Winging it in Myanmar
Replies: 38 - Last Post: Jan 14, 2013 2:53 PM Last Post By: jonappleton
Oct 27, 2012 12:50 PM
Winging it in MyanmarHi all -
I am going to Mianmar this wednesday. However past month has been crazy and I haven't had time to plan much or book anything.
Is it possible to "wing it" - ie. book accommodation, transform (possibly flights) etc. while travelling? I imagine it's quite harder than e.g. Thailand - but can it be done? Or do I really need to get started planning/booking my trip?
Thanks for any advice.
Oct 27, 2012 1:43 PM
1Is it important to you to have accommodations? If so, contact an agent in Yangon and start booking your hotels and air tickets. In the past, you could wing it. But suddenly everyone want to travel to Burma. Even a month ago, travel agents in Yangon were telling people not to come to Myanmar in November as everything was already full. At this late date, you can hope for rooms due to cancellations. Last year, there were people sleeping in the lobbies of guesthouses, in closets, etc. This year there will be more visitors. Burma has very limited infrastructure.
Oct 27, 2012 3:34 PM
I haven't been yet but am planning on going in February. Apparently you will need cash (U.S dollars) upon entering the country, there are virtually no ATM's and the very few that exist don't accept foreign cards. Credit cards are useless too I understand. Furthermore the dollars have to be pretty much brand new, no rips, writing, creases or any of the other wear and tear that is accepted on bank notes in most countries. Like I say I haven't been yet but everywhere I have read says pretty much the same thing.
Good luck and have fun wherever you go!
Oct 27, 2012 3:43 PM
Oct 27, 2012 3:44 PM
Oct 27, 2012 6:41 PM
5Looking at the majority of posts and comments this year this TT is full of positiv advise to
1. book well ahead
2. take pristine dollar bills with you
3. don't count on credit cards
4. internet is bitterly slow
The second advise has been diluted from this week. And if you find accommodation despite leaving in a day or 2, the first advise is diluting to.
That leaves us with the CC's and internet. Give it another six months.
I mean if not for the tourists, the foreign financiers will demand an adequate banking and communication structure.
Oct 27, 2012 9:07 PM
6Maybe see if you can book accommodation at your first point of arrival, but there seems to be a lot of reports about no replies to emails etc. If all else fails, just get a Taxi at the airport and ask him to find accommodation. Whatever happens, would you be able to post on Thorn Tree the outcome, we'd be interested in how you got on.
Oct 27, 2012 9:13 PM
7in recent weeks the cash question may have changed slightly.
the operative word is "slightly." you may be able to use folded bills in
the yangon airport this week, but i wouldn't expect the changes to filter
down to bob's guesthouse in nowheresville for quite some time.
....and i wouldn't be surprised if the airport booth didn't go back to the
crispy new bill requirement on alternate days depending on the staff.
Oct 27, 2012 11:19 PM
Oct 28, 2012 12:03 AM
9I am in Myanmar since two weeks, have been winging it with rooms and buses Yangoon - Mandalay - Bagan - Inle Lake - Yangon. No problem so far.
But if I was to arrive late in the evening I would try to book a room ahead. It seems though that some small guest houses don't really want to take bookings in advance. They'd rather take the first decent person coming through the door, money in hand.
I asked here about a month ago if it would be necessary to book flight Bkk-Yangon well in advance. I was recommende here to book already from home since it would surely be full. So I did. In reality the flight was only half full.
A lot of advice on this forum is offered by people who do not really have any actual knowledge, have never been etc.
Oct 28, 2012 1:06 AM
10Thank you all for feedback. Much appreciated.
I will try to book ahead for Yangon and then wing it as I go along. I will get back to this thread and update with my experience.
Albin_2, your reply calms me a little :-)
Oct 28, 2012 5:26 AM
113 places in Yangon that have replied to my emails/website inquiries:
Motherland Inn 2 www.myanmarmotherlandinn.com
Eastern Hotel www.myanmareasternhotel.com
May Shan Hotel http://www.mayshan.com/
Plus unlike some, they will all take advance bookings without insisting that you pay first by bank transfer
Oct 28, 2012 5:46 AM
Oct 28, 2012 8:11 AM
14I leave Uk this Wednesday for Thailand, then Laos, then Thailand again thenplan to fly Bangkok to Yangon around about 10th Dec. I plan to do the LP Highlights tour but add on Katha by river - poss both ways. I'm allowing the whole 28 days visa time for this. I'm a 62 year old female travelling alone and like to 'wing it' but don't want to sleep on the streets. I prefer a little comfort but am prepared to sleep anywhere that is safe and fairly clean and that is pretty central. Sould I try to book at least a day ahead (or more) or am I likely to find something provided I arrive by mid afternoon/early evening. I've backpacked around S.W. India, Vietnam, Loas, Cambodia, Thailand with no trouble but am a bit more wary of Myanmar. I'd be grateful for any advice. Thanks, Jensummer
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