Itinerary suggestion February
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Oct 24, 2012 6:42 PM Last Post By: rafiki33
Oct 4, 2012 7:53 PM
Itinerary suggestion FebruaryHi all
I'm planning a second trip to Burma for February next year and mindful of the accommodation issues am trying to put together an itinerary now. The problem is that I really want to visit Mrauk U and am hoping that foreigners will be allowed to visit Sittwe by Feb next year. I've got the first two weeks planned: Hpa an, Golden Rock et then up to Inle Lake - this means I can book flights and accommodation up to here. If Sittwe was still closed then I could fly to Keng tung from Heho instead of to Sittwe via Thandwe. Then for the fourth week I could fly from Keng tung to Heho to Thandwe (for the last week at Ngapali). However, now I'm thinking that it's a lot of flights to do if Sittwe is still closed. The alternative is to fly from Heho to Thandwe to spend the third week at Ngapali. This leaves the fourth week to go to Sittwe if open, or to go overland to Yangon via Gwa etc if Sittwe closed. Keng tung sounds interesting for hill tribes and hiking, although guides required and no overnight stays in the villages. Some people have reported that Keng tung is changing... I've also read that the trip to Yangon via Gwa is interesting, but challenging with transport. I realise that I probably have to book for Ngapali fairly early to get a room and lock in the dates. The reason that I want to leave it to the last moment to see if I can go to Mrauk U is because I am an archaeologist so it has a special attraction for me. Any feedback on which order to go to places, or comments welcome!
Oct 6, 2012 8:24 PM
1It seems that Sittwe and Mrauk U is now opening ( view tripadvisor) for tourist.
My recommendation is to keep the route to Ngapali Beach anyway, it will be the transit place to reach Sittwe.
From Inle Lake, you can take direct fly to Ngapali Beach then connect to Sittwe instead of flying to Yangon.
Kyang Tong, on the other hand is now changing alot since the country opens.
I suggest you can read some travel tips at http://www.myanmartours.asia
Oct 7, 2012 11:46 AM
2V sensible to try for Mrauk U but have backup plan of Gwa route.
Transport Ngapali to Yangon via Gwa not that bad if you don't stop in Ngatheinchaung. There's a bus from Thandwe in the afternoon, getting to Gwa very late at night. Then from Gwa there is a fair bus to Yangon . Neither of these buses are aircon but they are OK, with booked seats and not too much cargo. If you go from Gwa to Ngatheinchaung, that's where the fun begins- you will be on a wooden bench in the back of a truck which likely will be full of fermented fish paste and puking girls.For about 6 hours.
Seriously, it was one of my favourite trips, but that truck was a little challenging.
Oct 7, 2012 11:50 AM
3ps, be aware that being allowed to go Ngapali to Yangon via Gwa also not totally certain. People seem to be getting through OK going north to south, but stopped going south to north. No recent reports from this year, though, so do let us know if you do it.
pps, from Gwa you can,( or you used to be able to, ) catch the Yangon bus to Yegyi, and from there catch a connection to Pathein - interesting route
Oct 8, 2012 2:16 AM
4Thanks for the suggestions!
In order to leave the Gwa route an option I would need to stay in Ngapali first, then, either fly to Sittwe if open, or overland to Yangon via Gwa if Sittwe is closed, for my final week in Burma. If Sittwe still happens to be open, do you think it is risky to rely on a boat leaving from Mrauk-U to Sittwe, with a flight to Yangon the next day, to catch an international flight in the afternoon on the third day? I've read that the boats from Mrauk-U to Sittwe can be cancelled at the last moment...not sure how reliable the flights from Sittwe to Yangon are either, particularly as there seems to only be one flight a day...Is it possible to hire a private boat back to Sittwe if stuck at Mrauk-U? I don't really have extra time spare to build in a buffer day in case something goes wrong.
Oct 8, 2012 4:01 AM
5Some times it's fun to wing it. Sometimes it's not worth taking a risk.
I would put catching international flights in the latter category.
However, if I understand you correctly it would be:
day 1 boat to sittwe
day 2 flight to yangon
day 3 flight home
if so, I think you should probably be fine
Ferries may be cancelled, but there will always be a small boat at the jetty willing to take you for a price, or other travellers who you could beg a ride from
high winds and bad weather can be a cause of cancelled flights and boats, but feb should not be a problem in this respect.
The flight sittwe yangon may be delayed, but I doubt it would be cancelled altogether, but it might- so the very safest option would be to do the whole thing 1 day earlier and have a spare day's 'cushion' in yangon.Shave one day off Ngapali to allow this?
Oct 10, 2012 7:23 PM
6Thanks for the help...I don't like to travel like this, would much prefer taking each day as it comes, but not so possible in peak season in Burma!
I guess if the Sittwe flight is cancelled then I could probably get another flight the next morning and still make my afternoon international flight...
Oct 11, 2012 2:18 AM
7maybe, maybe not.
The flights to Sittwe have historically been some of the most heavily booked. That may change with the current unrest- on the other hand they may cancel some flights if bookings are down.
.The airlines have very few planes and shuttle them constantly through different routes. If the sittwe flight is cancelled because the plane is broken down in yangon, then there may not even be a flight the next day - and if there is, there will be lots of other people cancelled like you ,all competing for seats. Tour groups and bigwigs will get seats ahead of you.
Sorry to sound pessimistic, and others may have a different slant. But I've been to Burma quite a few times, and done many things by the seat of my pants, and my connection with my International flight home is one time when I still play things as safe as I can
Oct 12, 2012 4:40 PM
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