What to see in Myanmar

Discussion in 'Asia' started by Kalboz, Mar 18, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    What to see in Myanmar

    After over a decade as a pariah state, Myanmar was named by both Lonely Planet and Wanderlust as a must-see destination for this year, not least because — for now — it’s almost totally unspoilt by modern tourism.
    [​IMG]
     
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  2. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    I especially enjoyed traveling around Inle Lake by small boat, visiting villages and temples on stilts and sampling fresh produce from the floating gardens! I was there during festival time and was moved by the generosity and inclusiveness of the inhabitants of this beautiful place

    But most all of Burma is unique and fascinating-- but do consider that it is very much part of the third world and another era. You'll have to adjust your expectations accordingly.
     
  3. LarryInNYC

    LarryInNYC Gold Member

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    I am Burma-bound with my family in August. Looking forward to filling in a significant blank spot in my personal world map.
     
  4. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    Nice to post.

    I have visited a few times Myanmar including for the first time in 1992. It is a very interesting country indeed.
     
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  5. HiIslands
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    HiIslands Silver Member

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    I hope you have a rewarding and enjoyable trip. Please file a trip report so we may all "experience" it too!
     
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  6. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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  7. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    this may explain why the hotels I am looking at have suddenly doubled their rates for visits in the next few months :( Not sure it is worth it.
     
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  8. jbeutel23

    jbeutel23 Silver Member

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    Has anyone had trouble getting their visa? I've read they are obtainable in Bangkok with realitive ease, but just want to see if anyone can verify this.
     
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  9. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    id like this info too!
     
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  10. ShrinkTheGlobe

    ShrinkTheGlobe Silver Member

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    It shouldn't be a problem unless you list your occupation as "journalist" or something like that.
     
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  11. Kalboz
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    Kalboz Gold Member

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    There is also Visa on Arrival if you are from one the following countries arriving at RGN. More here: http://www.mewashingtondc.com/visa_form_7_en.php
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    Not my experience at all. Just wrapped up a week in Burma and, other than having to pay for everything by cash because they don't have links to the global CC networks, it really isn't all that unspoilt IMO. Yeah, we had a good time, but it is far from the "stuck-in-the-past" world is has been made out to be IMO.

    I did my visa in advance in NYC without any troubles. Getting rooms wasn't that hard other than actually arranging things due to limited email connectivity there and time zone issues. A few hotels were full but we got what we needed.
     
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  13. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Thanks for the info but it seems to be constantly changing, when I checked a few months ago the visa on arrival requirements were different - has anyone from the US done this recently?
     
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  14. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Love to hear more about this - did u arrange hotels after arrival there for onward cities? Were you staying in the (overpriced IMHO) upper level hotels which have tripled their rates in the last 6 months or more "local" places.
    Any info on booking on Air Mandalay on the spur of the moment (they used to have a "pass" which apparently is not longer available)

     
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  15. Wandering Aramean
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    I booked most hotels in advance via email. They were local places but the rates were double what Lonely Planet 2011 said to expect. Not outrageous at the abstract level though probably more than they should have been given the service levels.

    In Yangon we stayed at May Shan (http://www.mayshan.com/) and paid ~$59 for a double room. Breakfast was a couple fried eggs and toast. Wifi was OK in the lobby. Where they really won was service from the front desk staff. I had booked Air Mandalay (reserve online but you pay cash upon arrival in country) and they were willing to help me switch one segment to Air KBZ and also handle the payment situation so I didn't have to trek to the Air Mandalay offices to figure that out. They also made calls for me to get a hotel atop Mt. Kyaiktiyo when the hotel wouldn't reply to me directly. They even emailed me after I had left for a few days to follow up on a schedule change for the Air KBZ flight. And they let us leave our bags for a couple days when we were up at Kyaiktiyo and coming back to May Shan later. The main problem with May Shan is that it is adjacent to a mosque so we got to wake up with the morning Adhan every day.

