There have been many recent comments on delays experienced by travellers obtaining pricing from local Agents. Agents have been overwhelmed by the level of enquiries and are being hampered by hotels increasing prices and also withholding rooms and insisting on non refundable deposits. This isn’t helped by airlines traditionally not announcing detailed schedules until much later than International airlines and also by potential clients not being specific about their needs.
My strong advice to potential visitors is to do as much background research on your Itinerary, including hotels and specific dates, before you approach the Agent. There is so much information here at TA, and on Thorntree and on the Agents websites, to make informed decisions on a specific itinerary and hotel choice. Make a decision on the level of hotel and give at least a choice of two at each location.
For a first timer a short ” Classic Burma Tour” would be easy to specify on the lines of:-
Yangon 2 nights, Bagan 2 nights, Mandalay 2 nights, Inle Lake 2 nights with a further last night in Yangon (with the possibility of 3 nights at Ngapali at the end of the tour)
I estimate the costs per person high season (not over Christmas/New Year), including room with breakfast, internal flights, transfers and the use of a guide, and entrance fees, for a day in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay, and Inle Lake (leaving you free on the other days)
Budget ($50-75 per room night) $1000-$1200 pp ($325-$375 Ngapali extension)
Medium ($90-150 per room night) $1300-$1500pp ($400-$500 Ngapali extension)
4-5 star ($150 -$225 per room night) $1750-$2000pp ($600-$675 Ngapali extension)
Luxury ($275-$400+ per room night) $2250 -$4000+pp ($700-$825 Ngapali extension)
I would stress these are my guestemates only,based on hotel and air prices, plus moderate Agents margins. No doubt others may claim to be obtaining lower prices, or even being quoted much higher prices.
Note-this post is specifically about using local Agents. Many experienced travellers have made their own arrangements, travelling on a strict budget at much cheaper rates than quoted here, and have posted their experiences and itineraries on this forum