I am planning to go to Burma in April - during the hottest time of the year. I have also only 9 days including travel time. I don't particularly enjoy the heat and hate that I have such a short period of time, but it's the only time I have the opportunity to go.
Right now my itinerary is as follow:
April 9: Arrive to Yangon
April 10: fly from Yangon to Bagan (arrive early in AM)
April 11: Bagan
April 12: Bagan
April 13: fly to Inle Lake (arrive in AM)
April 14: Inle Lake
April 15: fly back to Yagon (arrive in early evening)
April 16: Yangon
April 17: fly out of Yagon
A few questions:
1) Reading a few forums, everyone says that you should allow more time for Bagan. I've pretty much given 3 full days. Given how hot it will be, do you think that I should reduce this time and allow more time in Inle Lake instead? Unless there is much more to do in the city, I'm afraid I might not make it with the heat/sun exposure visiting the pagoda - I think I might be able to pull off a day at most (we will probably be taking the horse cart option as biking seems suicidal at this point). So do you think 3 days is too much?
2) We will be visiting Burma during New Years - Water festival. I'm both intrigued but apprehensive at the same time. The festival looks incredible, but at the same time most guide books I've seen say that everything will be closed and shut down. Will we, as tourists, have difficulty eating out and walking around (we hit New Years when we arrive in Inle Lake, and the celebration ends when we'll be in Yangon). Will it be extremely difficult to get around?
3) Finally this is a strange question, but I suffer from an immense phobia of snakes which has impaired my travelling plans in the past. It's an actual phobia, not just a fear. I've been wanting to visit Burma for so long but when I researched around (as I always have to do with anyone of my travel destination) - it seems that they are common everywhere - living in pagodas, etc. everywhere. Is this true or have I just read horror stories?
Any help would be tremendously appreciated!