Myanmar Accomodations

Considering this was just a father and son trip, our expectations for accommodations weren’t particularly high.  We just wanted places clean and centrally located.  And a big plus was to have someone who spoke English working at the hotel.  It turns out that with Myanmar recent opening, their hospitality industry is just evolving, thus they have limited options with hotels.  Although there are a few high end resort style hotels, their pricing can be as high as US$300/night which is extremely high compared to Thailand, the neighboring country.  Most that I researched were backpacker type hotels (with the exception of the Thante in Nyaung Oo).  Due to the laws of supply and demand, the increasing flow of tourists have even driven these prices up too.

Our agenda was as follows:

Wed, January 8th, depart LAX for Yangon on Korean Air 18 11:00am via Korea with an arrival at 10:30PM in Yangon.
By the way, don’t believe the signs in the immigration line, we staying in the “foreigners” line while others hopped the line for the shorter “diplomat” and “citizen” lines.  The authorities didn’t seem to mind.
The taxi prices seem to be fixed at 12,000 kyat (about US$12) to central Yangon where we stayed at the May Shan hotel.  (although I was able to talk him down to 10,000, I ended up tipping him to the original 12,000 price.  Don’t ask my why I do that…
The May Shan hotel was a good choice since it is located next to the Sule Pagoda which is one of the central roundabouts in the city and all taxis knew this landmark.  We rented the room that overlooked the street/pagoda as we wanted to be able to take some pictures from the room.  The room was small but adequate and was clean.  There was a distinct limitation of power outlets however so traveling with a power-strip may be handy next time.  The bathroom was a typical combo shower/toilet room that seems to be common amongst this level of hotel.  The hotel did have a generator although we didn’t experience an outage on that day. This was the only hotel on our trip that accepted credit cards and was able to be reserved through Agoda.com.  The hotel had wifi and contrary to many connections in the country, the Internet had enough bandwidth to support a Facetime video call!  The hotel personnel were very nice and accommodating and even retrieved our tickets from the Air Mandalay office while were out sightseeing.  The manager was a nice lady named Thein Thein.

May Shan Hotel - next to Sule Pagoda

May Shan Hotel – next to Sule Pagoda

May Shan Hotel

May Shan Hotel

May Shan
115-117 Sule Paya Road
Kyauktada Township
Yangon
+95 1 252 986
www.mayshan.com

The price for a room is between US$60 and US$90 through Agoda.com

On Saturday, January 11th we travelled from Yangon to Bagan on Air Mandalay flight 6T 401 leaving at 6:20am and arriving at 7:40am.  

Through the research and connecting with those knowledgable about Myanmar, I made a new friend in Bagan who happens to run a nice hotel! This was the nicest hotel on our trip as it consisted of a series of bungalows, pool, restaurant and bakery.  This hotel has a website where one can reserve rooms, however, it is not by credit card transaction so be prepared to carry cash for checkin time.  This hotel is in Nyaung Oo which is only a few minutes from the airport and at the start of the archeological zone on the Shwezigon Paya end.

Thante Hotel - Nyaung Oo

Thante Hotel – Nyaung Oo

Thante Hotel
Myo Ma Quarter
Nyaung Oo
+95 61 60315, +95 61 61116
http://www.thantenyu.com/

The accommodations were great at this hotel and the staff friendly.  And the room rate includes a great buffet breakfast.

Through my friend at the Thante hotel, we did arrange for an English speaking guide for one day named Sai.  He was a great guide who knew when to rattle off historical facts and when to let us simply take pictures.  I highly recommend this guide!

On Monday, January 13th, we travelled from Bagan to Mandalay on Air Mandalay flight 6T 401 leaving at 7:55am arriving at 8:25am

There, we took the long taxi ride from the Mandalay airport into town.  At this airport, the taxi hawkers were particularly aggressive with their sales pitches. However, in the end, the pricing was pretty much fixed as well.  I believe this was around 12,000kyat too.  And considering the distance, it is a bargain.  The trip takes at least an hour.  We stayed at the Nylon hotel which again catered to backpackers.  This hotel only takes reservations three days in advance of your stay so remember to set a reminder to call otherwise you may find yourself without a room.IMG_2414

Nylon Hotel

Nylon Hotel

Nylon Hotel
Corner of 83rd and 25th St.
Mandalay
+95 233 460

On Tuesday, January 14th we travelled from Mandalay to Heho (Inle Lake’s closest airport) on Air Mandalay flight 6T 402 leaving 7:55am arriving at 8:25am

We arranged for a guide to meet us there.  The drive from Heho to Inle Lake is about an hour although we stopped at a few places for sightseeing including a 100 year old wooden monastery.  At Inle Lake we stayed in the May Guesthouse.  It appears guesthouses are somewhat of a bed and breakfast.  This guesthouse had nice grounds, friendly staff, a good breakfast and a generator (we did lose power for a period one night).  However, the walls between the rooms are paper thin so bring earplugs if you want to get some sleep.  The shower in our room was particularly difficult to adjust so one either has a scalding or freezing shower.  All in all, it was fine for the price which was 28,000 kyats/night.  This hotel can be reserved through email but they won’t hold your reservation if you don’t call them three days in advance to confirm.

IMG_2468

May Guesthouse
85 Myawady Rd.
Nyaungshwe
+95 81 209 417
mayguesthouse@gmail.com