- This is a packed and varied itinerary. Inle Lake, the walk around the village and the train trip are highlights. We particularly liked the various forms of transport. My top 3 tips would be to a) take an extra jumper as the nights at Inle Lake and Kalaw are quite chilly; b) most days you will visit a pagoda so dress accordingly ( knees and shoulders covered); c) you get better exchange rates for large denomination USD, which must be in clean condition. The money changers happily exchanged sterling, too, for a good rate and the notes didn't have to be pristine.
Our guide, May, was excellent and helped make our trip the success it was.
There were possibly too many shopping opportunities on some days for our tastes and we would have preferred using the time to explore by ourselves for half a day in Mandalay.
In our free time at Inle Lake we did a cookery course at Bamboo Delight Cooking School and I would recommend this to anyone. Perhaps Explore could add it to their list of suggested outings?
The slightly lower score for accommodation is because the hotel in Kalaw only had intermittent hot water and the hotel in Mandalay has a karaoke bar, whose bass beat could clearly be heard / felt in our room on the 6th floor.
My final comment is that Burma is not a destination for anyone who has a peanut allergy. No-one on our trip was affected but peanut oil is widely used in cooking and everywhere we stopped for a drink or food put out peanuts for us.
Published on: 09 January 2017