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Golden Island Cottages - Nampan
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Reviewed 16 October 2011

I booked this hotel through my hotel concierge in Yangon. I believe the room was $40-50 (US) per night. I stayed two nights at the Thale U location (they have 2 locations). Getting here was almost a whole day trip (flight from yangon to hiho, then taxi to town, then boat to cottages). I believe I left yangon early in the morning and got to the hotel around 3-4 pm (sorry but I was there last feb, so this is a late review). The first day, i walked around the cottage (there is a trail behind the cottages) for an hour or two before it got dark and came back in time for dinner. Dinner was OK (nothing great, but hot bad either). If you would like their special menu, you need to order the day before, so I placed my dinner order for the following night (not sure if this is still how it works). The next morning, I had arranged a day trip via boat. Checked out a market, some old temples, and hit some souvenir shops (I told them that I didnt want to go souvenir shopping, but they stopped there anyways which was kind of annoying, but i had plenty of time, so it wasnt that bad). Stopped by some place for lunch (no clue where, but the food was good). Ended tour early afternoon (probably 5-6 hour tour). Overall the boat tour was quite enjoyable (I cant recall the price I paid, but it seemed reasonable). Enjoyed my pre ordered dinner, and left the next morning. As im sure anyone can probably guess, not much to do at night, so bring something to entertain yourself w. Internet is very sloooooow, to the point where you might as well say they dont have internet. Overall, I believe anyone heading to Myanmar should definitely go to Inle. It was the highlight of my trip. The GIC are a good bet. Excellent location, economical, and helpful staff. I would definitely recommend.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled solo
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3  Thank omeeda
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2011

Arriving at this grand hotel you're immediately treated to the front reception staff coming out with drums banging to welcome you. It's certainly a nice hotel, and for $70 (for a deluxe) one would expect it. Our stilt bungalow more than met our expectations, as we had an end unit getting a full view of both the lake and the lakeshore. Although the rooms themselves are not that luxurious – rather a little dark and plain, the personal balcony more than made up for this. Bathroom was large with bathtub and shower stall. We did have issues with hot water being turned off after 9am (when almost all guests are touring the lake). Otherwise, no complaints. I was aware that many of the standard rooms did not have particularly private or big balconies and many had no view but other rooms – in which case I would probably have found the hotel very poor value. The restaurant is decent, though a little expensive compared to comparative restaurants in Myanmar. Breakfast was a buffet – nothing extraordinary, just toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs and Burmese soup. Overall, we really enjoyed our splurge. We loved renting canoes from the hotel and paddling ourselves to the nearby stilt village and of course, relaxing on our balcony watching fisherman and others go about their daily life.

Room Tip: Rooms at the end of the piers have most privacy. Some of the wings the stilted bungalows are placed closer together than others.
  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank CEMMM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 September 2011

