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Burma In Depth BUI

Visiting: Burma
Trip Duration 21 Days

Reviews for Burma In Depth

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

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Burma In Depth reviews verified by reevooReevoo

35 reviews

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Burma In DepthScores 9.0 out of 10 based on 35 reviews
(10 out of 10)


Another fabulous trip from Explore! Despite it being the rainy season we had a great introduction to Myanmar and its people. The fact that it wasn’t the main tourist season meant we got to see places when they were quiet and we weren’t competing with lots of other tour groups for space at the main sights. The only downside was Golden Rock in the pouring rain – it didn’t quite live up to its name.
Our guide, May, was delightful. She was very knowledgeable and professional and made sure we saw the best of her country. We were very well looked after – transport was well organised and most days had a fairly relaxed start. A few alterations to the itinerary were made to add to our enjoyment.
There were so many highlights; these included the temples of Bagan, the cities of Yangon and Mandalay, the trek from Kalaw and visit to the school, Inle Lake and the cookery class.
It was a bonus to be provided with water each day, both on the bus and in the hotels – It would be great to have this on every tour!
Everyone we met greeted us with a smile and ‘Mingalabar’ and we were impressed by their friendliness and willingness to engage in conversation.
Myanmar was an absolute delight – so many beautiful pagodas, stunning scenery and welcoming people.
Confirmed traveller: 20 August 2017
Published on: 05 September 2017
(9 out of 10)


New Milton, Hampshire
One of my best trips, because experienced fellow travellers were such great company and the Burmese people were so generous with their smiles & their willingness to at least try helping visitors.

So many highlights: a rooftop bar overlooking the Shwedagon pagoda, the hair-raising drive up to Golden Rock for sunset, making it to the top of Mt Popa and just walking on free afternoons with newly-made friends for life.
There are certainly a lot of pagoda/temple/monastery visits but each had its own character and I certainly admired the devout pilgrims who were somehow able to worship amongst hordes of tourists.
All of the cave temples were stunning and it's definitely worth a 5 minute walk from the Green Haven Hotel, across the golf course to the less-visited Shwe Oo Min Phaya, but be careful in the upper cave as the floor can get very slippery in places.
The area in Monywa around Mahar Bodhi Tataung (a gigantic standing buddha with thousands of attendant buddha statues) is also pretty amazing.

Interacting with locals (especially Bilu Island but everywhere really) made this trip really special and the children particularly made us feel so welcome.
It is possible to visit a school during the trek from Kalaw. The 'Explore' classroom was bright & stimulating for the kids, so hopefully this support will extend to the whole school in time. The greatest need seemed to be for more teachers but, no doubt, any help would be much appreciated.
The trek is about 11km and easy enough, but with quite a long "up" at the end - it's not steep but take plenty of water!

It's hot but not a sticky heat, and clothes dry quickly so don't overpack. Explore are not joking when they say it's cooler in the highlands. The boats on Inle Lake have blankets and you WILL need them, plus at least a fleece, for early morning and towards sunset.

Food is cheap, especially if you eat Burmese rather than Thai or Chinese. I don't like spicy food but even I found most dishes slightly bland - ask for soy/chilli/garlic on the side to be brought early, not when you've nearly finished your meal! Buses may carry 25 litre containers of water for refilling your bottles.

As others have suggested, $200-250 is about enough spending money unless you're into serious souvenir shopping.
For my taste, there were a few too many craft outlets but the demonstrations were fascinating. Others may prefer this style of shopping over cheaper but lower quality markets.
If arriving on Sunday, there's little choice but the airport for exchanging dollars but money-changers &/ATMs are readily available except in rural areas.

Our itinerary was changed slightly - no train ride over the Gokteik Viaduct (disappointed but a needful government decision). The substitute cookery class was voted off by the group and instead, our lovely Inle Lake boatmen took us as far south as they could in a day. It was wonderful to visit outlying villages, temples and monasteries with far fewer tourists.
Overall, if this tour is on your wishlist, go now rather than later - before Burma stops being so delightfully crazy.

If you have time, it's worth stopping off in Singapore for a complete contrast of cultures - check out the Changi airport website for all the goodies you can claim in transit.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 19 February 2017
Published on: 03 March 2017
(7 out of 10)


We saw all of the the main things that you are supposed to see in Myanmar, which I appreciated. The people on our tour were an exceptional group of individuals and I enjoyed my time with them very much.

I picked this tour because it was marketed as 21 days, which no one else offered. In truth, three of those days were not tour days, as two were just meet and depart days and one was travelling to Yangon with nothing planned on the afternoon.

The modes of transportation were varied, which was great. Visiting workshops was fascinating as were many of the pagodas. Jue, our guide, was extremely well organized and moved things along efficiently. She worked hard to ensure our days were full and interesting. The transportation support staff were great.

