Replies: 7 - Last Post: Nov 16, 2012 4:16 AM Last Post By: eden_bird
Nov 14, 2012 10:15 PM
Trip reportHello everyone!
I just came back from Myanmar. Here are some info that you won't find in the LP.
Visa in Bangkok is very easy. Same day visa for next day departure. They ask if you have a copy of flight reservation but lots of people didn't have it with them and they got their visa anyway. So it's not a big deal. I went at 7:30 and was 4th in line. At 8:00, there were about 50 persons, at 08:30, maybe 75-100 persons.
You can go early to be first, or go late after the big crowd got cleared up. The embassy staff are really kind.
Yangon: I stayed at Motherland Inn 2. Pro: Free airport pick-up. Cons: Need to book in advance due to LP good feedback ; the rooms are inconsistent (for the same price you can get a nice big room or a dark small room) ; due to its success, it now has a factory atmosphere versus a homy guest house one; located a bit out of city but if you don't mind walking 15 min, it's fine ; here's a big supermarket behind the guest house called "Ocean" (The same bottle of water cost 120B instead of 300B at the guest house).
Kalaw: I recommend Eastern Paradise Guesthouse. The owner is so kind. Breakfast is the best ... a real trekker breakfast.
I highly recommend Ever Smile for the guide. They are really professional.
If you walk to the cave, you can stop at the church. There's an orphanage there where you can meet the children and eventually bring books or other educational things to give to the sisters.
After the 3 day trek, the boat to Nyaungshwe is 17 000B for the boat, or 20 000B for a sightseeing before heading to Nyaungshwe.
Nyaungshwe: Direct bus to Bagan and Mandalay (New) leaving around 7am. For other destinations, buses leave from the junction. All bus companies provide free transfer from accommodation to the bus station (or junction) ... applicable to the entire country.
Meithila: Doesn't worth a night!
Mandalay: 1 night is enough in my opinion. The sightseeing places are outside of the city. A local took me on his motorbike for a full day trip for 10 000B. It was really cool!
Bagan: AMAZING!!!! I did one day by bike and one day by horse cart.
My highlights: Trek, Inle Lake, Bagan of course, but The biggest highlight is the people ... so genuinely kind and warm!!!!
In general: Number of travellers is increasing faster than number of bed, so it's better to book ahead. Guest houses and hotel still request perfect US bills, but banks accept less perfect bills to exchange in Kyats.
Nov 15, 2012 1:21 AM
1Good info. I stayed at Motherland Inn 2 as well, agree with your comments, however, rather than the walk into town, once on the main street into town, I had a 200 kyat note in my hand and jumped on the many regular public buses headed into the centre. The rides were some of the hairiest short bus rides I've had, but good fun.
Nov 15, 2012 5:41 AM
2Great info, thanks. I have questions if you could help:
1. Did you do this itinerary by yourself or was it with a package tour company? I read on the Myanmar Embassy website you have to have an invitation letter from a tour company if you want a visa.
2. If you used a tour company, which one and how much was it?
3. If you didn't, how did you get the invitation letter?
4. If you were organising everything by yourself, is it a safe country to travel around or would you recommend a tour company?
Nov 15, 2012 6:17 AM
Nov 15, 2012 7:25 AM
4I traveled independently. It's very safe and easy to travel.
Going with a tour agency means that your money is going straight to government. You will see that, despite oil, diamond and other resources that the country has, poverty is a reality. That's why, I used only private guesthouses, hotels or transports.
I had an idea of my itinerary before my trip, but as for most backpacking trips, you should keep the flexibility of any changes once there, due to hotel or transportation availability, or just who you meet and want to keep hang out with :)
Another tip: Bring your own music or earplugs for bus trips, unless you LOVE hours of high volumed Burmese karaoke music lol
I'm missing Myanmar SO MUCH!!!! It's a guaranteed wonderful trip!
Edited by: eden_bird
Nov 15, 2012 8:52 AM
Nov 15, 2012 5:37 PM
(3 star Hotel)
From US$53.06 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$185.20 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$36.36 per night