Have just returned from a very memorable holiday and thught I'd pass on our experiences.
We didn't have sufficient time to travel at an overly leisurely pace - our intention was to see and experience as much of the country as possible in the short time available - yet without feeling it was too hectic (and we feel we achieved this)
Following a certain amount of research we decided upon our destinations and hotels and then put our trust in Mrmyanmar travels to make our reservations for hotels, flights, transfers - everything
Mrmyanmar were incredibly efficient and to be wholly recommended.
On arrival in Yangon we were met by 'Journeys' (I am uncertain of the connection with Mrmyanmar) and the representatives then oversaw our Myanmar holiday with diligence.
Our first 2 days were spent exploring Yangon - largely on foot. Our hotel, the Parkroyal was most convenient - located close to Scott market and downtown and we had sufficient time to stroll around the sights - a good deal of walking, regularly punctuated by stops at various cafes, teashops and hotels. (I won't report on the hotels and restaurants here as I intend to mention those in the individual Tripadvisor sections)
We felt we achieved a feel for the city during our brief stay - our final day at the end of our holiday was also to be spent in Yangon - when we would collect the clothes we were having made at the tailors- Liberal Tailor - in Scott market (1200 for a shirt and 1200 for shorts)
We changed money at the front of the market - MIDB Bank - and the service was efficient and the rate good (820)
It was necessary for us to fly between all our destinations because f time constraints. All our flights were on time - one even left early so do make sure you are at the airport an hour before scheduled departure
We flew with KBZ and Asian Wings. I had been expecting old and shabby planes - somewhat in keeping with the old and battered vehicles on the roads - however both airlines are in their infancy and the planes are new and the staff and service are efficient. The check-in and the departure and arrival procedures are somewhat unconventional - but overall everything runs smoothly.
From Yangon we went to Bagan and stayed at the Bagan Hotel which is situated in Old Bagan and on the banks of the river. The gardens and views were exceptional but the hotel itself was rather dark and drab.
Two days were spent out and about - temples, temples and more temples. The area around Tharabar gate was a great place to watch the world go by - most particularly Be Kind To Animals - The Moon provided colourful surroundings and absolutely fabulous food.
Whilst in Myanmar we visited numerous markets. The one in Nampan (Inle) was particularly interesting, however the one at Nyaung U in Bagan seemed more of a tourist attraction and not particularly enjoyable
Sandwiched between our 2 days in Bagan we had an overnight trip to Mount Popa.
The drive to Mt Popa was probably more interesting than the destination (a 777 step climb to the top!!) The Mt Popa hotel stay was well worth the journey. The sumptuous villa (701) was perfectly positioned for the sunset - an amazing place but I do understand there is some government connection.
The next day we returned to Bagan via Salay - fairly interesting but could be missed without too many regrets if time does not allow.
Another day and another flight - this time for a 3 night stay in Mandalay. On arrival we journeyed to the monastic centre at Amarapura and to the U Bein Bridge and via Ava/Inwa en route to our hotel - the Mandalay Hill resort. A touristy day!The following day we explored Mandalay and on the third day we visited Mingun by boat which was really enjoyable. In the afternoon we went to Sagaing - the journey was interesting but I think this is a trip we could have missed had we wanted more time to relax by the extensive pool at the hotel!
I am afraid I am now out of time so my report will have to be in two parts (obviously have written more detail than initially intended)
But, in brief, we then went to Inle for 3 nights and finally to Ngapali - 2 destinations not to be missed!!