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Some questions concerning my Myanmar trip

Some questions concerning my Myanmar trip

Sep 2nd, 2011, 08:05 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2006
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Some questions concerning my Myanmar trip

Hi all,
I just finalized my plane reservations and am now into the planning phase. I have read other Fodorites trip trip reports (thanks so much for posting), but still have questions. Right now I am thinking the itinerary will be something like this:

2 nights Yangon, 3 nights Mandalay, 4 nights Bagan, 1 night Kalaw, 4 nights Inle, 1 night Yangon 3 nights Mirauk U, 2 nights Yangon.

1-In Mandalay-, I am intersted in seeing the ancient cities in depth. How long does it take to see the major sites in Saigang? Did you see the Saigang, Inwa and the other ancient city in one day or 2, and if you did it in 1 day, did it feel rushed. I do not know if I need to add an extra day in Mandalay?

2-In Sittwe can we get from the airport to the boat jetty on our own, or do we need to arrange this in advance?

3- In Mirauk U, can you walk to most temples, and can we arrange transport one we get there rather than in advance.

3-I am again thinking of taking the boat from Mandalay to Bagan. I noticed 2 Fodorites are planning Jan trips doing this. Any feedback on what to expect would be helpful in making the decision whether to do this or fly. I love river boat rides, but don't know how comfortable it is traveling on this boat.

4-Any opinion on including Pindaya caves? The added expense is about $100 dollars, mostly for transportation. (We are including Kakku.)
shelleyk is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2011, 09:32 AM
  #2  
 
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4 - we did the Pindaya Caves and thought it worthwhile with a pleasant drive to and from. They are best reached after landing at Heho and before you head over to Inle (you backtrack to Heho).
Craig is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2011, 09:54 AM
  #3  
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Thanks Craig. We will include it in our itinerary. We will land at Heho, go to Pindaya Caves, and spend the night in Kalaw. Next day we will go to Kakku before checking into our hotel at Inle.

BTW, one of the reasons we are going to Myanmar is because when I asked your wife at a GTG what was the best trip she had been on, she said Myanmar.
shelleyk is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2011, 01:22 PM
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Hi Shelley - I'll pass that on to Jeane...
Craig is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2011, 07:41 PM
  #5  
 
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Hi Shelley – Your trip sounds wonderful!

I can share my experience on the all day ferry #3

In October, I was on the (fast) 11 hour, tourist ferry from Mandalay to Bagan. I will say the first and last hours were absolutely stunning! I love a journey – I love seeing the river life but this ferry ride was just too long for me.

I guess it didn’t help that it was filled to capacity with tourists (like me). So it was kinda like being on the airport transfer bus - for 11 hours. Be ready to sit in the sun on the open top deck for the best views or you can sit in the crowded (economy seating) airplane like cabin below with A/C. (I did have a delicious egg & rice lunch).

I have photos of it if you’d like to look: http://burmatrip.shutterfly.com/pictures
(Click on the BAGAN album for the ferry ride from Mandalay to Bagan)

I would recommend a friend to consider other options to reach Bagan – drive or fly.

Perhaps to get a taste of the river without the caged feel - hire a boat from Mandalay to cruise north (Mingun) or better yet south (Sagaing!) and same idea when in Bagan. The Road to Mandalay & a Pandaw boat cruised right past us. I do intend to go on a proper cruise of the irrawaddy...

Enjoy your trip & be sure to share it here when you return – I love reading your trip reports!
m_bran is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2011, 09:02 PM
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4 The Pindaya Caves are nice but it does take quite some time to drive there and back. I think the caves in Pyin U Lwin are nearly as good but have the advantage that they can be combined with other attractions and so you save some travelling time. I have visited caves in Lao, Vietnam etc and perhaps I am a bit "caved out" . If you do go ask your driver to stop at one of the roadside stalls selling honey in the Johhny Walker bottles. Really nice, but dont buy it at the caves as it is mainly sugar and water.
gmoz is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2011, 05:23 AM
  #7  
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gmoz-We are not going to Pyin U Lwin, so we will see the caves at Pindaya. It doesn't take us much out of our way, and I am not "caved out" yet, although I may be by the end of this trip. I am also deciding on whether to go Monywa caves, as this adds added expense and an extra day to our itinerary.

m-bran-Thanks so much for you feedback. I enjoyed looking at your photos. And thanks for you complement on my trip reports. I do try to give back to this forum as much information as I take from it. The advice I have gotten here has added immmeasureably to my trips to southeast Asia.
shelleyk is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2011, 09:07 AM
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Hi shelley, you are asking some questions I didn't think to ask, like how to get to the boat from the airport at Sittwe! I'm just assuming I can get a taxi. After all, everyone who gets off the plane in Sittwe is heading for Mrauk U. I had read that there were horse carts at Mrauk, but no one who has been there has seen them. I'm guessing we'll use a combination of walking and local transport. The area of the temples at Mrauk U isn't nearly as large as that at Bagan.

As you may remember, we also ruminated about how much time for Mandalay. We've ending up with two and a half days, one day of which is to be a daytrip to Pyin U Lwin. But I figure that if we find the ancient cities endlessly fascinating, we can ditch Pyin U Lwin for more time at the ancient cities.

You are going to have a wonderful trip! We are getting ready to apply for our visas which makes me realize how soon our November trip is!
Kathie is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2011, 04:47 PM
  #9  
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Kathie-I'm excited for both of us. I look forward to the benefit of your advice after your trip. This trip certainly required a lot of research.

Today i decided to ditch going to Monywa in favor of an extra day at Inle. . I thought including Monywa was adding too much to the trip. I was getting tired reading my itinerary, let alone doing it. I am leaning toward taking the boat to Bagan, despite the length of time on the boat.

I sent my hotel requests to Santa Maria today, after deciding on my itinerary and dropping Monywa. Hopefully, the hotels will be available.
shelleyk is offline  
Sep 4th, 2011, 01:07 PM
  #10  
 
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As I remember, you are going in January, is that right? I'll be home in mid-December, so hopefully I will have some info that can be of benefit to you.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 4th, 2011, 11:08 PM
  #11  
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Yes, we are going in Jan. Just got an email from Zaw about our requested Inle hotel being on long waitlist, so he is booking us into Paramount Inle Resort. Do you know anything about this hotel. I saw the reviews on trip advisor, but usually don't take too much stock in those reviews. I am going to ask under a seperate thread as we will be on Inle Lake for 4 nights, so I just want to be sure it is ok.
shelleyk is offline  
Sep 5th, 2011, 08:02 AM
  #12  
 
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You sure it's Paramount Inle Resort and not Paradise Inle Resort?
offwego is offline  
Sep 5th, 2011, 09:32 AM
  #13  
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Yes. It is Paramount Inle Resort.
shelleyk is offline  

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