In addition to the "Burma" section on Travelfish. They write to avoid Burma in high season. Now we will land in Bangkok on 16th December. If we go straight to Burma is it high season allready? Or best to take week and visit some place and fly back...
#1 joaquin55555 has been a member since 13/8/2013. Posts: 5
Burma's high season is November through to February, so yes it will be busier than other times of the year - I wouldn't postpone your trip because of it though.
#3 joaquin55555 has been a member since 13/8/2013. Posts: 5
I don't know how much difference it will make, but I've just realised whilst researching my trip for the first 2 weeks in December that the SEA Games are being held in Myanmar/Burma throughout December (opening ceremony is 11 December but some of the sports start Dec 1).
Most of it seems to be taking place in Naypyitaw but there are some events taking place in Yangon, Mandalay and Ngwe Saung Beach. Worth bearing in mind and booking hotels etc early where you can I guess.
After reading countless articles about how tourism in Burma has exploded and rooms weren't available I was a little nervous. Then I got to Burma and visited several towns with nothing but deserted hotels. I did visit in slow season, but still...the hype I was reading about room shortages made it sound like nothing would ever be available.
For Yangon book in advance. For smaller towns I doubt it'll be an issue.
I did the "big four" in Burma in January 2011 (also high season) and did struggle a little with hotels in Lake Inle/Mandalay (we'd already booked in advance for Yangon and Bagan) - but it was more a case of our first/second/third choice hotels were already full, rather than there being nothing available at all - we just had to compromise on where we stayed, rather than being stranded on the streets overnight! Sometimes this meant paying a little more than we'd have liked.
I'm heading back to Burma (this time to the south) in 6 weeks and to be honest, I've already booked the hotels that I can in advance. I don't usually like having such rigid plans but I made enquiries of a couple of hotels which my dad recommended after his trip earlier this year and even 8 weeks in advance one of them didn't have a room for me (they've since agreed to move me around between a single and a double during my dates because they are lovely!) and I got the last room for my dates in another town. Other places, I will just have to turn up and see what I get because they haven't replied to my emails or the hotels just don't have an internet presence. [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]
All this said, it is an amazing place, and you shouldn't hesitate to go there, but a little forward planning in high season wouldn't go amiss.
Like Mattocmd, I travelled there in low season (May from memory) and Burma was dead. In Pyay I was the only guest in my hotel and the three places I stayed at in Bagan were all at minimal occupancy. Yangon, hotel #1 was moderately busy, #2 (which is featured on the site at the moment) was deserted.
But that was low season.
There was a story in the UK Telegraph the other day that suggested that it was already impossible to get a room in the country in November -- this is garbage. After reading the story I checked Agoda and the first three hotels I tried ALL had availability.
I think as LoganT says, the situation is more likely to be you may have to door knock a bit to find a room -- I'm not overly fussed about that -- and I'm yet to talk to a traveller who has been there in November or February (the two peak months there) who has commented on it being impossible to find a room. Yes, you'll certainly be paying more than what you'd pay in Thailand -- the accommodation in Burma is uniformly overpriced (thanks to a double pricing system they have), but I'm really finding it difficult to believe that availability is as bad as some are making it out to be.
The other thing to consider is that a number of places are shifting their inventory to the online travel agents like Agoda and Booking etc. So if a hotel does say they're full -- check to see if they have availability with an OTA.
That said, I'll be back there in a few weeks and I'll be booking my first two nights in Yangon, but that's it. If it is packed I'll unhappily eat me words and post back here!
I have been to Burma numerous times and the last 3-4 trips, most of the hotels in the major centres are totally booked out so I would really recommend to anyone now visiting to book in advance. I have found the only way to do that was through a long term highly reliable tour guide (Soe Soe at firstname.lastname@example.org) because the hotels are so over booked they simply don't even bother to reply to emails. The other side of that is the fact that many hotels don't have staff who are confident enough with their English to respond to an email. One option if you do arrive and haven't got a room booked, is to head up to the hill top town of Pyin Oo Lwin because it is much quieter and cooler than Mandalay and I can also tell you in the summer months, you will pretty glad to get out of that sticky, noisy, dirty dustbowl of Mandalay.
On a side note, I have just used the services of Soe Soe yesterday again to go to the Yenanthar leprosy hospital (about and hour from Mandalay) to make donation. The money goes to both the hospital and the leper village. Well worth doing. Todays tour was to some monasteries and waterfall surrounding Pyin Oo Lwin. stunning scenery.
#8 donortravel has been a member since 14/11/2013. Posts: 2
Accommodation is really a big issue for the high season. I'd rather go at the low season so that I can experience the sites with a more relaxed manner.
#9 dannyjacob has been a member since 10/2/2014. Posts: 21