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Burma Highlights + Beach extension BUHB

Visiting: Burma
Trip Duration 17 Days
 

Reviews for Burma Highlights + Beach extension

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Burma Highlights + Beach extension reviews verified by reevooReevoo

37 reviews

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Burma Highlights + Beach extensionScores 8.9 out of 10 based on 37 reviews
(9 out of 10)

Tash

Bracknell
Was a fantastic tour - absolutely outstanding. Our guide George was quite simply - "fantastic". Hotels were generally good and tour pace was fantastic. Only feedback was that we spent a whole day on a boat going to Bagan and it wasn't that picturesque - I felt it was a bit of a waste of a day and perhaps would suggest flying and having a half day free time. Also I think a group of 17 people was perhaps a bit much - would suggest cutting down to 12 but overall it was outstanding and highly recommend it to people!
Confirmed traveller: 08 January 2017
Published on: 09 January 2017
(7 out of 10)

Karen

Beijing
Very beautiful and tranquil country at any early stage in its tourism development. Although the programme is busy with something on each day, it's light activity, with lots of temples! George the guide was fantastic, so patient, informative and amusing. The group size I felt was a bit too large at 17. I would also not book through Australian explore again - a very different and inferior experience to the British explore. But overall I would thoroughly recommend. Do book the hot air balloon in Bagan; it isn't part of this programme, understandably due to the cost, but it was magical and the highlight of the trip for me.
Confirmed traveller: 07 January 2017
Published on: 09 January 2017
(10 out of 10)

Beverley

Hertford
This is an action packed tour with little free time but totally worth every minute! You'll need the beach at the end of the trip (and what a beach!) Ko Ko, our leader, was excellent. He made sure everything went smoothly and you could tell he was very proud to be Burmese and to be a tour leader. Do this trip... you won't regret it!
Confirmed traveller: 05 January 2017
Published on: 10 January 2017
(10 out of 10)

Helena

London
A varied and extremely interesting trip with a good balance of full-on sight-seeing and some down time. Highlights were undoubtably Bagan and Mandalay plus Inle Lake. I also appreciated the opportunity to meet local people, especially the visit to the rural village in Bagan and on the Kalaw trek where we stumbled across a village wedding.

Travelling between locations was thoughtfully arranged - highlights were the amazing train trip and the bus ride to Mandalay which included stops wherever we wanted for photos etc. The only downside was the very long and tedious day trip down the Irrawaddy river from Mandalay to Bagan - it took more than 10 hours and there was nothing to do on the boat, not much to see and limited possibilities to eat/drink. I would have preferred to take a 30 minute flight and gain an extra day in Bagan - especially since the trip already included a lot of river travel.

The food was fantastic - something to suit everyone and lots of variety. Restaurants were thoughtfully chosen - a mix of tourist venues and places populated mostly by local people. Only one very poor experience on the whole trip (in Mandalay) where half of us walked out after waiting more than one and a half hours for food with very unhelpful staff. The dinner provided at the Kalaw hotel was especially memorable.

Our tour guide was wonderful - knowledgeable, very solicitous of all our needs at all times and with a great sense of humour and fun. It was great to have the same guide on the whole tour - it really brought the group together and greatly enhanced our appreciation of the sights, the history and the present day realities of the country.

About half of us added on the beach extension at the end which was glorious. It was amazing to have a real rest at the end of the trip and the beach hotel and the beach itself were great. Drinks and food at the hotel were quite pricey and we found it better to eat out at the little restaurants outside the hotel - amazing seafood and very reasonable prices.

It was considerably hotter than I had expected and than the trip notes suggested - real tropical heat and very humid in Rangoon. The Kalaw hill station was colder than expected as soon as the sun went down (5.30pm) and the hotel rooms had no heating and limited hot water. It was really necessary to have cosy socks, PJs, sweaters and layers to wrap up in and to use the fleecy blankets provided.

