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Total number of reviews: 1,843

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Burma In Depth BUI

Visiting: Burma
Tour Duration 21 Days
 

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Reviews for Burma In Depth 4 out of 5 based on 18 ratings.

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Burma In Depth tour available at present.

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5 Paul Dorrington, 11/04/14

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Inle Lake & all the boat trips. Seeing the cottage industries ;- school slate making, joss stick making, blacksmiths on the lake, cigar making, rubber band making(!) biros out of wood etc. Suddenly stopping & walking deep into village to a wedding - open house, greeted like long lost friends! Initiation ceremonies for boys entering monasteries. Children unaffected by tourists, singing us songs after we had given pencils & exercise books. The friendliness of the Burmese people.

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Our Response

Thank you for your feedback, it’s great to hear you had such a good time and all of the activities you took part in. We also really appreciate your comments regarding your tour leader, it is always nice to hear such kind words. We note your comments regarding the cost of food & drink in the local areas – these have now been passed on to the Operations Manager for this area for their review.

 
 
3.5 , 27/01/14

Name

John Billman

Tour Name

Burma In Depth

Tour Code

BUI

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

There were so many it is hard to single out one, I think maybe some of the frescos at Bagan would rate highly but so would many other things.

Tour Leader Name

Sityu Win

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Excellent, experienced with good English and a sound knowledge at the usual guide level.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

You need an overnight bag for Golden Rock (this was not clear in the notes). Bring layers, warm in Yangon, cold at night and especially for early morning boat trips elsewhere especially Inle Lake. Wi-fi is now widely available. You can book this even if you don't want to do trekking, none is really required. Despite Explore notes you won't have to carry your own bag all the time!

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

The itinerary is a sound one and well planned and paced, obvious minor omissions are the national museum in Yangon (good to do on your own if time allows) and the archaeological museum in Bagan The accommodation was variable but at times disappointing especially given the tour price, Green Haven at Inle Lake was particularly bad. Much better choices were available and could have been used by Explore/the local agent, in all it brought the whole trip down a grade for me and has put me off using Explore again despite many great things about the trip.

Our Response

Thank you for your review. I’m pleased you enjoyed your time in Burma but I’m sorry you were so disappointed with the accommodation. We have been visiting Burma for a couple of years now and whilst we have changed some hotels from when we first started visiting Burma, at present we generally receive good feedback about the hotels which we are currently using on this tour.

There is limited choice of accommodation in Burma. At the moment there are only approximately 9,000 hotel rooms in the whole of Burma, and there is considerable demand for these from all over the world. We work hard to get the best available, which meet the Explore standard, but sometimes we do not always manage to get our first choice hotels. As interest in, and tourism to, Burma increases, there will no doubt be many more hotels opening. A mixed blessing, we think: better facilities for our customers, but at the cost of heavy commercialisation of what is currently a relatively non-touristy experience for visitors to the country.

Whereas it is true that many companies are bringing groups to Burma, this is an industry which is only a few years old, and the Burmese are still learning best practice in relation to their visitors. Infrastructure and professional services will improve, and then the experience will be different – more comfortable maybe, but it may also lose something of the direct experience of life as lived by the Burmese at this stage in their history.

From feedback we are receiving, we think that in general our customers are pleased they had the opportunity to visit Burma before it develops further.

 

 
4 , 24/01/14

Name

Elizabeth Maidment

Tour Name

Burma In Depth

Tour Code

BUI

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Most memorable moment was having to give in and take a Sudan chair on the climb up to Golden Rock. Thankfully no one took a photo

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

She was bubbly, informative and very caring 'for our health'. One of her phrases was, 'be discreet and cover up your beautiful belongings'. This I thought was wonderful,.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

You will not need much more than 300$ in cash for the whole trip. Do not take too much. ATM's are readily available in larger towns.. Credit cards are now accepted in several shops and Hotels.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

An excellent trip, with a good and varied program. Wish we had taken up the Beach Extension at the end. I think it would have been good to have a 'chill' at the end.

 
4.5 , 07/12/13

Name

Julia Painter

Tour Name

Burma in Depth

Tour Code

BUI

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

It's difficult to name a particular highlight as every day brought new sights, experiences and a deeper insight into the country. We both loved the pagodas and monasteries and although we have heard of people becoming 'templed out' we did not find this to be the case for us. Specific highlights would include the visit to the Shan palace and accompanying talk, the Moustache Brothers, the giant reclining and standing Buddhas, Bagan and also the wonderful train ride.

Tour Leader Name

Si Tui Wan

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Si Tui was the best tour leader we have ever had. Patient, informative and passionate about his country, Si Tui went above and beyond what we would expect from a guide to make our holiday enjoyable, informative and to provide a unique insight into his country. We couldn't have asked for more.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Be prepared for extremely hot and humid weather whatever time of year you go. We visited in November and couldn't believe the intensity of the sun and this was supposed to be the cool season! Also, the Lonely Planet is very out of date on many counts so don't rely on it.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

My only suggestion would be to add an extra day at Bagan to enable clients to cycle around the stupas as we felt this was a missed opportunity and is the only reason why the holiday doesn't scored a 10 out of 10 for us.

 
4.5 , 06/12/13

Name

Shelia Bould

Tour Name

Burma in Depth

Tour Code

BUI

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

Being at Golden Rock with the pilgrims at sunset having travelled up the mountain by local transport and on foot.

