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Travelling in Myanmar.

Messines
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146 posts
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Travelling in Myanmar.

Hi Myanmar visitors,

Is it possible to visit the country without help of a travel agency.

If not, is there one who is ready to arrange the transfers and leaves the freedom to book hotels directly ?

Francine.

Wellington, New...
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1. Re: Travelling in Myanmar.

We travelled for 3 weeks Dec thru to Jan and didnt use an agent. We booked hotels by internet, usually followed up with a ph call and booked our on going travel 2 days or so ahead ( bus, train and boat) It all worked and we had no delays in pickups or departure times.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: Travelling in Myanmar.

I have an agent booking my flights and l have booked the rest.

Messines
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146 posts
104 reviews
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3. Re: Travelling in Myanmar.

Thanks Jenniemcy. Are there hotels or local offices who can arrange sightseeings ?

Greetings, Francine.

Wellington, New...
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4. Re: Travelling in Myanmar.

All our hotels (midrange) did stuff for us. E.g. Mandalay City hotel booked and got boat tickets to Bagan, and also ordered excellent driver/taxi for a couple of trips/attractions. Most are tuned into going this for their residents. Taxi drivers were unfailingly patient and helpful (thru hotels anyway...however some we engaged ourselves were a bit hairy!)

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Travelling in Myanmar.

Hello,

It is complete possible to travel without an agent. My friend and I found our own accommodation and booked transport through the guesthouses / hotels.

Good luck!

Berlin, Germany
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6. Re: Travelling in Myanmar.

As said before it is possible to travel without an agent. We booked one internal flight through a travel agency here in Germany. We also used one agent to find a hotel in Mandalay. All hotels I contacted by mail or phone in Mandalay told me they are fully booked. Everything else we organized ourselves like all the other hotels, train tickets Yangon-Mandalay, bus ticket to Ngwe Saung Beach or boat from Mandalay to Bagan. For the train tickets we went to the station direct, the boat and bus ticket we got that through our guesthouse or a travel agency we came across while there.

Utrecht, The...
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7. Re: Travelling in Myanmar.

I am in Yangon right now. Booked the Eastern Hotel by email from home. Next stop Moulmein I booked Breeze Guesthouse with a Skype call. Very convenient to use because you can call as many guesthouses and hotels as you like and don't depend on agents. Booking all accomodation beforehand may be an option if you don't like to arrange things by yourself, but agents are more expensive than doing it yourself. Most of all I hate being nailed to a fixed scheme of where to go and how long to stay, not my idea of travel.

sydney
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8. Re: Travelling in Myanmar.

I agree with what others have said. Though I would book any internal flights through a travel agent in Yangon to ensure a seat on a flight to tie in with my DIY itinerary. Of course if your not prepared to undertake research (all the info is on the net) then use a travel agent.

Apart from searching on TA, travelblogs.com is also a good source of info. (as are many other sites). Some travelblogs contain examples of loss of time and disappointment completely avoidable if they had bothered to do some research.

NEW YORK
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9. Re: Travelling in Myanmar.

We booked our tickets through our Mandalay based travel agent- Moh Moh Thu at Green & Green Travel Agency greenandgreen.travel@gmail.com

She was very helpful, honest, and brought our tickets to our hotel. She offered outstanding customer service, even picking us up from a random street corner in her car when we made a wrong turn and walked a mile out of our way. We had a lot of difficulty communicating with other travel agents trying to book flights and I just wanted to recommend Green & Green.

hong kong
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10. Re: Travelling in Myanmar.

WE had 12 days in Myanmar in May 2013. Tripadvisor comments were most helpful in what preparation we did do--which was'nt a great deal. So I'd like to "pay back"some of that assistance with the following random comments:

1. There are ATMs there now, but not many. CPD Bank has most, but other banks do too. We found them o K in, for example, Yangon, Nuangshwe ( Inlay Lake) and New Bagan.

2. But, most places deal only in cash, so credit cards are generally not accepted, even in quite up-market hotels and restaurants.

3. We took US$2000 plus. This was handy because altho most of our hotels were prepaid ( booked thru Agoda, a very good site for Asia) we aranged 3 different internal flights while there, and these had to be paid for in cash ( US$622 for 2 x 3 flights--prices are very reasonable).

4Our Lonely Planet was the Dec 2011 edition. But things are changing fast in Myanmar, so some of its critical guidance turned out to be wrong. For example, you now get the full black-market exchange rate ( ABOUT 890 KS TO $1) from banks'foreign exchange windows. The counters at Yangon Airport, for instance, gave us the full going rate.

5. Locals will deal in US$ ( i e taxis etc...not small food stalls etc) but are happy to deal in local currency. They will take dirty US$s---don't need to be in prisine condition.

6. If you have a limited time--say, less than 2-3 weeks--I stronly suggest you move between major destinations by plane. Road transport is very slow, and frankly much of the country-side is quite bland. Trains are of dubious quality--tho I'm all for train experience. Plus they also are slow. WE contacted a travel agent by email in advance, and then completed the deal at their office in Yangon, i e for plane tickets. I got their name from Tripadvisor comments, and can thoroughly recommend them: Green Palace Travels & Tours ( Mr Soe Lwin--and his excellent assistant, Ms Su Mon Htwe ( Mon) ) . They're on the web, or: grpalace@myanmar.com.mm. We went to their little office near Shenegon Pagoda to collect tickets and pay. Given coffee, tea and bickies, had a chat in Mr Soe's office, paid money and then had a photo with all staff --i e Mr Soe took the photo for his purposes. Tickets duly delivered to hotel as promised about 2 hours later. There was email and telephone follow-up re. changed flight plan etc...all in all, excellent and very quaint old-world service.

6. Yangon is worth only 2-3 days. Try to be tyhere on a Friday, and go to the wonderful, old colonial Strand hotel. They have half-priced drinks plus free nibbles then.

7. View Point Lodge and Fine Cuisine in Nuangshwe is excellent. I would'nt sytay on the lake itself, as you need a boat to get to the town. So you're a captive audience. The town is not great, but does have an interesting array of restuarants, a local market and bustling river port area.

8 Bagan is spectacular. We stayed at Hotel@Tharabar Gate. Very good standard, well located and has a pool--a rarity in Myanmar. In May it's bloody hot, so pool was useful respite. New Bagan has a greatewr range of accommodation than Old Bagan, but the location is not as good, in my view. You'll need a car and driver to see the stupas etc properly. Cost is about US$45 for 4-5 hours. View the sunset from one of the larger temples/stupas---magnificent. The Moon and opposite, PYI vegetarioan restaurants are very good, and cheap. You'll need to take your own beer tho. Restaurants next to the Tharabar Gate/hotel are not so good--much blander menu.

9. Finally, you can easily get about, book accommodation etc when you are in Myanmar, without tying yourself down in advance with an agent. There are many agents in the big towns/cities,. Variety of hotels is lomited, and best bet there is to use Agoda, or sus out lower standard places when you get to your destination ( we were'nt backpacking).