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where next to visit?

London, United...
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where next to visit?

After a second wonderful trip to Myanmar in March of this year I'm considering returning early next year.

So far I've spent time in Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake, Mount Popa, Ngapali and also on Macleod Island in the Mergui Archipelago. I've loved every place but would like to try somewhere new as I'm sure there's lots more to discover.

From what I've heard from fellow travellers that I met I'm not sure Mandalay is quite what I'm after so have ruled that out. Travel Mrauk U/Sittwe also still seems unadvisable.

I was wondering if anyone knew of anywhere perhaps in the Chin or Shan states that were worth a visit? Or maybe somewhere further north? Ideally we'd like somewhere a little off the beaten track but with comfortbale mid range accommodation. We enjoy beautiful scenery and wildlife, trekking, local markets, good food but primarily meeting people and seeing the 'real' country. Having a comfortable hotel base with good amenities is however important to us.

Ideally I'd spent a couple of weeks exploring somewhere new and add a week on at the end at a beach destination. I'd imagine Ngapali and Macleod Island are hard to beat as a beach destinations but would welcome any other suggestions.

Any ideas of destiantions to research would be much appreciated.

Nicki

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Inle Lake
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Yangon (Rangoon)
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Bagan
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Ngapali
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Rakhine State, Myanmar
Warks.England
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for Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon), Ngapali, Tossa de Mar
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1. Re: where next to visit?

You really haven't "done" Myanmar unless you use Mandalay as a base for a few days and visit Sitang,Mingun,Maymo etc and if possible go by boat up to Bhamo via Katha.

And then there is always the Chindwin.....

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Mandalay
Mandalay
Mandalay Region, Myanmar
Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: where next to visit?

Hi there,

Like you. I wasn't sure I'd like Mandalay - but it was my surprise pack from our trip last May. Yes, its a big city, but there is a lot to see in the area and surrounding areas and we met so many lovely locals there. The city is what it is, but I really enjoyed our few days there and would head back for sure. Yes - there are plenty of tourists at the main sites, but don't let that put you off - and I guess the time of year will make a difference. Go out of the main peak times and that will greatly vary your experience...

How about the Hpa-an and Mawlamyine areass with Bago on your way (and golden rock if you haven't yet seen it)? A little bit off the trodden path, but easy to get to and some stunning sights along the way... I'm in the process of trying to write up our trip ( and I am just getting to Hpa-an) on my blog …blogspot.com.au/p/myanmar-may-2013.html - more coming in the coming days...

Hope this helps - feel free to ask any questions...

- K

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Mandalay
Mandalay
Mandalay Region, Myanmar
Hpa An
Hpa An
Kayin State, Myanmar
Bago
Bago
Bago Region, Myanmar
London, United...
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3. Re: where next to visit?

Hi K,

Thanks so much for your reply.

Hpa-an, Bago etc look interesting so I'll start doing a bit more research on those areas. I looked at them briefly last year but think I got a bit stuck finding accommodation but will definitely re-visit options now. Perhaps Mandalay is worth still considering after all. Out of interest where did you stay in Mandalay?

Thanks for the link to your blog too- I'll have a read as I'm sure it will help inspire me1

All the best

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Hpa An
Hpa An
Kayin State, Myanmar
Bago
Bago
Bago Region, Myanmar
Mandalay
Mandalay
Mandalay Region, Myanmar
noosa
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4. Re: where next to visit?

You could also try and coordinate your trip with festivals.

We visited in Feb for 28 days & loved it so much we are going back in October for 18 days.

Just after the wet season so it will be really green!

We are doing:

17/10 Arr Mandalay

18/10 - Elephant Dance Festival, Kyaukse - 40k south of Mandalay

19/10 - Kyauktawgyi Pagoda Festival -Mandalay

21-22/10 - for the last 2 days of the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda Festival, Inle Lake - just hanging out with our great guide from Feb - Following the procession & leg rowing boat races etc.-staying south Inle lake.

Then off to Mrauk-U/Sittwe for a week (couldn't get there in Feb) and then chilling in Ngapali for a few days.

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Inle Lake
Inle Lake
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Nyaungshwe, Myanmar
Mandalay
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Mandalay Region, Myanmar
Mrauk U
Mrauk U
Rakhine State, Myanmar
Ngapali
Ngapali
Rakhine State, Myanmar
London, United...
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5. Re: where next to visit?

Your October trip sounds wonderful- such a nice idea co-ordinating with the festivals. We also tried to go to Mrauk U earlier this year but were advised aginst it by our agent. I would really like to get there next Feb/March if I can. Thanks for your tips- definitely food for thought!

I hope you have a great trip.

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Mrauk U
Mrauk U
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Mrauk U, Myanmar
London, United...
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6. Re: where next to visit?

Think I'll definitely re-think Mandalay now! Sounds like there's lots of interesting options in that region and a boat trip would add something different to the trip.

Thanks for your advice. Lots for me to look into now which is really helpful.

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Mandalay
Mandalay
Mandalay Region, Myanmar
uk
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7. Re: where next to visit?

Be careful to check and check again re the elephant festival date. despite checking and rechecking locally I still managed to go there the day before the festival. Even the main tour companies and agencies in Mandalay seemed really uncertain about the dates!

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Mandalay
Mandalay
Mandalay Region, Myanmar
London, United...
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8. Re: where next to visit?

Good tip- thank you!

Kurashiki, Japan
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for Kurashiki, Cambodia, Myanmar
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9. Re: where next to visit?

Have you ever been to Pyay? Very cool place, few tourists visit.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g739121-i24050-k62…

London, United...
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10. Re: where next to visit?

No I hadn't thought of Pyay before but doing a quick check online and reading your report is looks fascinating, so thanks for the suggestion. It looks like it has a wealth of local life and culture to immerse yourself in. In your opinion, from what you saw there, would you that Smile Motel is the best option for accommodation?