Tourism?

Postby Kay » Mon 17 Apr 2006 20:57

Hi Maung

It's great to hear from someone in Myanmar. We're just "next door" but thought that it might be a difficult place to visit - mainly for the reasons you've described in your posting.

If you have the time and energy to tell us more, please do.

Thanks

Kay
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Postby Maung Maung » Mon 17 Apr 2006 21:49

What would you like to know? :wink:
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Postby Kay » Mon 17 Apr 2006 22:04

:lol:

Well, it's long past my bedtime so I won't ask too much :D . Our main reservation about visiting the country is that, given the political situation, we wouldn't want to encourage tourism in the area.

I'm sure the people are wonderful - as they are in most places in this region - but my concern would be that "tourism" or encouraging it would give the message to the govt. that we don't mind about such things.

I accept that I don't know enough about the situation - that's why I'd really value your advice.
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Postby Maung Maung » Mon 17 Apr 2006 22:40

I'm going to be careful about what I say here, I am not at liberty to discuss the political situation.

It depends on how you go about it. Ignore what you might have read on other websites where people write things such as "we never gave them a penny", it's rubbish. For a start you have to pay for a Visa and US$10 in airport departure tax to leave the country!

Are you thinking of a Visa run? i.e. leaving BKK for just a couple of days or are you thinking of touring the country?
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Postby Kay » Tue 18 Apr 2006 08:30

Are you thinking of a Visa run?


Yeah, pretty much. We generally don't do the day trip to the border thing (although we've done that once). We usually go somewhere for a few days if we can.
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Postby Maung Maung » Tue 18 Apr 2006 13:51

Well I would fly Thai Airways for a start (US$200 approx. for a return ticket), the problem with Myanmar Airways International (MAI) is that if there is a VIP flying, and there always seems to be, they can and will kick you off.

You could stay at the following hotels, I'll give a price indication in brackets but I'm not in the travels and tours business so I don't know the up to date prices;
Sedona Hotel (from US$50-70), a five star hotel, I would recommend it. Traders Hotel (US$50-70), part of the Shangrila Group and located smack in the middle of downtown, excellent location. Inya Lake Hotel (US$50-70), part of the Dusit group who run the Dusit Hotels in Thailand, beautiful grounds and on the bank of Inya Lake. Kandawgyi Hotel (US$50-70), nice hotel, affliliated to Best Western, on Kandawgyi Lake. Then you have the more expensive hotels like The Strand (US$250+), Pan Sea (US$100?+) of which I would prefer the Pansea. All of these hotels are internationally owned or run by international staff. Most of the local ones are rubbish unless you're into the back packer thing. I would prefer the Sedona personally but Traders does have a good location.

There's one or two bars where you can find expats who live here, these would include 50th Street Bar & Grill, the bar at the Savoy Hotel and the bar at the Strand Hotel on a Friday night.

There is a great restaurant at Pansea as well as the Strand and the Savoy, expect to pay US$30-50 per head excluding wine. Beer is not expensive locally, about US$0.80 a bottle as I recall but the hotels and bars will charge you about US$3 a go. Wine is expensive and from what I hear you have to be a little bit careful as it is not always stored correctly, you'll be fine in the places I've mentioned above.

You wouldn't come here for shopping. Expats living here go to Bangkok for shopping! Especially food and clothes. You may be interested in the handicrafts etc, some are cheap but you can sometimes buy the same items in Thailand (that are made here in Myanmar) cheaper!

Not too much to see here. There is Shwedagon Pagoda, they'll jump on you for US$5 as soon as you enter it, worth a look for an hour. I would suggest going in the evening when it is a little cooler, I personally believe that it looks better lit up at night.

Taxis in Bangkok are much cleaner and cheaper than here, expect an old banger and expect to pay one and a half times to twice the price of Bangkok. Do not use buses unless you want to take your life in your hands!

Probably lots more you would like to know, I would suggest that you ask me questions! :)
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Postby Kay » Tue 18 Apr 2006 14:45

Thanks for that! We went to Penang a couple of times and didn't really like it very much, but at the time we needed to go to somewhere with a Thai consulate. Now we have different visas we have more choice. It'll be Angkor Wat next but Myanmar (Burma? :? ) would be interesting for another time.

I'll start a new thread if I think of any specific questions.

Meanwhile, thanks again for your input on this forum. You're adding a lot to a board we always assumed would be quiet. (I'm making some of your postings "sticky" so they stay at the top of the board. This helps us to avoid the same things being asked over and over.)
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