Tour Leader Name

Nyi Nyi Kyaw

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

Absolutely terrific. Very professional at all times yet sympathetic to the needs of western tourists. Nyi Nyi was able to explain local ways and involve us in getting to grips with some of the more obscure traditions. We really felt we were getting under the skin of what was going on in the country. Nyi Nyi had a great sense of humour and looked after us all very well.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Go with an open mind. Be prepared for some early starts and do your homework.

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

The only negative was the overlong wait in transit on way home at Kualur Lumpur airport. Also we were not aware that although there were only 3 internal flights , these necessitated many take offs and landings for each flight en route to our destinations. e.g from Tachilek we had to fly to Lashio then Mandalay and finally Rangoon.

 
5 James, 22/03/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Difficult to pick just one.  The Buddhist temples,stupas and pagodas and Bagan took our breath away.   Lake Inlay was  completely different kind of highlight,seeing how people spend their entire lives living on the water.It was great to see the "leg rowers" who make it look easy.! Being on the water for a couple of days made a complete change.  We also enjoyed visiting the more remote villages in the Shan province and encountering every day life of the local tribesmen and women.  We were made very welcome wherever we went.   We saw a lot of arts and crafts people who lead very simple lives but make the most extraordinary goods.   The markets were wonderful too, full of really good produce and if you like fabrics then take a larger suitcase!   Great trip!

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3 Brian, 25/02/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Inle lake was probably the most enjoyable part of the tour along with the river trips - a pleasant way to take in the activities ofthe normal Burese people.

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Our Response

Burma is currently a relatively non-touristy destination at the moment; however this is quickly changing especially where so much outside investment is being made. Our Operations Manager is already reviewing the village walk with our agent.

 
3 Airlie Buchanan, 05/02/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Ballooning over Bagan (organised by myself in advance).  Inle Lake, Hill Tribe villages, Ogre Island.

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Our Response

Our Operations Manager for Burma was concerned by your comments about your tour leader, and we are monitoring the feedback we receive.  He had thought  your tour leader to have good knowledge and organisational skills when he was training in the region, and although acknowledging that his English was not as good as that of some of our other Burmese leaders, had thought it sufficient for all customer communication purposes, whether country and cultural information or organisational. 

 
3 Patricia Terry, 11/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

 Rangoon, Mandalay, Inle Lake and Bagan

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Our Response

We appreciate that there are a few long journeys made in the 3rd week, however we are looking at slightly amending the itinerary for next season to manage this more effectively. 

It sounds like you have come home with so many great memories of your trip to Burma and we very much appreciate your comments about George- we are lucky to have him. 

 
5 William Oliver, 07/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

While visiting taukkyan cemetery. Finding the grave of private maurrice willkinson,and placing a poppy on his grave. we did this on behalf of his sister Myra. For 68 year Myra had worried had no headstone,and was buried in a mass grave. we took photos of his grave and personally gave them to Myra. Shewas very gratefull for this.She said her mind had been put at ease,knowing that he was well taken care of over these last 68 years. In his final resting place.

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5 Susan Oliver, 07/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

All of the trip.

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3 Peter & Shelagh Lacey, 02/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Visiting villages that were not on the itinerary.

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2 Bee Ling Yap, 02/01/13

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Bagan

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Our Response

We will look into adding the information about the uphill walk at the Golden Rock hotel to the Tour Notes, thank you for suggesting that.  Accommodation generally in Burma is very limited, as there are only 9,000 hotel rooms available in the whole country and demand is high.  We work hard to get the best available which meets the Explore standard, but we do not always manage to get our first choice hotels.  The pick-up trucks are the only means of transport available at Golden Rock, but our operating procedures require that only our customers are on board – we are checking via our Burmese agent that this requirement is being adhered to.

 
5 Yvonne Pascal , 31/12/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Ballon ride over Bagan - outstandingly beautiful and thanks to our tour leader for orgainising despite challenges locally.   

 

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5 Ros Burfield , 31/12/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

"So much

Bagan.Mawlamyine."

 

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4 Anne Prior, 31/12/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

 

The most memorable moment was sitting with a local Akha woman listening to her talking about her life and her family heirlooms. She showed us her traditional dress and told us how it was made and explained her family life. The next moment was Inle lake where the relaxation of going along in the boat was intense.

 

 

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4 Michael Shorthouse, 31/12/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

Golden Rock was brilliant - the walk up, the great atmosphere, the sunset.

 

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0 H , 30/04/12
If at all possible do this trip. Every other tour seems to do a standard two week circuit that is ondoubtably fascinating in a country of gold temples and buddhas of all sizes and quantities. BUI , in addition, goes to two far less visited areas which take you away from most other tourists and give you a chance to see locals who are as interested in you as you are in them. Golden Rock is as fascinating to be amongst the burmese in their very holy place as is the structure itself. The trip is very busy, we visited many temples saw Buddhas in all positions and sizes , Gold is everywhere, on the outside of most religious structures and added , in the form of gold leaf, to some buddhas already encrusted in leaf applied by countless others! The people are just lovely, with friendly dispositions . Infrastructure is poor but improving and much road improvement is totally manual with no mechanism available. The tour organisation must win prizes , hotels are well above H+ standard and the longer boat trips are private charter. It can be phenominally hot, but free bottled water is available on buses & in hotels. There are no ATMs and few mobile phones. Wifi, for those who must have it, is available in many hotels. It is a cash only economy. Prepare to have your mind blown.
 
 
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