the driver was that he could take us into the leafy areas of yangon and we could poke around at isolated shops and galleries which are not down town....plus we saw some of the former grandeur still evident in the diplomatic enclave areas...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2011, 06:18 PM
  #12  
 
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Yup, for what you did in Yangon it made sense to get a driver, for what we did, it didn't. We went to just two or three places in a day and stayed several hours at each. A taxi was easier and less expensive.
Kathie is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 07:08 AM
  #13  
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thanks for the input. This trip will be ridiculously cheap all together, so I guess I'm not too worried about how much the transfers are

Excited to be going to Burma at last.
offwego is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 07:20 AM
  #14  
 
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Lori, I'm really looking forward to hearing about your trip! When do you go?
Kathie is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 11:38 AM
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And me , I hope you do a report in time for when I go.
Smeagol is offline  
Jun 24th, 2011, 10:10 PM
  #16  
 
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We paid $ 50 total for both a guide and driver in Yangon. We also loved being picked up at the airport and having that prearranged. We used Goldenrock Travel, but I think their prices are the same as Santa Maria.
pattyroth is offline  
Jun 26th, 2011, 06:26 AM
  #17  
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I'm leaving July 21st.

Still have no idea really what I'm doing and haven't had much time to research but I don't have much problem "winging it".

Will report back with multiple stories of mishaps, I'm certain of it.
offwego is offline  
Jun 26th, 2011, 07:01 AM
  #18  
 
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I think it depends on how many days you are staying in Yangon. Have a car and driver for one day to get the lay of the land so to speak. The rest of the time go by taxi or walk depending on where you are staying.

$25 for the transfer in Mandalay seems reasonable, which hotel have they booked for you? Mandalay is large and you almost need a car and driver to see everything, especially Saigang.

Have a fabulous time, Myanmar is a great country to visit.
Nywoman is offline  

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