Foreword: Chelsea & Liam are currently travelling through SE Asia. You can follow their blog [here]. "Powered by Noodles" is their unique and amusing blog title. This is their trip report and not their blog.
Trip Report: March 2013
By Chelsea and Liam aka Powered by Noodles
Here's our Myanmar trip. I think all the places we stayed were recommended by The Leaping Lemur and most of the info supplied was spot on except for a few hotels had raised there price!
So... We flew into Yangon from Bangkok. We shared a taxi from the airport with 4 guest house drop-off for 15 dollars which I think was overpriced.
We stayed at Hninn Si Budget inn for $30 a night. It was spotless there and the man on reception was helpful and lovely. Our highlight in Yangon was the circle line, it was a great day out. From Yangon we got a bus to Bagan for 15000kyat over night. Almost all the buses we got gave a toothbrush and drinking water and were all freezing cold.
We stayed at Inn Wa's in Bagan. It was $30 for a twin room and was the worst place we stayed at in Myanmar. A bit mouldy, crap aircon that smelled fusty, and just not very clean. We arranged a pickup from the bus station but they didn't show up. The woman on reception never cracked a smile. But the young lad there was nice and helped us. We rented bikes from the hotel for 1500kyat one day and went on a horse and cart the next. We paid 13000kyat for the cart between 12pm and 19.30pm and he was really nice. He took us to all the temples further out we hadn't seen the previous day and we hardly saw another tourist all day. It was one of the nicest things we have done on our whole trip.
Red Vineyard, Inle Lake Area
From Bagan we went to Mandalay, and stayed at EDI and payed 7500 kyat for the bus. The room was $24 and basic but ok, it was a fan room. We were both sick in Mandalay so didnt get to do everything we wanted to do. We were going to go to Pyin Oo Lwin by shared pickup truck but we were too ill so we went by shared taxi for 14000 kyat.
Botanical Gardens, Pyin Oo Lwin
Bravo hotel in Pyin Oo Lwin was beautiful and cost $30. The owner greeted us by name when our taxi arrived and fussed over us. The room was lush and we enjoyed relaxing in the town. The gardens were a lot better than we expected and would recommend them to everyone. We loved hand feeding the giant hornbills and seeing the gibbons.
We got the train on to Hsipaw which was great and stayed at Lily and the Home. They were at the station to meet us and the room was really nice, we payed $20. The people who worked here were especially nice and helpful.
Goteik Viaduct between Pyin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw
Our last stop was Inle and we paid 15000 kyat for the bus from Hsipaw overnight. We stayed at Remember Inn and they let us check in for no extra cost when we arrived in the middle of the night. We payed $30 for a double room and it wasn't great but was ok. We got the last room and it was a bit s**t, right next to the generator and a bit grimy but we've stayed in miles worse. The boat tour we went on cost 3600 kyat each and we shared with a few other people. The hotel collected names throughout the previous day and arranged it for us. Our favourite day was cycling and following your blog to the village and the winery. It was a really nice day.
We returned back to Yangon for our flight and stayed back and Hninn Si. We booked all our hotels a few days in advance via telephone apart from Hninn Si which we booked via email a few weeks before.
Myanmar is our favourite country so far. Everyone is really friendly and although we spent a lot it was worth every penny.
Update: The overland border has now open up near Kanchanaburi..... We were discussing maybe going on another little trip overland for a quick visit. Our friends went overland to get a 15 day Thai visa a few weeks ago and they said it was easy and everyone on the border was super friendly.
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