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Holiday in Myanmar.


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We are thinking of a 10 day tourist trip to Myanmar around Christmas time 2019.

We like to do our first trips to new countries with a tourist company, so everything is planned and we see most things. We live in Thailand so it's a small hop to Myanmar. My wife would like to visit all the best temples.

 

Anyone know of a good tourist company we could enquire with?

 

Failing that, suggested 10 itinary.

 

Thanks.

 

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I kept away from the main stream tourist spots I hate fighting that nations people starts with C. went east to Kentung thats 80 klms from Chinese border interesting and friendly people. Depends what you are looking for? Lots of history to see.

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Wonderful country, great people and many things to see.

first timer, fly into Mandalay, ( a city i have visited half a dozen times and love it) 3 days, visit the temples, the morning Jade market, walk around town, lunch on the Irrawaddy river, sunset from Mandalay hill, a full day tour of the ancient cities, boat ride to Mingun an sunset at U bein bridge. You could than do the train out to Pyin U Lwin ( the old British hill station) than across the Gotrek Viaduct to Hispaw and taxi or bus back to Mandalay

Take the boat down to Bagan, 2 full days there visiting the stupas and the old town market...than over night train,bus or fly to Yangon to finish up ur trip before heading home

 

SKIP Inle as although the lake is indeed nice, there is nothing else worth stopping for an its full of tourists and very touristy oriented<


Of course there are many other options.

 

Out of Yangon you could head to the golden rock and than Hip-An.

Or the beaches, the far West, ( Chin  state) or the far north and travel down the Irrawaddy or Chidwin Rivers.


https://phuket.zenfolio.com/f125862719

 

As to the suggestion above, Myeik, is to dam far from anywhere an not easy, (unless you fly) to get in an out of> its a nice town but unless ur passing thru it on the way to Kwathoung to enter Thailand or doing a expensive dive trip..... Daweii is much more interesting and hosts the best UNTOURIST beaches in Burma

 

Note if ur traveling during Xmas time, start doing ur hotel bookings NOW.it fill up fast

 

Edited by phuketrichard
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1 hour ago, phuketrichard said:

SKIP Inle as although the lake is indeed nice, there is nothing else worth stopping for an its full of tourists and very touristy oriented

I understand this comment as both phuketrichard and I had the privilege of being here way back when it was a sleepy town none of which is recognisable today and it's more than a fair bet that neither of us will ever visit again. But for first time visitors the comfort of having plenty of other tourists around and luxury of choice of multiple cuisines will likely appeal so up to the individual to research and decide for themselves.

 

 

2 hours ago, Snackbar said:

Naypyidaw is the capital of Myanmar. 

Yup the modern capital occupied by those that march but for history and character Rangoon reigns supreme.

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Just now, federico said:

great restaurant in yangon : "junior duck" on the docks

there's a good travel agency in yangon : "gulliver travel"

 

 

I go often to Yangon. The Junior Duck (on the water), and Golden Duck are among the most reliable in Yangon but that's not saying much. Crappy compared to what's available in Bangkok. For an incredible 5 star buffet go to the Melia Hotel. World class.

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14 minutes ago, Deerculler said:

What are people like?

Just to make two comparisons.

Compared with Thai and Cambodian.

 

I am talking friendliness etc.

Burmese are great. They are a bit standoffish compared to Thais, but among themselves are very tight. Their work ethic is far superior to Thais or Cambodians. Their English is better than Thais. Traffic is terrible in Yangon.

Edited by keemapoot
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We really enjoyed the boat ride from Bagan to Mandalay. The boat was very seaworthy and the ride took about 10-11 hours. We departed Bagan when it was still dark and saw a great sunrise as we were going down the river. It was very relaxing and you got a great perspective of the Myanmar country as we made are way to Mandalay.

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Bagan to Mandalay. ...saw a great sunrise as we were going down the river

you were going UP the river   🙂

 

out in the country, i didn't find the Burmese any more or any less friendly than the Thai's of Khmers. But i find them all friendly..

