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Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

Melbourne, Australia
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1,788 posts
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Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

Hello everyone,

I'm still planning our trip in May 2013 and am gtting some quotes with a few agents. Most agents seem to recommend to pre-book side trips through them (e.g. Mingun, Sagine Hill and U Bein Bridge from Manadalay, and Mt Popa from Bagan etc).

However, from what I've been reading, these are easy enough to organise once you're there (e.g. through hotels etc). And besides, that way you can do what suits you depending on how you're feeling and the weather etc....

My query is which method would be cheaper?

Any other tips or info about organising sight seeing in Bagan/Manadalay much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

- K

N S
Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar
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for Nyaung Shwe
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1. Re: Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

You can find easily for side trip in Madalay and Bagan.I suggest arrange yourself will be better and cheaper.May is not a peak season, so the price will negotiable and can discount for you,I mean taxi,horse cart, etc

Yangon ,Myanmar
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2. Re: Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

You can organize by yourself for everything on your arrival in May.That is most cheapest way for you , if you can stay in GH . But , if you prefer 2-3 stars to high-class hotels , book through travel agents will be cheapest way for you , especially for hotel and air tickets . For excursion , you can organize by yourself on your arrival .

Berlin, Germany
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3. Re: Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

We organized everything else apart from accommodation and one flight while there and never experienced any problems. Especially day trips we found easy to get organized while there. No need to book them now.

For example we loved Bagan so much that we wanted to spend all our time there and skipped the initially planned day trip to Mt Popa. If we had already booked it upfront we would have been probably annoyed.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

Thanks everyone,

Sounds like it'll be fine to organise trips when we're there. But I think I'll book hotels and flights before.

Another query, is it possible to visit the Golden Rock as a day trip and not spend the night? I'm guessing I'll have to pre-organise this trip if I need to spend the night there.....

Once again, many thanks,

- K

Leigh-on Sea...
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5. Re: Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

Hi KGB,

good to see you on this forum. I returned from 18 wonderful days in Laos only a few days ago . I took a copy of your Blog with me and found it better than a guide book. We too are now researching Burma as our next destination for later next year and can't wait to read your blog on your return.

Like yourselves, we always travel independently and move onto the next place when we feel ready. Although for Burma, we are thinking of using a local agent,as from conversations with fellow tourists over the last few weeks the general opinion of people who had been to Burma was that the best method of covering some of the distances is by air and this is difficult to organise outside the country. Also, unless you are a budget traveler and don't mind where you stay, good quality accommodation was fully booked (although that might not be the case in May) .

As for side trips, I did feel we perhaps wasted time in Laos in organising these on arrival and one seemed to be at risk of getting bad quality trips. We arranged private transfers Vientiane-VV-Phonsavan- LP via our hotels and on 2 occasions the driver picked up several locals on the way. I feel if we had used a well known agent we would have had some recourse.

It is always a hard call , independance versus having it organised. I think that that we will go for the private tailor made option with lots of free time added in.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

Hi Gem,

Glad you liked my blog.. and sorry to hear you didn't have a great experience in Laos with your side trips and transfers. But I do hope you enjoyed the country as much as we did. We so loved Laos and are keen to get back there one day soon...

For Burma, we will organise flights and hotels through a local agent, but will try to do other side trips once there. A few trips may need to be booked through an agent though i.e. golden rock and a night in Kalaw either from Bagan or Heho (seems like there's multiple options...) I've tried to contact hotels directly but most do not reply to enquiry or booking requests at all.

I can't wait for our trip in May!

- K

Singapore
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7. Re: Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

Hi KGB,

Could you please share which local agent you are using? I am going in February so would be grateful for recommendations. Since I am arranging now, thought this might help. Thanks very much.

Cheers,

Prabs

London
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8. Re: Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

We booked all the side trips through our Yangon agent. It saved a lot of time, and I suspect we got a better deal. There was enough flexibility for us to make changes whenever we wished. Using the agent meant that there was a good level of quality control.

We like to travel independently, but Myanmar is one of those countries where it does make sense to use an agent if you want to maximise the limited time you have available.

Melbourne, Australia
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1,788 posts
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9. Re: Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

Hi,

I've only had 1 response from any agent (Jack at www.myanmartravel.com), though I've tried to email about 8. I've been looking at various itinerary options on many sights to try to come up with our itinerary...

Thanks again everyone,

- K

10. Re: Pre book side trips with agent or arrange when there?

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