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SW China or Myanmar for 2 weeks+ in NOV???

SW China or Myanmar for 2 weeks+ in NOV???

Jan 30th, 2015, 11:20 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 90
SW China or Myanmar for 2 weeks+ in NOV???

We will be visiting family in Singapore and KL in November, and plan a 2 week+ (15-18 day) side trip. Our choices are a flight to Hong Kong for a trip to SW China, or flight to Yangon for a trip to Myanmar.

We are active seniors in our 60's/early 70's. We enjoy day hikes, scenery, culture, and good food!

Opinions please! We need to make a quick decision, so I'm asking for opinions while we peruse info about both destinations.

Thanks everyone!
wendy236 is offline  
Jan 30th, 2015, 11:57 AM
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Having been to SW China twice for a month each time and to Burma for most of a month, I suggest you visit one or the other, not both, in the short time you have. Both areas lend themselves to leisurely travels and I think you'd be doing the places and yourselves a disservice to rush in order to see both locales. While I understand the feeling "as long as we're in the area", I think you'd enjoy yourselves more if you take your time and even leave some unplanned days for serendipity.
MmePerdu is offline  
Jan 30th, 2015, 12:02 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I'd vote for Myanmar because I love the place. It does take research to make the trip work, and you will likely need the help of a local agent to book accommodations and flights. 15-18 days is a good length for a first trip to Myanmar.
Kathie is offline  
Jan 30th, 2015, 12:45 PM
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I misunderstood, didn't I. I guess I do need new glasses, as someone who isn't a fan of mine on the forums has less than kindly pointed out.

I think it depends very much on one's reasons for going, as always. It also depends on where in SW China. It's a lot of territory. Myanmar has the advantage in some ways as, while getting very popular, it isn't yet completely overrun. There are areas in southern and SW China where you may be the only westerners for miles. So being more precise will get you more specific answers. The truth is, both areas have their strong points and are very different, one from the other. If you have more to offer in the way of specifics I'd love to hear and offer what I know.
MmePerdu is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 05:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2009
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For "SW China" I assume you are talking primarily about Yunnan province (possibly also Sichuan province). I'm a huge fan of both Myanmar and SW China but they are very different experiences so it really depends what you are up for. I'd give the nod on scenery to China, and food absolutely is better in China than Myanmar. Culture is a toss-up, very rich experiences in either place. November would be a good time for either, although China will be considerably cooler and especially in upland areas, so you'd have to augment your Singapore/Malaysia wardrobe with warmer clothes which could be annoying. Myanmar this wouldn't be an issue. As you surmise, for Myanmar you'd probably fly from Singapore or KL into Yangon (possibly Mandalay). For SW China, you would most likely fly nonstop to Kunming (or Chengdu); Hong Kong is WAY too far east.

I'd say a good guide is extremely helpful in most of Myanmar; in China, parts of the SW benefit from a guide (especially if you do not speak Chinese) but other places can be done independently. Transport infrastructure is much better and more reliable in China, and there are more accommodation choices of simple but good value in China than in Myanmar, which has become quite expensive especially during Nov-Feb high season.
kvchina is offline  
Feb 5th, 2015, 07:23 PM
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Also, keep in mind that a flight to Hong Kong doesn't get one to "SW China". Still need another flight or two, or trains. And there aren't really that many flights from HKG to secondary cities anyways - many have to transit to Shenzhen to fly to those cities.
rkkwan is offline  
Feb 7th, 2015, 10:36 AM
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Thanks for all of your responses! Our trip planning got derailed temporarily by a family emergency. That's resolved for now, so we're back to trip planning.

Our choices are SW China OR Myanmar - not both. Our usual trip choice is to limit the number of places we'll head, and spend a few days exploring each place we visit.

RE China -

By SW China I do mean Yunnan, or possibly Guilin/Li River area. I realize that this is not near Hong Kong. There is a good airfare available from Singapore-Hong Kong, so the hope is that we can use trains or an internal flight to get from Hong Kong to the areas we are visiting. A bonus is the chance for a short visit with family living in Hong Kong.

I am aware of the climate differences between Singpore/KL and SW China in November. I wilt in hot humid weather, so I'll happily pack a few warm layers. We plan to leave a suitcase of "summer" clothes in Singapore while we're in traveling in China.

Do you have suggestions about the top SW China spots to see? It looks like we'll have 18 days, not including day of arrival in HK and day of departure back to Singapore. Our preference is to spend at least 3 nights in most spots.
wendy236 is offline  
Feb 7th, 2015, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 9,135
The most comprehensive forum on travel in China is the Oriental List, run by curmudgeonly Peter N-H, and to which you can subscribe here:

Peter also makes appearances here from time to time but if you're serious about seeing more than the usual in your time in China, I suggest you go on over and see what you can learn. Pay no attention to the sniping because the information is solid. If it's the sights in the guidebooks you're after, a guidebook is what you need.
MmePerdu is offline  
Feb 8th, 2015, 10:32 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 30
Hi there,
If you decide for SW-China, I’d recommend strongly to visit the rice terraces of Yuanyang on your way to Kunming. We were there at exactly the same time of year and it was overwhelmingly beautiful. Pls see some pictures and notes here: http://konniandmatt.blogspot.com/201...-yuanyang.html We also liked Kunming a lot ( http://konniandmatt.blogspot.com/201...2-kunming.html ), but skipped our plan to go further East into the mountains in Yunnan Province. You seem to be well prepared for the lower temperatures, so you might be able to see Dali and Lijiang, even in the beginning of winter. I regret, that we couldn’t visit when we were there.
Enjoy your trip!
Happy travels,
cheers, Konni, www.konniandmatt.blogspot.com
konniandmatt is offline  
Feb 16th, 2015, 10:28 AM
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Thanks all! We're committed - it will be KL, Singapore, and 18 days in China this year
wendy236 is offline  
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