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I totally agree with PhuketRichard and what others have said but it is what you personally like to do. Although spectacular, I found Bagan became overpowering with so many temples and pagodas, thousands of them. I also experienced the "pristine" US dollar experience. I tried to cash $100 into kyats (pronounced chats) but although each one was brand new and in numbered sequence, they were not accepted at my hotel because each one had a pinpoint hole from the printing machine. However, there are "street money exchanges" and it was one of these that did a deal with me at an acceptable rate. I have just returned from Rangoon and this time I changed 10,000 Thai baht (from ATM in DMK) into 480,000 kyats at one of Rangoon airport's money exchanges with no problems. In Central Rangoon, a stroll in Rogyoke Park or People's Park is delightful (photos below). Between these two parks is the Shwedagon Golden Pagoda complex. 

 

IMG_2266.JPG

IMG_2179.JPG

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 8/13/2019 at 6:56 PM, keemapoot said:

Burmese are great. They are a bit standoffish compared to Thais, but among themselves are very tight. Their work ethic is far superior to Thais or Cambodians. Their English is better than Thais. Traffic is terrible in Yangon.

 

Their work ethic is better than Thais? Not really...only among migrant workers living in Thailand who would be fired and sent back home if they don't perform. They are also less likely to take responsibility when they make mistakes. Agree about the standoffish part. They also feel more entitled.

 

English better than Thais? Not in my experience. Outside of Yangon, Mawlamyine, Bagan and Mandalay (and other tourist spots like Inle) Burmese speak almost no English. It's incredibly frustrating making yourself understood in that country. Far fewer signs are in English than in Thailand except in some unusual places - many hotels only have an English sign and some new roads have only English language signs, despite most local Burmese not being able to read them.

 

Perhaps I'm not the right person to ask for a comparison, since I'm fluent in Thai hence rarely speak English with Thais except in the presence of other foreigners. However, it is clear to me that in any area where tourists and foreigners are common place, you'll find a large number of English speakers in Thailand.

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Burmabill, I wouldn't spend US dollars directly in Burma anymore. Exchange them directly for Kyat or like you did coming from Thailand, exchange Baht directly. US dollars are nowadays only needed for domestic plane tickets and for the one day passes at land borders (where they prefer Baht, but paying in dollars is cheaper).

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for an aussie, it's about A$157 for the Single Entry eVisa

 

we stayed mainly around just Yangon, after putting too much weight into the security concerns one reads of on the Travel Advisorys

 but in reality the burmese outwardly seemed a whole lo more friendly and inviting, than back in LOS!  Mrs hated it here, from that moment on when I told her so... the excuse being that to her, Yangon was 'too muslim' (like Penang)

I had a great time though... 

 

we stayed at Hotel G, Alan Pya Pagoda St, half a klick NW of Yangon Central Rail station. Hotel G mostly caters to Expat office workers etc and very convenient walk to the CBD.

 

Half hour walk North to Shwedagon Pagoda 

 

Note: virtually everywhere that is rated as a 'big' Pagoda, they all charge entry fees... different to the free entry/donation of what you might want to, that happens around Thailand. 

 

At Shwedahgon, there's a Nth/Sth/West/East Entry. Whichever you Enter by; you are dictatorially expected to Leave by same,  later... They have this paper sticker on your shirt, that you painfully try to not lose (weak sticky when sweat-wettened), on threat to make to repay Entry again... 

 

From Yangon Central, for 50 Kyat each... do the 'round the entire city/suburbs RingRail train ride! good way to waste away 4 hours if you want to get away from hotel aircon... 

 

when there in civilisation, one used the credit card for shopping supermarkets etc Exch Rate at the time was approx 1000Kat/Aus$1 - easy to keep a mental track of the budgets 

 

moneychangers virtually all but two only dealt with US, UK, Euro and Baht. Finding the AU$ ones was a real challenge! 

 

 

 

 

Edited by tifino
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for an aussie, it's about A$157 for the Single Entry eVisa

HUH??? a Burmese tourist visa online is only $50 US

you got scammed somehow as i didn't think anyone did anymore

did you go to the official site?https://evisa.moip.gov.mm/

 

Both countries ( thailand& Burma) English sucks out of the magor cities and 4-5 star hotels.

