A Marvelous Trip to Myanmar

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We love it when clients send us their travel stories, and we're happy to share this Myanmar trip review from Fern T. S. in Los Angeles, CA.
 
Thank you for arranging what turned out to be a flawless trip… one of our very favorites. The Belmond organization was top-rate everywhere we went. We were met by a handler when we arrived in Beijing and escorted to the transfer flight to Yangon. We were met by their agents everywhere. [They were] timely, helpful, kind, and bright. The Governor’s Residence in Yangon was gorgeous, as was our suite. The breakfast buffet was divine, and the facilities and staff were all terrific. 
 
When we got to Bagan, Myanmar, for the cruise, we found a beautiful ship that sleeps up to 80, has 65 in staff, and only 11 passengers. The staff acted as if the boat were full, providing us with full buffets, shows, tours, and other services. The quality of it all was incredible, especially the guides and the chefs. The tours were wonderful, and they were happy to tailor it to suit what we liked. Therefore, although the return trip on the river was scheduled to do exactly what we had done on the initial trip up the river, they provided new activities for us and gave us an extra day in Mandalay, which I highly recommend. We used that second day to go to a market, which was a unique experience watching buyers with piles of money being approached by local sellers, as well as giving us an opportunity to buy lovely jewelry for ourselves at low, low prices. I guess we were lucky because of the personal attention we were able to get during this part of the trip, but I suspect it’s always good on that boat. We were also lucky with weather in Myanmar, which was terrific the whole trip. We loved the balloon ride, and the company was a very large, very experienced group. They had 20 balloons going up that same morning. They also offer a ride over Lake Inle.
 
Lake Inle: what a place. Again, the hotel was fabulous and this whole area of Myanmar is beautiful and fascinating. We had an extraordinary guide who has a BA in astrophysics, studied mediation for a master’s degree, is a gifted designer and artist, and is kind, attentive, and fascinating. It makes all the difference as we really felt we got to see the country and its people. We had two and a half days there and really should have had another two. We would have gone to the hill country for one day and another day south. (That southern trip had been planned but we needed two days in the lake so we scrapped that. With an extra day, we would have loved to do that.) The weather that was reputed to be cold was really not. The most we needed was a sweatshirt and a windbreaker for early mornings. (We did not need the tights, puff jacket, hat, or gloves that we brought.) Lucky for us, we each brought an extra fold-up suitcase because the shopping was great. There are dozens of functioning craft villages (weaving, paper, boat-building, lacquer, silversmith, paper-making, parasol-making, puppets, shoes, wood carving, bronze carving, etc.) and, of course, huge, excellent markets where no one yells at you or is upset if you don’t buy. We nearly wept when we had to leave.
 
The extra couple of days in Myanmar's Yangon at the end, which we were dreading, were great as well. We spent one afternoon in an enormous market. Aside from the usual tourist attractions, we loved the local fair trade store, which sold beautiful and very reasonable crafts that were different from what we saw elsewhere, and ate at a hopping, delicious restaurant for expats. We almost decided to stay and become expats ourselves.
 
The trip home was easy even though we had a nine-hour delay in Beijing, starting at 5 a.m. We went to the business lounge, and we were able to land a couple of sleep pods where we rested and napped for the entire day. 
 
As you can tell, it was a great trip to Myanmar and wonderfully arranged. Many thanks and best regards,
 
Fern T. S., client of Josefine Loewenberg. Contact her to learn more about TravelStore's Myanmar vacations today!