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Burma forum

advance booking of guesthouses in high season

Posted by zesti on 25/9/2014 at 03:23


a friend and I will be traveling in Myanmar from the beginning of December until about the 21st. I have traveled in South East Asia before and usually never book anything except maybe the first night in advance. But I've read that it's advised to book guesthouses in advance in Myanmar, especially during high season. Can anybody confirm if this is really necessary. (I guess I'm secretly hoping they are building a bunch of new guesthouses to handle to influx of tourists) And if it is necessary, how long in advance do you need to book a guesthouse? Do you need to book it weeks or months in advance, or is it ok to just do it one or two days in advance, giving us more flexibility so we can decide on location whether we stay somewhere a bit longer or not and what our next stop will be.

We would be staying in low budget guesthouses, just mentioning that in case it's different from more expensive guesthouses and hotels.

Any advice would be welcome, thanks!

#1 zesti has been a member since 6/7/2014. Posts: 3

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Posted by exacto on 25/9/2014 at 11:58

There is a good series of fairly recent feature stories on Burma, including a few on accommodation in Yangon and Bagan. See them at:

You may also want to read the last story listed on "Know Before You Go: Burma", which definitely recommends booking ahead. Here is what it says:

"I've never recommended making hotel reservations anywhere or anytime, except for Burma. In Burma, in order to take foreign guests, a hotel must be specially licensed by the government. As such, foreigners can only legally stay in a limited number of hotels. Now (in high season) with the influx of tourists into the country, Burma's officially-licensed budget guesthouses are quite often full every day and turning people away. So, if you can, it will save a lot of frustration to call or email ahead to your guesthouse of choice, instead of being rejected several times. This is especially important in popular areas such as Rangoon and Mandalay."

Several regular Travelfish message board contributors have been to Burma recently, so hopefully they'll share their first-hand experience here. Regards.

#2 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,782
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Posted by antoniamitchell on 25/9/2014 at 13:23

Hi Zesti,
You probably should consider pre-booking.

I was in Burma in June and had no problem finding rooms, but of course that was low season. Somtam2000 (the site's admin) was there last November, in high season, and made the recommendations Exacto quoted above based upon his experience then.

Yes, there is plenty of construction at the moment, working to expand capacity, but will enough of them have finished by December to relieve the problem? Probably not.

I'd suggest you come up with a hit list of likely prospects (guesthouses you like the look of, in the areas you want to stay), and check if they're on Agoda/Trivago, and keep an eye on how many rooms they have available, and the cost (but clear your cookies, so you see the real value they're offering to new customers, not the change-the-value-to-panic-the-returning-visitor-into-a-purchasing-decision value). If it looks like they're all getting close to full, that's probably a good sign that you'd better book sooner rather than later.

Hope that helps.

#3 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 554
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Posted by zesti on 29/9/2014 at 11:25

Thank you, that is good advice. It confirms what I thought. I will definitely keep an eye out on different guesthouses on agoda/Trivago to see if they're nearly full.

#4 zesti has been a member since 6/7/2014. Posts: 3

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