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philip_coggan 01-09-2004 12:53 AM

Re: Anyone interested in trek to Myanmar
I know that hotels don't have to cost $100 a night - I stay in a very decent one in Yangon for $27, and you can get down to $12 and still be comfortable.

Travel by bus also reduces costs substantially - but boat seems to be generally out, as it's very slow!

I think we can get costs down to $1000-$2000 for 10-15 days - I'll look into it.

philip_coggan 01-09-2004 10:37 AM

Costs and times
Hi Alex, Thien and Darren (and anyone else interested)

Here are some thoughts on hotels:

You can stay below $10 a night in Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan. I've done it. But I'm now 53 years old and like some comfort. Personally I'd go up a notch nad stay in the City Star Hotel in Yangon ($20 a night for the standard single room, guaranteed electricity, good breakfast, great views over the roof of the Town Hall to the spires of Sule Pagoda, middle of downtown), and in the Royal City Hotel in Mandalay ($23 a night, same as City Star). I'll look into Bagan.

I'm finding out about air fares to/from Yangon/Bangkok, and internal traval. Thai flies in every day, and I took the bus when I was there before - night bus from Yangon to Bagan, another bus to Mandalay, another one back to Yangon.

This brings up the questyion of where, in Burma, we want to go, and how long to stay. Yangon/Bagan/Mandalay is the tourist circuit. Life is more exciting if you go further off the beaten track - to Mrauk U, say. Ay ideas?

Also, what about time? How long can you spend away?


Darren 01-09-2004 10:15 PM

Re: Costs and times
Hi Philip. The more I read about this, the more interesting it all becomes. Just my thoughts on the total time involved. Because I work and live in Asia, this likely will not be my only vacation to SE Asia in the calendar year. Because of this, what would be ideal for me, is if I were to be able to do the trip without missing more than a week of work. I would be most comfortable with arriving in BKK late on a friday night, and leaving again the next sunday. This would mean for me that the meat and potatoes of the excursion would be 8 days (Saturday-Saturday). I am guessing many of the other photographers who would be interested are also residents of Asia., Perhaps such a schedule would work for them as well? I believe (I heard it on the intercom the last time I was in the Taipei airport) there are direct flights for me into Yangoon as well. Perhaps there are others who have such options.

Philip, thank you in advance for suggesting this trip, as well as the obvious work involved with putting things together. Please let me know if there is any help I can offer.

thien 01-11-2004 02:24 AM

Re: Costs and times
Hi Philip,

I am not as old but my body is also craving for comfort like yours :).

I am not as lucky as some of you to actually live in Asia :(. I will have to take into account the time to fly from Canada down to Asia so there would be a 3 days difference for me and for the photographers that are based in Asia. My vacation time for Asia are normally a minimum of 2 weeks. Anyhow, if we stick with Darren 8 days schedule then I would have a few days to see what Thailand can offer. Not bad at all.


philip_coggan 01-18-2004 12:23 PM

Re: Costs and times
Ok, I'll work on 8 days in Burma. I want to add on, for those interested, a workshop in Bangkok with a friend of mine who's a commercial photogrpaher there, but I'll regard that as optional. See some of Marc's work at - he knows a lot about using light and setting up shots to best advantage.

padam 02-05-2004 10:09 PM

sounds great ;-)
this is a great idea Philip, but I'm afraid that it will be hard to satisfy everyone's requests (schedule, where to go, money...)
Personally, I find 8 days a bit short, and thus hard to avoid the tourist circuit Yangon-Bagan-Mandalay-InleLake, something I'm not interested in.
However, do not hesitate to put infos here, I will follow this thread attentively.

philip_coggan 02-07-2004 09:36 AM

Re: sounds great ;-)
I've done some research on in-country costs - it can be done for under $1,000 by staying in decent hotels that aren't actually 5-star - I think the 5-star hotel syndrome, plus the air-conditioned coaches, are the reason that luxury tours to Burma quote prices 3 times more than that!

After accommodation, the next big expense if travel - bus is cheap but takes up a lot of time, so air has attractions but costs $100 Yangon/Mandalay one-way.

The Yangon/Bagan/Mandalay circuit is indeed a bit obvious, but what else can you do in 7 to 8 days? And if you've never been to Burma before, you can hardly go home and tell everyone that you didn't see Bagan!

We may be able to have a very interesting guide with us - the Vice-Pres of the Myanmar Photographic Society, no less.

Anyone interested in joining this trek, please let me know. No commitment, just say if you're interested.



BobTrips 02-07-2004 10:11 AM

With only one week...
Why not skip Mandalay, concentrate on Yangon and Bagan? Bagan deserves a few days, there's lots of good stuff close to Yangon such as Bago and the opportunity to spend a few hours on the river.

Car and driver rental is fairly inexpensive, you could do a loop up Highway 1 through Taungoo and Pyinmana, over to Bagan and back Highway 2 through Pyay. With privately hired car(s) you could determine start times, shoot early, do most of the driving during the middle of the day when light is at it's worst, stop for interesting sights and sites, and arrive at a stopping point for the Golden Hours.

And if money is an issue there are 'just fine' places to stay in the $10-15 range. The Motherland II in Yangon, for example, offers private room and bath, air-con, breakfast, quite, clean, pleasant for $12. Basic private bath, air-con rooms in Nyanung (the village just next to the Bagan temple area) can be had for well under $10.

Those who wish to spend more than a week can strike out on their own to Inle Lake, Mandalay, Kyaiktiyo (the Golden Boulder Stupa), and so many other great destinations. After a week with an experienced guide most people would find it quite easy to travel Myanmar on their own.

philip_coggan 02-07-2004 01:04 PM

Re: With only one week...
Thanks Bob. I must admit I hadn't thought of a car and driver. But it has a lot of attractions - travel at your own pace, see places you otherwise miss. I can find out about prices. And we could do a sort of basic tour plus add-ons - the organised trip to take 7 or 8 days, then those who wish can strike out on their own. Thanks for a really good input!

DrorAngkor 03-15-2004 01:27 PM

Re: With only one week...
Hello Everyone,

I just discovered this wonderfull website 3 days ago and registered
last night ...

I'm afraid I can't yet share my photos with you as much as I want to
as 85% of my work is in slides and 15% on paper and I have no idea
how to scan properly from either - the results I've had from scanning
paper photos so far are best kept private ...

My other great passion is travel and actually though a trained archaeologist I've been working in the travel industry for the past
17 years ...

I have organised and led many tours to Myanmar and would be happy to help with this tour you are planning and if you want with prices as well.And am actually based as tour operator for a large travel company in Cambodia with excellent connections in Vietnam Laos Myanmar Thailand and further afield.

Myanmar is a very large country and access to some areas is restricted or off limits.

The domestic flights are not expensive and for the time frame you are talking about make more sense than car+driver. If the time frame
would have been longer than car+driver is a great opportunity.

The hotels: while there is no need in staying at 5 star hotels you still want to have clean pleasant comfortable accomodation where your equipment will be safe and where you can rely on the electricity
for charging batteries,lap tops, and digital cameras and equipment.

Phillip, this is a great idea, please let me know if you need any help with the organisation and operation of this tour.

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