Burma

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by acidboy, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    So the wife and I are gonna celebrate our 10th later this year and we plan to do some travelling. one of the places that we'd like to see is Burma/Myanmar- and from what I've seen Mandalay is a pretty nice place. I know some 'bespoke travel agents' and other luxury travel groups are looking into this country... the wife talked to one who's gonna do some exploration there later this month, who was advised that it is a safe place as long as you don't go swimming up some dissident's house.

    Anyway, just want to ask if anyone's been there (as a tourist, not for political reasons), and please let's not discuss politics here.
     
  2. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    Best trip of my life. Do it.

    A couple of days in Rangoon, stay at the same place we did in Inya Lake, it was really nice. Fly up to Bagan, which is incredible. I came home from here due to time constraints and a batshit crazy ex girlfriend, but a lot of the others took the boat to Mandalay and said it was fabulous.

    Do it.

    It's funny, I was expecting to see army dudes on every corner, actually all you see are saffron cloaked monks. You will see more machine guns transiting in Bangkok airport than you will in your whole time there.

    Great place for this trip too because your phone wont work and neither will your email...it takes some getting used to, you'll be all twitchy, but then you start to realise 'wow...this is great...no one can bug me'.
     
  3. PaulSLH

    PaulSLH Active Member

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    The reason people generally don't go there is not because it's a dangerous place for tourists, its because there is a generally accepted travel boycott to Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi has requested that international tourists not visit Burma. A lot of their income comes from tourism, so the idea is that the boycott hopes to starve the current administration of funds. They are very happy to see tourists, because you bring money into their country, the administration is only dangerous to their own people. That said, I'm sure you know about the political situation if you're planning to go, and if you don't care about that, then go. It's somewhere I'd love to visit, and the places that you'll be allowed to visit will be very safe.

    I believe its similar to Cuba in that exchange rates are government controlled, as a tourist you will get FECs rather than the 'kyat' that the locals use, at an exchange rate that can be 200 times worse than true market value. If you can change money on the black market that would be closer to the true value, but you'd probably still get slightly ripped off, and I'm not sure how hot the military are on cracking down on that sort of thing?
     
  4. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    you walk through the main market in Rangoon and every second dude in a lungi sidles up to you offering to change money. Other than the brilliance that is The New Light Of Myanmar daily, you won't really notice the government...but don't miss that newspaper...it manages to be both free and priceless.
     
  5. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    Great place for this trip too because your phone wont work and neither will your email...it takes some getting used to, you'll be all twitchy, but then you start to realise 'wow...this is great...no one can bug me'.
    Not necessarily true... my completely tech-retarded father was on an Iriwaddy river cruise in Myanmar in October/November 2008 when the shit was hitting the financial fan. Suddenly, my father, who has never texted me before or since, was asking for the latest market details and calling my cell from the boat! All that aside, they said it was an incredible trip. They did a few non-sanctioned side trips ashore in the evenings, despite being advised by the boat crews not to, and did not run into any trouble. Instead, they had some really incredible experiences in remote villages.
     
  6. alexpham

    alexpham Well-Known Member

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    One of the best trips of my life. As mentioned before, Rangoon/Yangon is great. If you have time, visiting the temples in Bagan is a once in a lifetime experience, something I would heartily recommend over Mandalay.

    Extremely safe country as well for a tourist.
     
  7. Svenn

    Svenn Senior member

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    I went to northern Myanmar for a few days on the visa-free permit they give out at the Thai border at Mae Sai. Kengtung was the city I stayed in for 3 days. I found it very interesting, as it was dramatically different from the rest of SE Asia. The colonial buildings were English rather than French, the music playing in the buses was absolutely surreal, and the architecture was amazing, even though I'd been fully templed-out from a year in Thailand and Cambodia. There were also a lot of strange looking mosques around. The women were quite stunning as well. There were some interesting posters with stuff like "YOU SHALL NOT DISOBEY THE GOVERNMENT" with cartoonish pictures of an angry soldier capturing narcotics smugglers, etc I didn't see A SINGLE tourist there for those 3 days, nor did any of the locals try to talk or sell anything to me. They seemed oddly indifferent to me in fact, with the lack of other tourists around I would have thought a foreigner would be a strange sight.... even in the back streets of Bankgkok I get long stares and shouts of hello.. in Kengtung they didn't even look at me.... little creepy in fact. [​IMG]
     
  8. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Is North Korea next on the list?
     
  9. Douglas

    Douglas Stupid ass member

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    Is North Korea next on the list?

    I've actually been looking into trips to NK. They just opened up and US citizens can go in outside of the Mass Games timeframe, though I think the Mass Games are when I'd want to go. It's hella expensive though.
     
  10. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    Is North Korea next on the list?

    the rugyong will open in a few years!
    [​IMG]
     
  11. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    thanks everyone... from your comments (specially matt's) burma is a strong contender for our anniversary trip. the wife is curious to what do we expect in terms of luxury in the better resorts/hotels there. we definitely don't expect an Aman resort type of place there, but this being a 'romantic getaway' (or at least thats what she thinks!) we're not inclined to rough it in this trip.
     
  12. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    Bagan we stayed in these little cottagey places...they were cute....they laid out love hearts in flowers on our beds on the first night. No luxury resort to be sure, but more than reasonable.

    In Rangoon we stayed in a beautiful hotel in Inya Lake. Forgot the name.

    I have just sent a Skype message over to the guy who got married there (he married a Burmese girl), but he is away from his desk...I'll update this post when he tells me the names of the places.

    Mandalay - I don't know.

    Travel agent wise, I think Exotissimo is pretty well established in Burma btw. They may be able to help.
     
  13. acidboy

    acidboy Senior member

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    thanks a million, matt!
     
  14. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    B,

    see if you can scare up john april, he spent quite a bit of time in burma.

    I haven't been, I had some friends who were in the pre-myamar days and loved it. enjoy, it will probrably be a blast
     
  15. musick

    musick Active Member

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    Myanmar is AWESOME. Just dont refer to the country as Burma. A bit of a faux pas.

    Its citizens are warm and welcoming overall. I suspect a large part of this has to do w/ most being Buddhist. Very resonable costs by Western standards.

    Only tip: bring enough cash with you to cover your entire visit (in mixed USD denominations preferably, 2ndary is the Euro) as its difficult/almost impossible to supplement w/o leaving the country. DO NOT count on US cards!!
     

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