When to go
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Jan 7, 2012 5:15 AM Last Post By: fred110
Dec 30, 2011 1:12 AM
When to goi know this probably comes up all the time, but reading recent threads it seems that myanmar is filling up quite rapidly. We are planning to go in Nov 2012 but wondering if it would be worth bringing it forward a bit so that accomodation isnt fully booked up everywhere. If we were to travel in Septmber or October what impact would the rain have on any plans we might make - would we struggle to get about?
I know the simple answer is to book ahead but we would prefer to have more flexibility as it is our first trip to burma and wouldn't like to have to move on if we found somewhere we really liked...
Dec 30, 2011 1:36 AM
1"We are planning to go in Nov 2012 but wondering if it would be worth bringing it forward a bit so that accomodation isnt fully booked up everywher"
Well november is busy but its not peak season... It can be hard to find accomodation if you dont book ahead (especially in tourist places) but mostly you should be fine.A bigger problem then searching for accomodation is finding that popular places in Myanmar might be a bit overrun.
"If we were to travel in Septmber or October what impact would the rain have on any plans we might make - would we struggle to get about?"
I like travelling in rainy season simply because there are less tourists around. There is always the risk of flooded roads or floodings in general but most of the time there is nothing to worry about. Your holiday beeing heavily influenced by this is unlikely.
If you want to go to remote places like Indawgyi Lake, that are hard to reach (because of bad infrastructure) then its better to go in dry season but for places that are easily reachable there is not much of a difference in terms of transport if you compare rainy and dry season.
Of course you will have to deal with rain, if you are unlucky LOTS of rain. Thats no problem for me but it might be for you.
Whatever you do is going to be a trade-off, you can take better weather in november but you will have to share Myanmar with a lot more tourists and might find it more difficult to find accomodation. Or you bear with the rain and can enjoy the luxury of not having to worry about full hotels/guesthouses.
Dec 30, 2011 2:41 AM
If Myanmar had the same amount of hotel beds like Thailand and a similar tourist infrastructure this comparison might make sense. But this is not the case so its comparing apples with pears.
Comparing visitor numbers now with numbers before 2007 may be more useful.
Anyone has the statistics?
OP, to answer your question.
I havent't been to Myanmar at this time but Thailand in June is very pleasant, if you don't mind the occasional shower. Think about visiting at this time.
Edited by: Compadre
Dec 30, 2011 6:16 AM
3No need to be abusive, but this - Myanmar has little tourists compared to Thailand but it also has few Hotels to accomodate them. - is very much the point.
I'm in Myanmar right now, and can certainly say that the available tourist infrastructure is very stretched. It may well be high season, but even in high season in places like Bali, places with a huge volume of tourists, it's generally very easy to find budget accommodation, and there's really non need to book ahead - because there's lots of it!
That is not the case in Myanmar at the moment.
Tourist numbers, according to some locals, have doubled this year (that may be an exaggeration, but there has certainly been a very dramatic uptick).
I'm in Hpa An now, and there must be 15+ people in the guesthouse, and this supposedly a thoroughly "off the beaten track" spot; Hsipaw was absolutely crawling with grumpy "travellers" who felt they had been misled by Lonely Planet, with it's talk of "a trickle of travellers" enjoying an "off-the-beaten-track" spot. In Moulmein all the places in the guidebook were full; in Bagan all the places in the guidebook were full (Golden Village, not in the guidebook, $12 for a single, if you're heading that way and you're stuck - finally stumbled upon it after 45 minutes of fruitless wandering)...
Obviously there will be a lag-time, probably of a couple of years, before the number of guesthouses starts to increase significantly (though what's the betting some smart soul will start running tourist shuttle buses a la Vietnam between places like Bagan and Inle by this time next year?), so high season is going to be a tricky time to find accommodation in the near future, if the current trend continues...
That said, I have been managing to wing it, just about, for the past three weeks - so long as you're prepared not to get to stay in the place you really want, and perhaps to try booking places a couple of days in advance once you're on the ground, you'll probably get away with it...
Dec 30, 2011 8:03 AM
4November is a fine time to go to Burma, but do book ahead. We were in Burma from mid-Nov into Dec this year and every flight we took was full, all the hotels we stayed were full, the tourism infrastructure was stretched. If you book ahead with a good agent then you find you want to change your plans the agent will work with you to try to get the accommodations/flights you want.
When we booked our accommodations for November months ahead of time, two places we wanted were not available for additional night. Both became available in the couple of weeks before we left for Burma, and our agent snagged the rooms for us.
Dec 30, 2011 8:28 AM
5Wow, I stand corrected. I sent my buddy and his wife there last Nov without any reservations but for Yangon and they had no issues with lodging for 2 weeks, sounds like they need to open up some foreign investment to build lodging, hint hint...
Dec 30, 2011 9:26 AM
6Yes, when we went two years ago, some of the flights were full, but you could easily go and wing it. No more. Indeed, when I made my flight reservations into Yangon this year, all of the economy seats on the Thai Air flights were full months ahead of time.
Dec 30, 2011 11:33 AM
7Is there any agent that could be recommended as i'm having trouble finding any accommodation in Mandalay?
Dec 30, 2011 1:05 PM
8I've used Santa Maria, but there are lots of reliable agents in Yangon.
Dec 30, 2011 3:03 PM
Dec 31, 2011 4:50 AM
10Santa Maria is an old reliable institute in Central Yangon, they are however extremely difficult in accepting but the finest dollar notes
Dec 31, 2011 8:44 AM
Jan 4, 2012 1:10 AM
12I've been in Myanmar for 21 days last December and booked only the first night after I arrived. It's true that some popular places were full but it was no problem finding another. We never had to give more than 2 phone calls to find a room and, in many cases, we just walked to the guesthouses with no reservation. This was for budget accommodation, don't know for the mid range or higher.
Jan 7, 2012 5:15 AM
(3 star Hotel)
From US$64.98 per night
(4 star Hotel)
From US$99.42 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$55.21 per night