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If you go to Myanmar...

If you go . . .

I would strongly advise using a travel agency to book airfares within Myanmar and make hotel and driver-guide arrangements. “Winging it” is not a good idea. For one thing, payment is a problem unless you take buckets of cash, each bill pristine. Paying for flights and hotels ahead of time, through an agency, solves that issue.

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We were referred to Intrepid Travel in Yangon through an American friend who had started the company 30 years ago, then turned it over to his Myanma employees. (The parent company is EPG Travel Co.) Phone calls between the United States and Myanmar are prohibitively high. E-mail works best.

We were thrilled with the efficient service, the hotels they chose, the sites they recommended, and the wonderful guides and drivers they hired. We ate some street food — noodles, rice, soups — but relied on our hotels, which had nice restaurants with extensive menus, for breakfast (included) and dinner.

Intrepid Travel

197/198 Bogyoke Aung San Market,

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East Wing

Pabedan Township, Yangon

011-95-1-371722

hansu@intrepid-travels.com;

info@intrepid-travels.com

Where to stay

Inya Lake Hotel

37 Kaba Aye Pagoda Road

Yangon

011-95-1-662-866

inyalake@inyalakehotel.com

With lovely pool and spa and good indoor and outdoor restaurants — the pad Thai is divine — this is a relaxing place in the big city. It’s on the same picturesque lake where Aung San Suu Kyi lives, with a great running-walking path around. Rooms $150.

Myanmar Treasure Resort

Khayay Road

Anawrahta Quarter,

Mandalay Division

Bagan

011-95-1-654-433

www.myanmartreasureresorts.com

newbagan@mynanmar.com.mm

The Myanmar Treasure Resorts are top shelf. This one in Bagan has beautiful grounds with a restaurant serving a large menu of delicious food, influenced by neighboring Thailand, India, and China. Rooms $150.

Myanmar Treasure Resort

Maing Thauk Village

Nyaung Shwe Township

Inle Lake, Southern Shan State

011-95-1-209481

www.myanmartreasureresorts.com

mtrinle@myanmar.com.mm

Rooms are separate “cottages” on stilts, with porches overlooking the lake. Rooms $150.

What to do

You cannot rent a car in Myanmar, nor would you want to. Your hotel can get you a guide-driver, if your travel agent hasn’t. They will take you to the various pagodas, boat trips, and markets. Take a good guidebook. Before you go, check the Burma pages offered by the US State Department (travel.state.gov), which will tell you about entry and exit requirements, safety and security, currency, and how to contact the US Embassy.

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