Myanmar arrangements

This item appears on page 38 of the April 2008 issue.
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I’ve used Santa Maria Travels & Tours Company, Ltd. (No. 233-235 Second Floor 32nd Street, Pabedan Township, Yangon 11141, Union of Myanmar; phone [+951] 256 178 or 250 657 or 384 743, fax [+951] 384 064 or visit www.myanmartravels.net or www.santamariatours.com) many times and have found the agency to be both personal and professional.

It offers great hotel rates in Yangon, where they can book a 2-star or better hotel (with AC, private bath and breakfast) for $20 or an impressive 4-star hotel for $40 in off season or $52, high season. They have similar good rates throughout the country.

I’ve used two of their guides, Percy and Zaw, both of whom were extremely knowledgeable and personable.

I last traveled with Percy in September ’07, when I brought a group of students to Burma for a cultural program. (As a retired person, this is what I do on a volunteer basis to keep me involved with Asia.)

Bear in mind that this was a group of about 15, but the cost for 10 days of accommodation, chartered buses throughout, two domestic flights (Yangon-Mandalay and Bagan-Yangon), boat travel down the Irrawaddy from Mandalay to Bagan and all meals except two was less than $750 per person. In addition, I paid Percy $200, as I recall, as a token for his superlative guiding.

Zaw has helped me around Yangon, the last time in December ’07. He’s great at finding out-of-the-way but safe places to eat, interesting sights that most visitors miss, etc.

Some may be concerned about traveling in Burma, given September 2007’s demonstrations and the brutal aftermath. I felt entirely safe in December ’07. There were so few tourists, every visitor was appreciated all the more.

I continue to find Burma a fascinating country, one in which people are incredibly eager to meet with the larger world and, in private settings, to candidly express their own deeply felt views of the situation there. They so much want the world to recognize their country and its issues.

Good guides can plan your stay in such a way that your dollars benefit the local economy.

DWIGHT CLARK

Palo Alto, CA

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

I’ve used Santa Maria Travels & Tours Company, Ltd. (No. 233-235 Second Floor 32nd Street, Pabedan Township, Yangon 11141, Union of Myanmar; phone [+951] 256 178 or 250 657 or 384 743, fax [+951] 384 064 or visit www.myanmartravels.net or www.santamariatours.com) many times and have found the agency to be both personal and professional.

It offers great hotel rates in Yangon, where they can book a 2-star or better hotel (with AC, private bath and breakfast) for $20 or an impressive 4-star hotel for $40 in off season or $52, high season. They have similar good rates throughout the country.

I’ve used two of their guides, Percy and Zaw, both of whom were extremely knowledgeable and personable.

I last traveled with Percy in September ’07, when I brought a group of students to Burma for a cultural program. (As a retired person, this is what I do on a volunteer basis to keep me involved with Asia.)

Bear in mind that this was a group of about 15, but the cost for 10 days of accommodation, chartered buses throughout, two domestic flights (Yangon-Mandalay and Bagan-Yangon), boat travel down the Irrawaddy from Mandalay to Bagan and all meals except two was less than $750 per person. In addition, I paid Percy $200, as I recall, as a token for his superlative guiding.

Zaw has helped me around Yangon, the last time in December ’07. He’s great at finding out-of-the-way but safe places to eat, interesting sights that most visitors miss, etc.

Some may be concerned about traveling in Burma, given September 2007’s demonstrations and the brutal aftermath. I felt entirely safe in December ’07. There were so few tourists, every visitor was appreciated all the more.

I continue to find Burma a fascinating country, one in which people are incredibly eager to meet with the larger world and, in private settings, to candidly express their own deeply felt views of the situation there. They so much want the world to recognize their country and its issues.

Good guides can plan your stay in such a way that your dollars benefit the local economy.

DWIGHT CLARK

Palo Alto, CA