My disappointment lay in the fact that there were no unique experiences that set this tour apart from any other. In addtion, I found the accommodation disappointing and think Explore could do a better job of finding smaller hotels that offer an interesting experience. Some of the hotels, such as those in Yangon, Inle Lake and Mandalay were tired old hotels in need of remodelling and/or were extremely generic.

My only other experience with a tour has been with a different company and the level of hotels and leader knowledge, as well as some interesting tour extras such as pic nics and dinner at a local home, made that tour great. Explore may want to consider adding some interesting touches such as these, to make the tour exceptional.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 18 February 2017
Published on: 01 March 2017

Hi Tanya, thank you for your feedback on your trip. With this tour being 21 days, and with a planned excursion or visit on each day, there is free time dotted about in the itinerary to allow you to catch your breath. This allows you to reflect on your journey, plan in some relaxation or, if you are still full of wanderlust, some time for personal exploration. With such a varied and in depth tour I am sorry that you felt it needed some additional extras. Though we have not had this feedback previously, we are always happy to look at a tour and see if it could be refined. I do agree that we have been obliged to make some alteration to the trip – for example, we have removed the train along the Gokteik Viaduct, as well as some of the days to the south – as this is now contraindicated by official advice. As such we will discuss your comments and review the trip to ensure we have the best balance of activities.

(9 out of 10)


Menlo Park, CA USA
The highly experienced travelers within the group were interesting, inclusive and fun. Their positive energy added significantly to my enjoyment of the trip. Loved our experience on Inle Lake. Spent a bit too much time visiting scores of pagodas and monasteries. Our tour guide was efficient and helpful yet her somewhat weak English skills made listening to instructions and information difficult at times.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 18 February 2017
Published on: 21 February 2017
(9 out of 10)


A well-organised and busy itinerary which encompassed all of Burma's highlights. Our tour leader was exceptional in her planning, timing and coordination of transport and activities and her efficiency made this a truly memorable trip. I would recommend this trip to others but you have to enjoy continually being on the go as there is a lot to see and do
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 12 February 2017
Published on: 17 February 2017
(10 out of 10)


everyday there was an exciting tourist object to see!
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 04 February 2017
Published on: 12 February 2017
(10 out of 10)


I'm glad I chose the 3 week tour as,along with the main destinations, we went to some interesting, less touristy places. I was highly impressed by our tour leader, Koko; his depth of knowledge and passion for Myanmar really made the trip.

Tip: dollars are not required (except for the tip kitty?) as there are many ATMs available in most places visited.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 28 January 2017
Published on: 14 February 2017
(8 out of 10)


I'm glad I booked the 3 week trip over the 2 week trips Explore run in Burma as it felt less rushed even though it was full on.
The highlights of the trip were, the overnight visit to Golden Rock, the ferry and tour of Ogre Island in an old truck and the optional visit to the Burma end of the Burma/Thailand railway and the CWG cemetery.
The tour off Bagan and the sunset view across the plain from atop a crowded viewing point.
The train ride from Mandalay to the Gokteik Viaduct and return to Pyin Oo Lwin, the whole of the group decided to do this even though we had to leave the tour until we met up with our group leader at Pyin Oo Lwin.
Three days at Lake Inle, especially the optional 3rd day boat trip to the far end of the lake.
On returning to Yangon the very cheep local train 3 1/2 hour circle line ride.
Some visits to stupas temples and monasteries and reclining Buddha's of which the most interesting were the ones in ruins and the ones not caked in gold, you can can take only so much bling but its par for the corse when in this part of the world.
The transport was comfortable.
On the whole the hotel rooms were good but some of the bathrooms let them down.
The Hotel Marvel had the best bathrooms and I had inside and outside rooms on my
visits and I didn't find it to noisy, the Green Haven Hotel had the worst bathroom but the the most comfortable bed on the trip and had lots of character.
Our tour leader Jue was less hands on and in the evenings and the group tended to split up into smaller groups for dinner, some of the other Explore groups we met seemed to be more regimented, Jue was a good guide and could speak English but I think French was her first foreign language and some times there were misunderstandings especially if there was a lot of information to impart.
I was looking for a trip to Burma and I think this this ticked most of the boxes but its a pitty the rail journey has been dropped due to government advice.
Keith Woodford
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 31 December 2016
Published on: 11 January 2017
(10 out of 10)


Very enjoyable trip. Our guide Zar Zar was exceptional: could not fault her for her dedication, knowledge, enthusiasm and care. Long days and early starts but impossible to see as much as we did without this. Highlights for me were Maymyo, scenery and trekking at Kalow, boat trips at Inle Lake and much more besides.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 06 December 2016
Published on: 08 December 2016