Photo: Temple outside Monywa.

Burma forum

Extra day in Yangon and overnight trip from Mandalay

Posted by pete61 on 23/9/2013 at 18:26

My partner and our older 4 teenage kids will be in Myanmar from Jan 11th to Jan 26th.
we have organised to travel from Yangon to be in Bagan for the Festival and thought we could break the journey (day bus) by staying somewhere in between. I'm not sure which route the bus takes so checked Agoda for both Pyay and Nay Pyi Taw for accom but came up with nothing available.

We decided we could stay an extra night in Yangon and do a day trip somewhere. It will give us 3 nights there (need to be in Bagan on 14th). We only want one day to look around the town and confirm some of our bookings etc. Where should we go for another day out? Bago by train? any other suggestions?

We have 4 nights in Mandalay and booked accom for the first second and last so we can go off somewhere and come back to Mandalay to go to Inle.. So from Mandalay - village home stay?, train ride to somewhere really interesting to stay and explore? What are your suggestions please. Our bookings are still a bit flexible if needed.

Thanks, I love this community.

#1 pete61 has been a member since 27/9/2009. Posts: 39

Posted by somtam2000 on 23/9/2013 at 21:14 admin

Hi Pete,

I was in Pyay earlier this year and while there may be nothing online there are plenty of places to stay - it's certainly worth an overnight stay if you end up going with the original plan.

I spend a week in Yangon on the same trip and could easily have spent another week there -- I really enjoyed the town, but actually spent most of the time just wandering around. It's a very beautiful city (in a clapped out kind of a way). Possibilities include catching the Circle Train (takes about half a day) that gives you an interesting look around town... I also did a half day tour with Golden Harp -- a city tour organised and run by ex-political prisoners You can read more about it here and a video is here I'd highly recommend doing this.

For out of town stuff I can't help, but Travelfish member mattocmd may be able to as I know he covered some of that -- perhaps he'll chime in later.

Can't help on Mandalay sorry - going there next month :-)


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Agoda coupon: Get an extra 7% off selected properties with the coupon code

Posted by pete61 on 23/9/2013 at 23:20

Hi somtam,

With 6 of us I'm a little nervous to jump off a bus in hope, particularly with the festival on up the road. In Cambodia or Laos we would do that no worries, but Myanmar seems to be a little tighter for accom. I'm searching for guesthouses with email addresses to contact that way.
We like your other ideas and will discuss with the team.

Thanks, Pete

#3 pete61 has been a member since 27/9/2009. Posts: 39

Posted by mattocmd on 24/9/2013 at 23:23

I'd spend the extra day in Yangon doing the circle train. I found it to be a wonderful experience and a great way to see the city and its surroundings.

When you get up north you may want to consider spending a day or two in Kalaw and trek from there to Inle Lake. There was a surplus of accommodation options in Kalaw and the trek from there to Inle is lovely. I can give the name of a wonderful tour guide if interested. Also, I know some great places to stay in both of these towns.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 25/9/2013 at 00:33 admin

As far as Pyay is concerned, here are my notes - this is a part of the Burma stuff that will be landing on the site very soon. Only the one email unfortunately.

Lucky Dragon Hotel
Best in town
772 Strand Rd, Pyay
T: (053) 24 222
F: (053) 26 433
Lucky Dragon is easily the best hotel with cosy cottages running in two rows back from the streetside where you'll find the reception area, restaurant and a small swimming pool. Rooms are very well kept with soft beds, air-con throughout and spotless warm water bathrooms, fully stocked minibar, coffee and tea, TV and free, very fast WiFi. All rates include a simple breakfast. If you're travelling with kids and the price fits your budget, head straight here -- this is the best family-orientated place in town. While the location is on the river road, there are no river views from the rooms. One of the staff speak quite good English, but many of the others close to none.
Standard $40
Superior $45

Myat Lodging House
Backpacker crashpad
222 Bazaar St, Pyay
T: (053) 25 695
If you're on a budget, Myat Lodging House is the traveller digs in Pyay. It's a peculiar setup -- you need to walk through an upstairs shared bathroom area to reach a second wind of rooms, but that aside, for the money this isn't bad. It is very basic and could do with a solid sandblasting -- the walls in particular need either wallpaper or a coat of paint, but the bathrooms were quite clean and this does have a traveller vibe to it. The cheapest rooms are quite compact, with shared bathroom facilities, but the more expensive air-con option has it's own bathroom and plenty of room -- but wow did those walls need a coat of paint. The owner is a friendly chap who has solid though heavily accented English -- listen carefully! He is very knowledgable regarding onward travel plans and can help with reservations and so on. If they cleaned the place up, this could be a great place to stay. Also close to a couple of decent restaurants, one of which advertises free WiFi.
Fan, share bathroom 15
air-con with bathroom 32

Smile Hotel
10-11 Bogyoke Road, Pyay
T: (053) 25 142;(053) 25 169
It's more of a grimace than a smile, but the rooms here (and there are plenty of them) are of a good size, and some with air-con throughout. Bathrooms are just ok, the one we were shown was extremely fumy but was otherwise fine. Other facilities include TV and minibar and the rates include breakfast. Beds are super soft. Set on the busy Bogyoke Rd and backing onto the train station, go for a room at the rear as the trains are far less frequent than the cars. This is considerably better value than the Pyay Strand and is extremely close to the railway station. Very limited English spoken.

Pyay Strand Hotel
Strand Rd, Pyay
The Pyay Strand is the worst value of the hotels in Pyay, but if you must have a view of the river from your room, this is the only place you'll get it. Rooms are of a good size -- plenty of space, and, as mentioned the riverside ones have river views -- and they come with TV and minibar and all are air-conditioned. The beds here are rock hard which is an odd feature in a town full of soft beds. Most of the staff speak no English but an older gentleman we came across on the way out way quite chatty. Overall, this is poor value compared to Lucky Dragon next door and for very similar rooms the Smile Hotel is a better deal.
Stan $30
Sup $35
Del $40

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Posted by pete61 on 26/9/2013 at 07:08

We decided to stay another day in Yangon and experience some more of the city and catch the circle train too.

Thanks for all your input there.

Now Mandalay.....? Where is somewhere interesting to visit and experience half a day away where we can stay?


#6 pete61 has been a member since 27/9/2009. Posts: 39

Posted by JaiYen88 on 26/9/2013 at 12:07

While in Mandalay you could visit the Snake Pagoda at Paleik, then go on to the ancient ruins at Inwa, and finish off with a trip up Sagaing Hill for some great views of the rivers and many temples and pagodas. All this is easily doable in a day, starting early and finished around 4pm.

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Posted by philcox99 on 1/12/2013 at 07:26

I am in both Yangoon, Mandaly and and Bagan and would like some recommendation for hotels etc. I have heard that Nyang OO is better and cheaper whilst in Bagan. I am looking for about $25 -30 a night as I will be on my own. Also is there a day bus from Bagan to Yangoon (for the scenery) as it seems this is a better option than the train?

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