What is the real situation re. accommodation right now?
Replies: 27 - Last Post: Nov 27, 2012 5:05 AM Last Post By: montyman
Nov 22, 2012 6:30 PM
15I've just got back from 3.5 weeks in Burma and also found that the hysteria on this forum about accommodation was not warranted. I booked a couple of places before arriving, most of my accommodation when I arrived and booked a few days ahead for other places with no issues at all.
I met numerous people who had not booked anything the whole trip and had always found something in each place. They did have to walk around a bit sometimes to find these places but they found them none-the-less. I never heard of anyone sleeping on the streets or having to change plans due to lack of rooms.
A lot of people were not showing up to bookings as well, so even though people called ahead to be told that a place was full, sometimes when they arrived someone would have not turned up or checked out early and so there was room after all.
In saying all this, I would recommend booking ahead when possible, just to take the stress out of arriving after a long overnight bus trip and having nowhere to go.
Nov 23, 2012 1:10 AM
16A lot of people were not showing up to bookings as well
Burmese people in that last 10 yrs I have been there have been very honest and trusting and those who traveled there in general have respected that trust.
Sadly this latest wave of travelers this last year are in general not of that ilk. So it is not surprising when you hear they have prebooked a number of places and just dumped the bookings when they have altered their itinary, and having paid no deposit ignore the obvious in letting the Hotels GH's know that they will not be turning up.
In a way this is good as like Garden Hotel in Yangon they won't take prebookings anymore and it will be a first come first served basis. It also affects the staff as they take the prebookings and later they end up with an empty room. The owners then annoyed at receptionists, because they view it as staff responsibility to keep the Hotel full, questioning why they have turned away customers for these Western charlatans who have no respect for anyone.
see on the other thread the experiencewith the Swiss guy who stayed at Royal GH left his luggage there to go to Hsipaw and then decided he'd found a cheaper and better GH in Mandalay collected his luggage (Stored for free as he was intending to stay upon his return) after they had turned down a number of people desperate for a room , then only! after they gave him his luggage and offered him the key to his room told them he had found somewhere else and lying told them he had tried to phone them to cancel but that its their fault for not answering his call. when they suggested he should pay for the room he swore at them and headed out the door.
Nov 23, 2012 3:45 AM
17Totally agree Montyman. What makes it worse is that almost all GHs let you make phone calls for free so it is so easy to ring and cancel. I changed a couple of bookings while I was away and it was so easy.
I met one women who openly said she made bookings and then when she arrived would look for a cheaper place and use the booking as a back up. However I'm sure she would have been outraged if the GH had treated her booking the same way and given it away to someone else...
Nov 23, 2012 3:54 AM
Nov 23, 2012 5:16 AM
19No beds remaining in Bagan tonight. I booked one three days ago but by the time I arrived on the boat from Mandalay at 3.30pm it had gone to someone else. Others who arrived this afternoon were touring around town looking for rooms. I settled for a mattress that was described as 'on the roof' at the Eden Motel -- $15 to sleep in what looks like a standby kitchen with a Buddhist altar, with no privacy, security or isolation from the occupants of the rooms on the same floor who more or less have to walk past the mattress to get to their rooms. I get to use the bathroom behind the reception desk.
A few days ago I went to Hsipaw and phoned ahead one day before to make a booking. The only remaining bookable room was at Nam Khae Mao (the original building). It was $7 for a cupboard with a bed, but the staff are fantastic and the showers are hot and strong.
Plenty of rooms in Pyin Oo Lwin, so don't stop at the Golden Dream GH. The nearby clock tower strikes the quarter hour all night long so you get to sleep for only 10 mins at a time. If you love the sound of clocks, however, it's $12 with a private bathroom with constant street noise and all the hallway traffic (haaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrkkkkkkkkkk!) you could possibly want.
In Mandalay this week and last, you could get rooms most nights if you searched, but it's also true most places of interest to TT users were fully booked on most nights, so it was hard to get a run of nights anywhere. The $15 room with shared bath at the Royal City Hotel is an outstanding bargain compared to the others I've mentioned above.