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On 8/13/2019 at 12:54 PM, Deerculler said:

What are people like?

Just to make two comparisons.

Compared with Thai and Cambodian.

 

I am talking friendliness etc.

I found them to be sly, duplicitous,  mean minded, brainwashed,  frightened and very tough when shopping. If you do tourist style trips which isolate you from the people you should be OK

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3 hours ago, tifino said:

 

for an aussie, it's about A$157 for the Single Entry eVisa

 

we stayed mainly around just Yangon, after putting too much weight into the security concerns one reads of on the Travel Advisorys

 but in reality the burmese outwardly seemed a whole lo more friendly and inviting, than back in LOS!  Mrs hated it here, from that moment on when I told her so... the excuse being that to her, Yangon was 'too muslim' (like Penang)

I had a great time though... 

 

we stayed at Hotel G, Alan Pya Pagoda St, half a klick NW of Yangon Central Rail station. Hotel G mostly caters to Expat office workers etc and very convenient walk to the CBD.

 

Half hour walk North to Shwedagon Pagoda 

 

Note: virtually everywhere that is rated as a 'big' Pagoda, they all charge entry fees... different to the free entry/donation of what you might want to, that happens around Thailand. 

 

At Shwedahgon, there's a Nth/Sth/West/East Entry. Whichever you Enter by; you are dictatorially expected to Leave by same,  later... They have this paper sticker on your shirt, that you painfully try to not lose (weak sticky when sweat-wettened), on threat to make to repay Entry again... 

 

From Yangon Central, for 50 Kyat each... do the 'round the entire city/suburbs RingRail train ride! good way to waste away 4 hours if you want to get away from hotel aircon... 

 

when there in civilisation, one used the credit card for shopping supermarkets etc Exch Rate at the time was approx 1000Kat/Aus$1 - easy to keep a mental track of the budgets 

 

moneychangers virtually all but two only dealt with US, UK, Euro and Baht. Finding the AU$ ones was a real challenge! 

 

 

 

 

And quadruple pricing for white people even for trains. 

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3 hours ago, drbeach said:

 

Their work ethic is better than Thais? Not really...only among migrant workers living in Thailand who would be fired and sent back home if they don't perform. They are also less likely to take responsibility when they make mistakes. Agree about the standoffish part. They also feel more entitled.

 

English better than Thais? Not in my experience. Outside of Yangon, Mawlamyine, Bagan and Mandalay (and other tourist spots like Inle) Burmese speak almost no English. It's incredibly frustrating making yourself understood in that country. Far fewer signs are in English than in Thailand except in some unusual places - many hotels only have an English sign and some new roads have only English language signs, despite most local Burmese not being able to read them.

 

Perhaps I'm not the right person to ask for a comparison, since I'm fluent in Thai hence rarely speak English with Thais except in the presence of other foreigners. However, it is clear to me that in any area where tourists and foreigners are common place, you'll find a large number of English speakers in Thailand.

The teaching of english was banned in 63 and did not really start again till the middle 90s

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47 minutes ago, sunnyboy2018 said:

And quadruple pricing for white people even for trains. 

yes you're right!  our tickets each were 200Kyat (A$0.20c) for the entire circle train trip

(blew the budget) 🙂 

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1 hour ago, sunnyboy2018 said:

I found them to be sly, duplicitous,  mean minded, brainwashed,  frightened and very tough when shopping. If you do tourist style trips which isolate you from the people you should be OK

I had quite the opposite experience on my 2 trips there, I found it very awkward not being allowed to change money as the family around me insisted i was their guest and that's how it works,

I did notice many signs with foreigner prices but again i was not allowed to get involved, Also signs at many attractions with a sign saying how much it cost to take a camera inside but only in english, some family member would take my camera and put it in their bag then return it after passing the entrance.

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15 minutes ago, tingtongfarang said:

Yes the circle trip, great for photography if you get in a carriage with open windows.

windows! what windows? 

well a least the one we rode... the last carriage - no glass, and no rear door;

 which made for many clear photos 

 

 

and I wonder if it is still the half-circle one way sitation that apparently happened from the track rebuilding,. that they began, long after we left?

Edited by tifino
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