We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
Normal, Illinois
Level Contributor
104 posts
40 reviews
Save Topic
need help with tour companies

I am interested in taking a short 4-5 day excursion at the end of a 2-week photo tour. I am thinking about either MraukU or Kengtung. I started an exchange with Santa Maria company, but then they stopped writing. Myanmar Diaries gave me a very high estimate. So first, I'm not sure whether to go to MraukU or Kengtung. I'm leaning toward Kengtung, as the tribes sound really interesting, but flights aren't good. Second, I don't know what to do about getting a response from Santa Maria. I need to know quickly as I'm going in March. Can I just make my own arrangements for Kengtung? Get flights and hotel and find a guide when I get there? Or am I safer with an expensive tour company going to MraukU? Help!

Warks.England
Destination Expert
for Myanmar, Yangon (Rangoon), Ngapali, Tossa de Mar
Level Contributor
15,820 posts
371 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: need help with tour companies

I have been searching through the last few pages as I recall reading a trip report that recommended an Agent for Mrauk U. Like you the poster had difficulty getting one to arrange the trip.

This may be of interest

www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/thread.jspa…

There are a few Agents who may be able to help.PM me if you want their details

SS

Normal, Illinois
Level Contributor
104 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: need help with tour companies

Hi - thanks, I'd like to have their details. Looks like I'd have to go on a Monday and return on Wednesday from Kengtugn because there are no return flights on Thursdays. Doesn't seem worth the price. Do you know if I went on my own could I find a guide when I get there? Or should I give up on this whole thing and go to MraukU? Do you have any comparisons on these excursions? Laurie

Yangon (Rangoon...
Level Contributor
126 posts
Save Reply
3. Re: need help with tour companies

Hi worldapart,

There are a lot of government official local agents in Myanmar also in Yangon downtown area. One or two of them can solve your problems.

ST

Quebec
Level Contributor
13 posts
128 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: need help with tour companies

Hi

We travelled in Myanmar for a month in November; we used Asian Discovery Travel, they did a great job, & got us to Mrauk U no problem. We highly recommend them

sales.asiandiscoverytravel@gmail.com

You can read my report on the following link:

tripadvisor.com/…54538700

However, lack of response from an agency may be due to internet problems.

Good luck

Normal, Illinois
Level Contributor
104 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: need help with tour companies

I'm interested in just how worth it it is to go to Mrauk U. I have only a few days, so I'd be taking two days of travel there and back, with just two days in Mrauk U. Was it absolutely wonderful and different than anything else in Myanmar, or was it just okay? I will be at the end of a 2-week photo tour all around Myanmar, so I will have been in many villages and seen lots of pagodas too. If it's truly fabulous, then I should go, but if it's not just wonderful, I will skip it. Thanks! Laurie

Quebec
Level Contributor
13 posts
128 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: need help with tour companies

Hi Laurie

It depends on what is fabulous for you

Mrauk U is not as breathtaking as Bagan, however, the pagodas are different from the rest of Myanmar, some are actually likened to Borobudur in Java rather; what is great about Mrauk U is the peacefulness of the area, the pleasure of biking around, no touts whatsoever, and few tourists.

For me personally it ranked high in what we saw.

Normal, Illinois
Level Contributor
104 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: need help with tour companies

Thanks so much for your quick reply. Did you mostly see pagodas or villages too? People go to see the vanishing Chin women, and I'm really more interested in villages, so d love to have your feedback about the villages in the area and how they compare to those in the rest of Myanmar. Thanks! Laurie

Quebec
Level Contributor
13 posts
128 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: need help with tour companies

Hi Laurie

We went to see the Chin villages too

It is a good insight into villages that are not reached by car, there again very peaceful feeling

The money that one leaves to the tatooed ladies actually benefit the entire community

We were welcomed into many houses, including one with a newborn baby

It is a good way to get an insight into a traditionnal way of life that is bound to evolve

If you go, make sure you book ahead for the Chin Villages as tourism is increasing & there are a limited number of accredited guides

Normal, Illinois
Level Contributor
104 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: need help with tour companies

Hi - did you go to other parts of Myanmar and see villages, like outside Mandalay? And if so, were the Chin villages very different? I don't really want to take more time than the 2-week trip I'm on, but I'm dying to know if I'd be missing something very different if I don't go to MraukU. Thanks again! Laurie

Quebec
Level Contributor
13 posts
128 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: need help with tour companies

Hi Laurie

we did go trekking between Kalaw & Lake Inle; I would say that the Chin villages are less touched by tourism;

there is a fairly important number of trekkers in the Kalaw area. When we visited the Chin villages, we only sporadically bumped into another group of 4 other travelers. In the Kalaw area, also due to the difference in climate, you will find more use of concrete blocks in the architecture. The Chin villages are still built in the original weaved bamboo walls, on stilts, with palm roofs mostly as opposed to corrugated metal.

The Chin villages that we visit are also along the Lemro river, if you haven't traveled up a burmese river it is a relaxing trip. The Kalaw villages are in a beautiful landscape of rolling hills covered with cultivated fields.

If you travel by road during your trip you will be able to appreciate the difference in architecture in the various aria - more use of sculpted teak in the north, more bamboo in the south, different style of wall weaving, etc…

If I can confuse you a little bit more, may I had that we did not have time to go in the Hpa An area, but were told that it was quite stunning - it might be easier to get there from Yangon than Mrauk U.

Bottom line, I think the plus in the Mrauk U area is the lack of masses of tourists.

Hope I help a bit...