In Bagan I took the extra excursion to Mount Popa which was well worth the trip and the additional cost ($35). It took barely an hour - a very interesting drive - and the village and the temple were marvellous - especially the views from the summit. The steps were not at all arduous - enlivened by a market for the first leg of the climb and the ever present monkeys. Others who stayed behind seemed at a loose end and rather bored. None of us took the hot air balloon ride but I would guess it is spectacular, if rather pricey. Definitely better to book well in advance as the rides sell out quickly and it is difficult to try and organise while on tour.

All in all a magnificent experience - my first trip with Explore and I hope the first of many.
Confirmed traveller: 09 December 2016
Published on: 13 December 2016
(9 out of 10)

Judith

Jersey
The highlight for me was meeting the wonderful Burmese people, such warmth in their beautiful smiles. Visiting Inle Lake was something I will always remember. The area is fairly untouched by tourism and being whizzed around by long tailed boats was a great experience! Of course, the temples and pagodas were historically interesting and visibly stunning but, for me, meeting local people at the markets and a random wedding to which we were invited during our trek were even better.
The beach extension was a great way to unwind after a busy itinerary and to be recommended!
My tips for the trip would be, first, only take a minimum in dollars as ATM were everywhere , perhaps Kalaw was an exception. Secondly, at the time of year that we went (November/December), there was certainly no need for malaria medication. The only place where they might have been a problem (Foreign Office advice) was Ngapali Beach. We found that as we had a net over the bed, the hotel was spraying the rooms conscientiously and we were using creams, there really were no problems. Nobody seemed to get bitten.
Thirdly, at Mandalay in the Hotel Marvel ask the guide to request inside rooms. Hay Mar did this for us and we slept very well. As the hotel is built over the railway station the rooms with views are very noisy.
Confirmed traveller: 08 December 2016
Published on: 13 December 2016
(8 out of 10)

Carolyn

cheadle hulme
interesting trip takes in all the main tourist sites and a lot more. Temples, floating villages and gardens, walking in the hills and visit to hill village, train boat and canoe trips. All accommodation was at least 3 star clean and comfortable. Food was tasty and cheap. Well informed, helpful leader but at times his accent was difficult to understand. The group was made up of many interesting people who were great fun to be with. We did the beach extension at the end which was in a beautiful resort. Sadly we were flown back to Rangoon early in the morning and did not leave until late at night the following day this gave us 2 extra days in Rangoon which we would have preferred to spend at the beach.
Confirmed traveller: 06 December 2016
Published on: 17 December 2016
(8 out of 10)

Denise

Hong Kong
I enjoyed the holiday and found it interesting. Perhaps too many pagoda's and stupas. It would have been nice to have stayed somewhere different other than a conventional hotel?
I also would have preferred to have gone off the beaten track to see some of the elephants and perhaps even travelled on one.
The highlights were the different modes of transport - longboat, train etc and Bagan
Confirmed traveller: 03 December 2016
Published on: 11 December 2016
(8 out of 10)

Sonia

Stockport
Very full program, personally would prefer less time getting on and of the bus and more time exploring. The trip followed closely the itinerary as outlined in the program.
Confirmed traveller: 03 December 2016
Published on: 04 December 2016
(10 out of 10)

Shirley

Castle Hedingham
Loved the long tail boat trips, visit to U bein Bridge, Bagan and the thousands of stupas. Scenery on the trek was stunning. Mandalay was a disappointment - I could not see the point in staying in a centrally based hotel when sites of interest were outside the city. By the time we returned each evening we were too tired to brave crossing the busy/polluted roads to search for a restaurant (very few in the area) so we ate at the hotel 3 nights in a row. My room smelt very musty/damp. Above the railway station so very busy, polluted area and some rooms were noisy. Loved, loved the beach extension and Amata hotel/spa - great place to chill at the end of a busy trip. Impeccable coordination throughout even without the guide's presence. (E.g. taxis to/from airports). Wonderful, helpful, friendly people. It was my birthday during the trip and the staff at Arthawka organised a cake at 7am (we thought there was a power cut when the lights went out and candles appeared) and a gift of a wrap skirt! Big THANKS to Aung for making it look so effortless.
Confirmed traveller: 01 December 2016
Published on: 06 December 2016