Myanmar, Asia



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TRAVEL GENERAL INFORMATION

Period of this trip: November 2014
Country: Myanmar (Burma)
Currency used: USD (mainly) – Kyat
Duration: 3 weeks
Number of travelers: 2
Budget: 3,000 GBP
Best Period: From November to March
Guide used: Lonely Planet
VISA: YES – to take in advance
General Info: It requires some level of planning because of the internal flights bookings. Travel by bus or by train in Myanmar could be quite painful because of the poor quality of the roads and train condition. Average journey from Yangon to Bagan is 12 hours by bus or train, when can be covered in 1.5 hours by plane. Travel by plane is affordable and best way to travel in my view.
Among all the local flight companies, we traveled with www.gmairlines.com and it was a very good experience.The tour below is not exactly what I’ve done with my husband, but it’s the one I would have done with bit more planning and knowing in advance about flight routes. Some of the flights are just one way, making the choice less flexible. We tried different hotels, but only the one reported in this page are the one I would recommend.

 

TRAVEL PLAN

Day Area What to Do
1 London to Yangon Overnight flight from London to Yangon.
2-3 Yangon Yangon is not great and the old town is quite dirty and under huge development. I reckon in 5 years time it will be much better.
The most beautiful and MUST see place in Yangon is the Shwedagon Paya (or pagoda) to visit rigorously just before and at sun set.
Worth visiting also the Bogyoke Market near the train station and Sule Paya. Next to Sule Paya, visit also the City Hall and square.
We spent 4 days in Yangon but in my opinion 2 days are enough to dedicate to this City.
4 Bago 1 day trip to Bago – high recommended.
Bus from Yangon Coach station to Bago. The coach station is quite far from old town, consider 10 USD to reach the coach station by taxi.
Bus ticket costs 10 USD pp and it takes 1 hour to reach Bago. The bus stops in the middle of a main road in Pago and you will be soon approached by lots of people selling a tuc tuc tour of the temples area which costs as small as 15 USD (a tuc tuc can contain up to 6 people I would say), so really a bargain. The driver will take you to all the main temples and then back to the bus stop in time for the last bus to Yangon.
5-8 Bagan Early flight to Bagan. We stayed in New Bagan.
We decided to hire e-bike (8 USD a day pp) to go around the area and visit some of the 800 temples and stupas – incredible.
For the best sun set: Shwesandaw Paya (stip climb), Bulethi (less touristic, but not that tall, great view), Dhammayangyi (biggest temple in Bagan).
9-12 Inle Lake Morning flight from Bagan to HeHo (for Inle Lake), 45 min journey. From HeHo to Inle Lake it takes about 1 hour by taxi (35 USD ca) – we shared with other tourists met at the airport.
Things to do and see in Inle Lake:
– hire a boat with driver and a guide and visit cat template, floating markets and villages, floating gardens, typical fishermen, long neck girls.
To find a boat, just walk near the pier and many locals will approach you offering the boat trip. Alternatively you can book in one of the main small travel agency in town. The price is more or less the same.One of the best experience was the canoeing into the floating gardens.
12-20 Ngapali Beach Morning flight from Heho to Twande (for Ngapali beach). Almost all resorts offer transport from airport to the resort (average price is ~10USD).
What an amazing beach!
Snorkeling or diving trips are available from locals – they will approach you on the beach – We paid 25 USD in 2 for a fishing and snorkeling trip (negotiating from 35 USD).On the main road just behind the resorts, there are so many restaurants. They are all super cheap, so it’s not worth having dinner in the resort that will charge more. We tried every day one different restaurant.
20 Yangon to London Flight back to Yangon and connecting flight to London.

 

TRAVEL COST LIST

Guest Houses in Yangon
– 5 nights in total –
Ocean Pearl 2
215 Botahtaung Pagoda Rd,
Yangon, Myanmar

This Guest House is decent and clean, but far from the centre. They have free shuttle from and to int airport twice a day – cheaper if you book by phone – no credit card is needed.  (35$ pd incl breakfast).

$35
Eastern Hotel
194/196 Bo Myat Htun Street
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel +95 1 293 168

Very good size room – cheaper if you book by phone – no credit card is needed. (40$ incl breakfast).

$120
May Fair Inn Guest House
57, 38th street
Yangon, Myanmar
Tel +95 1 253 454
e-mail:maytinmg@gmail.com

This accommodation is our best choice, it’s central, it’s clean and rooms are big. You have options with or without hot water with 5 USD difference. (25$ excl breakfast).

$25
Inle Lake Hotel
– 3 nights-
Gold Star Hotel
Corner of Phaung Daw Pyan Road & Kyauktain Road, Nyaung Shwe Township, Northern Inle Lake,
Inle Lake, Myanmar

We walked around half day to find a hotel in Nyaung Shwe, and finally we decided to stay in the Gold Start Hotel: best price and good size rooms. They have 2 options, small room 20 USD, big 30 USD. This hotel is also very central and 5 min walking distance from pier where all the boat trips start. Breakfast was included in the price.

$90
Ngapali Beach Hotel
– 7 nights –
Laguna Lodge
e-mail: Angel@myanmar.com.mm
web: http://www.lagunalodge-myanmar.com

This is the cheaper resort/accommodation we could find in Ngapali Beach, where prices are higher than any other place in Myanmar. Ngapali beach is in any case an amazing place and worth every penny.
The lodge is very basic, rooms are big and overall staying is decent. Quite a nice breakfast. Bit disorganized place, but the beach is stunning and you will put all problems behind.
Laguna Lodge is managed by a German guy (Oliver). You can pay in euro to an account in Germany. As this place is one of the few cheaper option available, it is always busy, so better to book well in advance.
Do not go in room n.3! All other rooms are good. There are different rooms from 60 USD to 90 USD (sea view).

$420
Flights From Yangoon to Bagan Golden Myanmar Airlines ($75 pp) $150
From Bagan to Heho (Inle Lake) – Golden Myanmar Airlines ($45 pp) $90
From Heho to Twande (Ngapali Beach) – Golden Myanmar Airlines ($120 pp) $240
From Twande (Ngapali Beach) to Yangon – Golden Myanmar Airlines ($55 pp) $110
Trips & Other VISA to do before arrival (£14 pp) £28
Taxi from Yangon airport to Down town $10
Entrance to Shwedagon Paya ($15 pp) $30
Bus from Yangon to Bago ($10 pp) $20
Trip in Bago to see temples with tuk tuk $15
Taxi from Bagan airport to New Bagan $15
E-bike in Bagan per day ($8 pp) $32
Bagan archeological entrance fee to pay at the airport ($15 pp) $30
Taxi from HeHo airport to Nyaung Shwe ($24-35 per 5 people) $30
Inle Lake area entrance fee to pay at the airport ($20 pp) $40
Boat trip in Inle Lake: $35 all day or $17 half day $35
Meal Average Meal Price $5-10 pp
Drinks (Beers: Mandalay, Myanmar) $2-4 pp
Total Holiday Cost Range per 2 people (3 weeks)
(inclusive of meals, souvenirs etc, excluding international flights)
$2,500 – 3,000
International flights London to Yangon – Ethiad ($900 pp) $1,800
Total Holiday Cost Range per 2 people (3 weeks) $4,300 – 4,700
£2,900 – 3,200

 

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