Nov 23, 2012 6:52 AM
Nov 23, 2012 8:15 PM
21No net. There was a shower curtain hung in the middle of the room either to screen the foreigner from the Lord Buddha, or vice versa. There was a a small fan on the ceiling that occasionally turned in my direction and caused the shower curtain to flutter around me, so maybe that did the job.
The manager told me he had three foreigners sleeping in that same space the night before. I don't think that would have been much fun. No would sharing the staff bathroom with that many other travellers. There were constant attempts by staff to use the bathroom each time I visited.
Nov 26, 2012 10:59 AM
22We were there last December and had no real problems except in Mandalay. The general rule of thumb is that you can always get a room but not necessarily the one you want. If you want a room in one of the better options, then you should try to book ahead.
We wrote about the places we stayed in our blog bellow.
Nov 26, 2012 7:42 PM
Nov 27, 2012 12:19 AM
How is information about bookings from December 2011 relevant to this discussion? simple last year Nov -Dec was the busiest I have ever seen Burma and peopel were struggling for rooms inle at balloon festival and also this year will be even more crowded so people are panicking, rightly or wrongly.
Nov 27, 2012 2:31 AM
Nov 27, 2012 4:48 AM
26is there Herbie? well I never! I email everyone on my list my travel diary, when I get home they ask me where I've been and I say "Didn't you read my diary?" they answer usually "No Michael they are far tool long winded and boring" Ha! Ha!
so now I know I can post my "Blog" in a section where they will be lost and hidden for centuries with thousands of similar boring entries Ha! Ha! next trip I will start posting Montys BLOG
Nov 27, 2012 5:05 AM
27Heres one I did earlier:
Sunday 21st January 2001
Aeroflot an experience worth paying for
All was well till we arrived at Moscow, as usual we are greeted by its humourless inhabitants, still not much to laugh about in Moscow is there? at 2am we were taxiing onto the runway when a German started causing trouble [it’s always the Germans that get Bolshy I thought as he started his tirade at the back of the aircraft. “But zer door iz open” he shouted to the Russian stewardess, “Zer dor iz open.” “Go back to your seat please!” she commanded in the Stalinistic way that Russian stewardesses do. As this was going on my mind went back to a programme I’d seen on air disasters a few months previously. “This is a Boeing 767” I wistfully thought, “ there have been 4 crashes with them in recent years, all to do with the doors being open, in one the door flew off at 30,000ft and all the passengers got sucked out of the rear exit door.” Should I use this information to assist this stroppy German I thought “NO ! I’m English we don’t cause trouble, we accept that if he doesn’t get his way, we DIE. That’s how we are made, we are British and go beyond complaining even if our lives are in danger. However despite this fatalistic tendency, I secretly hoped that the German would be listened to.
This was not the case as he was still complaining “look!” he said “Zer Dor iz open, Look I can zsee der runvay” The stewardess, was unconcerned at this Crazy persons rantings and looked at the gap in the door as if it was the airconditioning “Go to your seat please, we are taking off” “Fetch the Captain” he pleaded “fetch the Captain!” Finally because he was causing trouble and nothing to do with the door being open she got on the telephone and the Captain came storming down the aisle to the rear of the aircraft. We ALL! Followed him with close attention, till he reached the door. I tell you his face was a picture, as he looked at the door with the runway showing through the gap, he just went silent for a few moments. He then walked slowly back to the cockpit and the engines toned down. He then came across the tannoy “We have a slight technical problem, we will be delayed for a small time” he said. This small delay was for 2hrs before they could get the door to shut properly again. Sometimes in lifes theatre it’s good to have a few stroppy Germans about isn’t it? Then off to Bangkok.
