Replies: 21 - Last Post: Mar 19, 2013 1:45 PM Last Post By: kitte
Feb 14, 2013 1:57 PM
Feb 16, 2013 6:14 PM
16I'm looking at taking another crack at it. Last time I got yanked off the Mandalay to Kalewa bus. Then the next day the immigration officer in Monywa was most uncooperative by never being there.
So I guess flying up is THE way to go. Problem: when I search for Mandalay - Khamti flights, nothing comes up.
Only Mandalay to Homalin. Is it worth doing the trip down from there?
Feb 16, 2013 6:43 PM
yes, that is right...flew Asian Wings from Mandalay via Monywa to Homalin, then back Homalin to Mandalay...the guy I tried to arrange my trip to the Naga areas with booked the tickets...and yeah I paid something like $320 for them...(don't know what his cut was..?)
Layshi (I went to Layshi not Lahe) is nice...large village...one guesthouse...several teahouses....predominantly Makuri Naga there. I actually arrived the day of their new year festival (not the govt arranged festival - that was in Lahe this year). Got there about mid-day when they had just finished their dances, which I had thought would be in the afternoon, and were getting ready for lunch...after lunch the head guys arranged a special 'performance' of short dances of the 5 Naga groups from that area...for a 'donation' of 50,000 Kyat. Travel there was in a local pick-up that transports cargo and people...a 4wd jeep with 1 raised bench seat in the back at cabin height....for the 2 of us in the front cost 25,000 Kyat each way....took us 4 hrs going up and 2.5 back down...mostly mountainous dirt road, some sections required 4wd going up with a load (also some sections being worked on as there are plans to upgrade this road thru Somra into India).
Permit.....yeah, we had to briefly stop at the check-point by the river at Thamanthi, and also when we arrived in Layshi ....whether we coulda stayed in Thamanthi without the permit I don't know...?
No sign of dam building anywhere....just lots of logging camps and small gold mining operations along the river.
I arranged this trip thru a guy I used for a 12 day trip early 2012 thru Rakhine State and up into southern Chin State....he arranged the flights and permit but didn't travel with me this time (was taking groups into sth Chin State) but used someone who works with/for him, who was actually much better...spoke decent english and has travelled extensively most areas of Myanmar...this was around his 4th time in Naga areas but first time to Layshi.
The price I ended up paying, once there, was okay....I paid the guide $X per day, then paid for all local travel costs.....had spent months via email trying to arrange the trip and was getting damn frustrated as it didn't sound like it was gonna work out....long story, but basically towards the end the guy arranging it tried to combine me with an American couple who wanted to go there the same time...plan was to meet them and guide in Homalin then us all to boat up to Khamti, then hire a vehicle to drive via Lahe to Layshi then down to Homalin. The American couple pulled on at the last minute so just the guide met me in Homalin and we then decided what to do.
Turns out after speaking to him and local Naga that it would not have been possible to drive from Lahe down to Layshi anyway, and a vehicle woulda cost something like $200 US per day.
I am planning returning there next year to travel with the same guide and allowing 2 weeks to travel from Khamti-Lahe and around, and again from Thamanthi to Layshi.
Re: why I flew how I did....mainly because it seemed to be the only way I could be certain of getting the flights in/out without 'wasting' days possibly sitting in a town waiting for the next flight. As you would know, Myanmar Airways are rather unreliable, and according to the guy arranging things, there were no confirmed schedule for MA to Khamti that month ( I suspect they were flights of some sort, as the Naga new year festival was at Lahe so tour groups woulda been going to that)....as I already said, Asian Wings schedule for Mdly-Homalin only came out a week before I got there. I had limited time for this section of my trip and didn't have the 'luxury' of waiting till I got to Homalin to then find out when there would be a flight out of Khamti....
Feb 17, 2013 1:00 AM
18rivaltribal - thanks for the reply. I envy your trip (and especially your plan for next year). Do you post photos online?
The Myanma Airways thing... you usually can't make reservations with them any more advanced than a day before the flight... and they still might cancel. Guess you do need flexibility. I wonder if the package groups going up to Khamti use a charter flight? Your Homalin flight sounded expensive, two years ago it cost me $55 one way (via Myanma). But maybe airfares have risen?
burmats - Myanma is now flying to Khamti on fridays and to Homalin on tuesdays according to their online schedule. http://myanmaairways.aero/flight-schedule.aspx
Feb 21, 2013 5:17 PM
19Tab...nah, sorry...I don't post any photos on-line (nor use any sort of social networking sites)....am actually a poor photographer...have a bunch of the river trip from Homalin to Thamanthi (which you would have anyway), some of the road trip to Layshi, and a bunch of the Naga dances...could always email ya some if you really wanna see...??
Yeah, am already looking forward to the return trip next year....discussed with my guide the possibilt-y of getting motorbikes (probably would have to get em upriver from Mandalay) to travel thru the Naga areas....and travelling from Khamti across to Myitkyina...he seems to think both are possible....will see...??
Yeah...I also thought the Mdly-Homalin flight was expensive (I had to pay the guides travel costs also, and his flight Homalin back to Mdly was $120) comparing it to a couple other flights I took (Mdly-Myitkyina was $130 each way, Mdly-Kengtung $147...) but maybe it's a bit of a monopoly where they decide can charge more with the only option being MA...??
Mar 18, 2013 2:45 PM
20Kirsten - I don't know if you are able to read German (otherwise you could use goggle translate or Bing translator) but here is a quite recent trip report from Oct./Nov. 2012 travelling down the Chindwin. The writer flew to Khamti from Mandalay and went down the Chindwin via Homalin, Mawlaik and Monywa (didn't stay in Kalewa or Mingin).
Best wishes Martin
Mar 19, 2013 1:45 PM
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