Myanmar/Burma

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Has anybody had experience with Elder Treks? A friend and I want to travel to Myanmar in Feb and wonder with a group? with a car and driver? Good agency in Myanmar? Any information would be useful. [Have read the article in July ITN...] Rebecca Dunn

We've booked a two-person private tour for this coming December with Journeys Within (www.journeys-within.com). We used them a few years ago for our trip to Cambodia and they are wonderful to work with. It's run by two Americans who now live in Siem Reap, but they also have an office stateside in California. They are a wonderful company that is very involved in Southeast Asia with a number of philanthropic projects (education, building wells, etc.) to help the local people. They were one of the first companies ever allowed to bring tourists into Burma.

We used Third Eye Travel for their Explorer trip. It was excellant and beyond our expectations.

http://www.thirdeyetravel.com/country_trips/33/Myanmar

Before you commit to a US-based company, you might want to check with Diethelm Travel. I never traveled with them, but they've had an excellent reputation and they're based in Asia, so their prices might be better. You could ask on this message board for any experiences with them, and compare prices. Couldn't hurt!

I went to Myanmar with Journeys and it was an excellent trip, but it was too long ago for my experience to be relevant today.

As recommended by several people on the message board a couple of years ago, we contacted Scott Wild of Wild Card Adventures. He planned an amazing trip for the two of us with a wonderful guide and also does group trips/tours. Scott is very familiar with this part of the world, easy to communicate with and designs a trip to meet your needs. You can contact him at swild7@juno.com.

We visited Myanmar/Burma a couple of years ago .... invited by the Myanmar
Tourist Board, a quasi-government agency.

Eight days or so .... fully escorted .... 6 of us.

Take care with your visa on arrival. Myanmar had this program until two days
before we arrived ... then they stopped the VOA. Thank goodness
we had been sanctioned by this quasi-government group or we'd had not been
able to leave Bangkok. Probably no problem now but I'd suggest you get your
visa prior to the trip .... although I'm sure everything is okay now.

Your US currency .... make sure they are new, crisp .... especially upon your
departure from Myanmar when you pay the $20 per person (probably higher now). I tried my, dardnest (for fun) to claim that the ugly, used bills I had were the only bills
I had, but .... they were stronger than I.

My suggestion is to find a small group company and go with them. Secondly, while
they have built a new road from Yangon (Rangoon) to Mandalay, it's still a long way
..... hence a car/driver isn't something I'd suggest. I'd bet that
most tour companies elect to fly from one site to the other .... just like we did.

Anyway, if you'd like to discuss our trip, feel free to contact me via the
personal message feature of this website. g

A friend and I went with Myanmar Shalom Travels last December/January (16 days). Every single part of our car/driver/guide itinerary went perfectly. We flew between the four main stops of Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake. I loved the trip soooo much I can't think of anything except returning. Two friends and I have our itinerary planned for the full 28 days allowed beginning Jan. 3. Same agency, longer in each wonderful place plus new places the agent (Sammy) recommended. The car/driver/guide gives you perfect flexibility. Prices are up in hotels this year because Burma is hot, but it is still reasonable. We've booked ahead for the Balloons Over Bagan early morning adventure. It is beyond wonderful. We pay for everything possible in advance because of the crispy bills requirement. I adore Myanmar.

Thank you, everybody, for the great suggestions! Keep em comin'! Isn't ITN wonderful??

I traveled to Myanmar in January 2007 with the Serious Traveler, which used Diethelm Travel as the local operator. I was very happy with the trip, the guide was very good, the hotels were all first class. I especially liked the itinerary which include a couple of towns not included in any other tours I have seen: Pyay and Pintara. We also went to the standard tourist sights, except not Mt. Popa and we didn't take a cruise on the Irrawaddy.

I think their current Myanmar trip has a different itinerary, but I would recommend both the Serious Traveler and Diethelm. I have also traveled a lot with Eldertreks amd enjoy their trips. Their itinerary looks very interesting, but I haven't taken this trip, so I can't comment on it specifically.

Hi, Rebecca. I don't get on the forum very often and just saw your question. We have traveled with ElderTreks 4 times, including a fantastic trip to Myanmar/Burma. In fact, their guide on that trip, Turin, is one of the very best that we have had on any of our many, many international tours. The trip is entirely inclusive of all meals, the groups are small, and the itinerary is outstanding. We loved this trip and would recommend it unconditionally.

Additionally, Overseas Adventure Travel (OAT) has begun trips to Myanmar/Burma this year. Since we have also traveled a number of times with OAT, I was interested to see what they had put together. It is also small group, great itinerary, but not as many included features.

February should be an excellent time to visit. And definitely go!! It is an amazing country with so much to love!

Hi,I personally think that we could contribute better to the Burma country and its people if we choose to travel with a local agent/company, rather with a third company. I have been back from Burma last month and cannot help expressing me deep thanks to Burma Senses Travel & Tours for the excellent job they did with my trip. So I can (honestly and without any doubt) recommend this agent. They have already organized both group and tailor-made tours.Thar Aye, the manager of the company grew up in US and have his aunt who got married to a former US representative of Florida. He was very responsive and knowledgeable. I think you will get the service you are looking for at a reasonable price.