I met a Dutch guy on Koh Chang who had flown Bangladeshi Airlines, and he watched out of the window as the Port side engine sheared off its bolts and plummeted to the ground they all followed after and he thought they were going to die. The Captain managed to get control of the aircraft and though it was shaking about a lot they landed safely. He said that the stewardess who should have been helping them to allay their fears started screaming hysterically “Were going to die we’re all going to die!!” He was then paraying in crash position thinking you stupid cow I know that I don’t need to be reminded , all the time, she kept screaming hysterically and had to be carried off the aircraft strapped to a stretcher still screaming ,even after they landed, which did not instil them with confidence that they could survive.
An Australian girl I met in Oudamsai Laos, told me that she wouldn’t fly Aeroflot as in Zambia she got on a plane and it diverted to another country to pick up passengers and it was like a rush hour bus as there was standing room only, all the aisles were packed with standing passengers for the 5hr flight.
Another guy I met said that eight years ago on a flight from Bangkok to London via Moscow they were diverted to Dubai to pick up some VIP’s. They didn’t refuel in Dubai and had to make an emergency landing at a Russian military airbase in Kazakhstan. He said they had to stay for two days sleeping on the floor in a large room under guard and had to be escorted every time they went to the toilet. The authorities wouldn’t let them have fuel on credit, so the Captain came and asked everyone for Cash and Credit cards so that they could buy enough fuel to reach Moscow [receipt given to those who did.
When I left the Hotel on my return Journey from Bangkok I took off in someone elses shoes, even though they were four sizes too large I didn’t realise until I was well on the way to the airport. So I had to get off the bus and go back. after the rubbish with heading off in someone else’s, size 11 shoes I managed to reach the airport at 11.45pm.
I needn’t have rushed as the flight left at 4.30am I was told the delay was so the Captain could get some sleep. I said to her OH its alright for him nice warm bed in the Amari! But no he had some airline blankets and was sleeping behind the airline desk Ha! Ha! Coming home the flight was delayed form 01.30 am till 4.30 and our course was changed to Delhi so as to change crews. We had an old Illushin 86 should be spelt Illusion 86, there was no video or radio [I doubt it was invented when this thing first took off. Leaving Bangkok we had choice for breakfast “Chicken or Fish” every subsequent meal was Chicken or fish & inedible.
We were fogbound in Delhi for 2hrs. then after lunch Guess what we had?
When we arrived at Delhi he braked hard and all the seats flew forward, then we were delayed as Delhi was fogbound. We finally took off and we were told that we were now flying to “Baku” no reason was given why we were flying to Baku and not many knew even where it was. I thought there was fighting in the Baku valley between rival Russian CIS neighbours but I asked and was told it was in Azerbaijan. At least it wasn’t Chechnya, but with Aeroflop it could just as well be.
Finally I settled down to the prospect of visiting a country that I had not previously visited. I was even disappointed when an announcement came over the tannoy, that we would be arriving in Moscow in two hours. I had to ask another passenger who had asked for more information than that given out. I learned that we had been diverted to Baku as Moscow Airport was snow bound. I also learned that Moscow airport was once again open so without telling us they rediverted to Moscow.
When we arrived they even had held up the London bound flight so all 28 U.K. bound passengers could walk straight aboard our flight. This was a brand new Boeing 777 even though the Video was rubbish.
Home safely I think Aeroflot should charge extra for the experience, With the Ads reading “Live life to the MAX fly Aeroflop”The value of life lies not in the length days but in the use you make of them; he has lived for long time who has little lived. Whether you have lived enough depends not on the number of your years but on your will Michelle MontaigneI didn’t come home to much good either, as in my first week away, the Vietnamese drug dealer guy down below had decided to murder me and axed my door down with a felling axe. My door had been replaced but he had left Armani socks and a bottle of Obsession by calvin klein in my flat . Police told me he had been sectioned for attempted murder and criminal damage but two weeks later he was released and threatening me again with a knife demanding his stuff back . Obviously I thanked him for my belated Christmas present and called the Police, who could no longer touch him unless he actually did kill me.
Oh well such is life as we English say Ce’st la Vie.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$68.80 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$570.39 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$64.98 per night