We stayed at Golden Island Cottages in July 2011. It was in a fabulous location in a remote corner of Lake Inle - it felt like a world out of time.
You approach the completely stilted resort by boat (the only way) and enter the compound to face the main lodge, with cottages spread out on either side on stilted pathways. We were given the farthest cottage from the lodge - probably as it gave the best view.
Our first impressions of the place were not favourable (do read on to get to all the great parts - these were just our negative first impressions). The walkways could do with some upkeep, appeared rickety and often boards were split, and narrow with alarming gaps between them. I kept my eyes rivetted on my feet at all times and attempted to step on cross joists as the boards often appeared too cracked or full of knotholes to hold ones weight. The cottage was small, very basic and rustically furnished with no attempt at decor, but full of windows. It had a double bed with mosquito netting, a little table, a wardrobe and an adequate bathroom without charm but with all essentials.
The cottage, being on stilts has an alarming sway whenever someone moves around. It can be downright startling when you are lying on the bed and your spouse walks across the room! Eventually, when the cottage does NOT fall over after all, you adjust and can find this amusing (as my husband did) or you may continue to find it disconcerting (as I did).
Now to some of the positives..... there is an amazing porch out the back of the cottage allowing for an incredible view of the lake - we took picture after picture. We looked out towards the town and the Buddhist temple in one direction, and out across the lake in the other direction. A steady parade of small fishing boats came by right outside our cottage with their leg-rowing oarsmen hard at work. All day and night out our windows we heard the WHACK of fishermen hittting the water with their oar to scare the fish into their nets. Utterly beautiful!
We loved sitting on our porch and watching the world go by. One afternoon we asked for a pot of tea and we just sat and enjoyed watching all of the action from the comfort of our own porch. Constant things to watch!
Of course if you are a light sleeper you might want to bring ear plugs - partly due to all the "whacking" of paddles and voices calling between fishermen! Also of note - we went in July and arrived just for in time for the beginning of "Buddhist lent". As a result it is tradition to have the teachings of the Buddha read around the clock from the monastery. With modern times, this means a very LOUD loudspeaker broadcasting it (just like a muezzin in a Moslem country). At first it was romantic to hear the readings booming out over the lake from the monastery, but as the day, then evening progressed and it switched from being just one reader to three competing readers all bellowing over the loudspeaker, we were a bit worried - what time would this end in the evening? We were told "oh this is 24 hours a day for the month". YIKES! Fortunately the information we were given was wrong and both nights we were there the readers did take a break from around 11 pm to around 6 am. If you are visiting during Buddhist lent and you are bothered by noise (albeit exotic noise!), bring ear plugs!
We loved our two days of touring the lake. The stilted village is unlike any other stilted village we have seen in terms of the uniqueness of its culture. We loved the little factories (silver, silk, paper) that we visited. If you are going to visit the factories you will probably be offered the chance to visit the school - I wish so much that I had brought some children's books as they desperately need them. Consider bringing some supplies and/or books (I wish I had).
The dinner menu is extremely varied. We had a set meal plan and could pick between about ten different menus. We enjoyed our dinner food. Breakfast was adequate but not fabulous.
While we were staying at the lodge, they were repairing some of the buildings. They were driving pilings into the water/lakebottom by having groups of men stand on boards and jump up and down on top of the piling to the sounds of much laughing, yelling, camaraderie and excitement. It was great fun to watch. Machinery takes away the need to rely on others for help, but it takes away experiences like this!
If you are debating whether to go to Lake Inle - do go. It was the experience of a lifetime for us. We loved it.

Room Tip: Rooms furthest away from the lodge have the best view but require the longest walk on rickety walkways!
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank intrepidpam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 September 2011

Spent 2 nights her in late August . The cottages are clean, spacious and simple, with decent mosquito nets and a lovely balcony to watch the world slowly float by your cottage.

The western breakfast was massive but a little funny -omlette, toast, salad (with french fries and wieners included). Later I found you could order an Asian breakfast of noodles. The restaurant staff were friendly and efficient.

For dinner we pre-ordered the stuffed lake fish about 2pm - it was actually a de-boned fish - and were impressed enough to order it again the second night. Superbly fresh fish. Prices inthe restaurant were very good considering how far we were from town and the cost of transportation on the lake.

Tong Lei at the front desk was an incredible font of good local information. He suggested we visit the birds at GIC 2 - do try to get there. If you get a chance take him some English language news magazines or books (someone from Singapore gave him Lee's biography which he was struggling with!). He'll be sure to share them around.

Best point about staying here is that you are supporting the local Pa-O tribe co-operative.

The staff at the GIC office in town were very friendly and helpful in organizing a boat trip out to GIC.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with family
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2  Thank tcyokohama
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2011

Even if you are on a tight budget, it's definitely worth spending a little bit more for this wonderful place. Just stay here and relax for at least a day. It's the one and only resort sitting in the lake itself, which makes it rather exclusive.
The room is spacious, toilet is not the cleanest (a lot of tiny insects), BUT the view and balcony is the best. Being at the furthest end of Inle Lake from Nyaungshwe, it costs a bit more to take a boat back from this resort too. Pricey but worth every bit thanks to the wonderful serene view. Highly recommended especially for couples!

Room Tip: Bigger rooms are more expensive but better view!
  • Stayed: July 2011, travelled with friends
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3  Thank penyu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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