    In Bagan we stayed at Inn Wa (innwa.gh@gmail.com). They are towards the north end of the main drag in Nyuang Oo but cheap ($25/night for a double) and free pickup from the airport. Wifi worked OK when the daily uplink to the rest of the world was online but that usually was only after 8pm local time.

    Even with a few carriers flying now it seemed to me that flights were filling up a bit. I wouldn't absolutely depend on a last-minute seat being there but a couple days' advance notice should be sufficient to get something.
     
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  16. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Thanks so much - I'd rather pay $60 (which should be much less) and have it go to a local than $400 for a hotel that went for 1/4 of that last year and have it go to one of the richest people in the country - but that's just me;)
    If u make the air reservation on line but have to pay in cash when you're there does that mean that u can cancel without penalty?
     
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  17. Wandering Aramean
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    Well, you can just not pay for the ticket if that's what you mean. I have no idea what the refundability of the tickets is once paid; I never had to deal with that.
     
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  18. davidthomas

    davidthomas Active Member

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    Myanmar's attractions lie largely in the area of the spiritual. Temples, pagodas and historical sites abound with some areas such as Bagan boasting so many attractions that it would be impossible to take them in during a single visit. With friendly locals, a tropical climate, cheap transportation and truly awesome sights, Myanmar is a fascinating and bewitching destination.
     
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  19. burmaexpert

    burmaexpert New Member

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    There are many things to see in Burma. At the moment, the most five famous attractions are Bagan, Yangon, Mandalay, Inle lake and Ngapali Beach. These attractions only introduces you the highlights of the country.
    For more references of what you can see:
    shwedagon-yangon.jpg
     
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  20. Kalboz
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    Welcome to MilePoint burmaexpert! :)
     
  21. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    Welcome too, but did you mean to post a link?
     
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  22. TRAVELSIG
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    My first trip to Myanmar was in 1992. Since then it has changed quite a bit- however I would still strongly recommend both Mandalay and even more impressive Bagan. Bagan I most enjoyed by renting a bicycle and riding around. Beautiful territory and wonderful people. The temple at Yangon is also very impressive. Overall definitely worth a trip- just understand the infrastructure is not quite up to the demand at the moment.
     
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  23. Street Smart Traveler

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    I loved Myanmar! That was the highlight of my backpacking trip around Southeast Asia. It was the closest thing to feeling like Indiana Jones.

    Top tips:
    • Bring cash. Make sure the U.S. dollar bills are in pristine condition. I almost could not leave Myanmar because the woman at the "Exit Tax" booth wouldn't accept my bills. Finally found one that she took.
    • Like others mentioned, get your current hotel to call up the hotel at the next place you're going to, and have them book a room for you.
    • Fly. Other travelers I met who took long-distance buses to get around the country complained about the awful state of the roads. Air Bagan is the nicest airline, but often fully booked. I mostly flew on Yangon Airways, no problems. Myanma Airways has such an awful safety record that most local travel agents don't sell plane tickets for them.
    I've got travel reports here:

    Yangon - Has guidebook-style tips at the end.

    Bagan - Temples galore.

    Mandalay - Surprisingly modern compared to the rest of the country. Must be due to the proximity to China.

    Inle Lake - Water village with houses on stilts.
     
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  24. Wandering Aramean
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    They are also the most recent to have a crash, I believe. It was in early January or late December.

    I flew Air KBZ and Air Mandalay (the only one I could book via email form outside the country) and both were fine, though neither was great.

    A lot has changed in the 4 years since you were there. Among other things, banks (and the changers at the airport) now give a solid exchange rate and they aren't sketchy to negotiate with like the guys on the street. Also, I saw no value in bringing small bills in with me. We got change as we spent the $100s and used that for the smaller expenses.

    I just realized I never posted my trip reports (the bits which are done) in here yet...

    One of my top 10 travel moments ever: A pilgrimage to Mt. Kyaiktiyo
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Thousands and thousands of temples on the plains of Bagan, Burma

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    I've got more coming, including my flight experiences, but I've gotta make time to write those. :oops:
     
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  25. Kalboz
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    UN Forced Out of Yangon Hotel
    [​IMG]
     

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