We're a party of 4, all 55+. We will travel in Burma in November this year. Stay 2-3 weeks. Not interested in guided tours. Option A = car & driver. Want to see "tourist highlights" but also interested in "lesser known spots". Itinerary to be made up with driver upon arrival in Rangoon. Not keen on taking local airlines/buses/trains. Prefer paying our money to local private entreprise, rather that to (with all due respect) "subsidized Travel Agents/Agencies". Are Burmese civilians allowed to take foreigners around ? If so, what's the best way to get in touch ? If option A is not realistic, what would be realistic plan B ? Any other comments/remarks welcome. Tnx !
I and another couple hired a driver in Yangon. We asked our guest house owner (at the Beauty Land II) to set it up for us and we had a driver within 24 hours for 2 weeks. No problems whatsoever.
So, I'd recommend that you go through your guest house or hotel owner.
Good luck, and have a great trip.
Hey Tilapia - how did that work for you? I presume the driver took you the the main sites of Burma and not just within Yangon. What was the daily rate, and what did it include? (eg petrol presumably, but also accom for the driver?)
It worked great. I wasn't in on it for the whole time as I wanted to get away from the couple I was with. I'll check my diary ... hopefully I wrote down how much we paid ... and will get back to you.
But, for the convenience of being able to come and go as you please, for the extra legroom, for the ability to stop for photos or "nature calls" whenever it pleases you, and for the air-conditioning, it's worth it when considering how transport worked there (at that time). However, if you're doing it with someone else, you better get along with that person or persons and have similar travel plans and ideas or else there could be problems.
Also, the cost can be quite high if you aren't planning on doing a loop ... say, if you are going from Yangon to Inle and then to Mandalay and then ditching the cab there. I had no intention of NOT taking the boat between Mandalay and Bagan. I actually called it a day at Inle and, left my co-cabmates, then carried on by myself on public transport. The folks I was with had the cab driver drop them off at the ferry in Mandalay and told the poor guy to meet them in Bagan!!! Worked seamlessly.
Payment? It was done in thirds. One third was paid up-front before we left. The second of the three payments was made halfway through the trip. The final payment was made upon return to Yangon. Payment included all gasoline (which was limited to 2L per person per day at the time ... big black market in fuel then) and the driver was responsible for his own accommodation and food. We bought a meal or two for him, though. He was great, and very good company.
Anyway, I'll see what I can find and will get back to you.
Thanks for the info Tilapia. Have sent a PM.
Gup - I'd be really keen to hear how you get on! This is very possibly an option I would consider for myself for an upcoming trip next year. I've used the driver concept before (5-days in Flores, 9 days in Vietnam on a motorbike, and other random days elsewhere) and do believe it's an excellent way to get around, especially if you don't have the luxury of time. I love the independence it gives you for flexibility,
It comes at a cost, of course - but I've learned that it is money well spent for a quality experience.
I've been trying to send you PM's, but this does not seem to work; it says I should "enable to send PM's first" ... I have checked the "Members area" over and again but can find nowhere how to do this. helpdesk at Travelfish is not replying either (maybe they're on holiday, no worries ...). any tips ?
In the member centre, go to Profile -> Edit Profile. There are TWO settings that you have to enable:
1- Enable Private Messaging, AND
2- Make your profile public (the default is 'Private')
You'll know it's enabled when you see the blue hyperlinked Private Message under your name (as you can see under mine).
Yes, the 'helpdesk' is on holiday. Lying in a hammock in Langkawi, I believe. I guess it makes a change from lying in a hammock in Bali. :-)
Somtam - pleeeeease make these settings to enable PM's more transparent to users! This is 3rd time in as many weeks that I've had to explain this to someone. The current process is not obvious....
We're a party of 4, all 55+. We will travel in Burma in November this year. Stay 2-3 weeks = It is good idea because of road condition are better than last year.
Are Burmese civilians allowed to take foreigners around ? = Yes, you can go around Myanmar with Burmese driver. Cost will depend of your destination and distance. You can go many destination within 3weeks. You can make flexible tour program too.