3 independent reviews for South Burma tour

Reviews for South Burma tour

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review 10 Feb 2018

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Meeting local people and visiting local businesses, variety of forms of transport (boat trip was particularly special), visiting monasteries and the islands in the Mergui archipelago.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Accommodation is on the basic side, but the experience makes up for it. Do not stick to hotel food, ask your guide for reccommended restaurants in the area. Myek is worth a trip if you are going to visit the islands, so it’s worth spending the additional dollars for a boat trip. A beach extension on ngwe saung was wonderful but be prepared for a 7 hour car journey.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Yes we stayed in local hotels and made numerous donations of books, pens, gifts to local schools and businesses.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It met my expectations overall. I think the hotels are a little on the very basic side, there was very little to eat for breakfast for westerners, at times little or no bread, fruit juice selection very limited and often not fresh, no cereal or yogurts. Travel times between locations were often very long on poorly maintained roads. I would strongly recommend a flight option between Daiwei and Myek as nothing to see in between. Myek is only worth visiting as a stopover to visit the islands, so accommodation option for the islands could be an excellent way for the tour to finish. The Asia plaza hotel in Yangon was very basic to say the least and at 5 star hotels available at last minute nearby for less tha £100, surely there must be a better option for the stopovers in the city on the way out and back.

Read the operator's response here:

Many thanks for your comments which we appreciate, and so pleased you enjoyed Southern Burma. You certainly chose an off the beaten track destination and noted the downside being that it isn't a region set up for major tourism. Agree entirely re the roads, but this is always a tricky one as we do try and avoid domestic flights where possible. There are certainly some great deals to be had in Burma at the moment and indeed some last minute hotel prices are excellent, but for many reasons we wish to keep our relationships with our usual hotels, albeit these are reviewing these from time to time.

review 26 Feb 2015

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

We enjoyed traveling by boat-very relaxing. Our guide arranged for us to visit a local school which was very enjoyable. It would have been lovely to have known about this opportunity in advance as we would like to have taken some gifts. The hotel in Mawlamlyine was wonderful with staff who couldn't do enough for us. The arrival- to get to a crowded airport with no idea of language or anything was disconcerting and it would have been useful to have a taxi waiting for us; also when we got to the hotel there was no message from our tour guide leader- such as a message on the hotel notice board to say-' welcome to Yangon, I look forward to seeing you at 4pm'

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

This is not a vacation for the fainthearted. Standards of accommodation etc vary and facilities such as toilets can be very poor! Visits to pagodas often involve large flights of steps and must be visited in bare feet! Accommodation varied considerably with most hotels being rather basic except the Ngwe Moe at Mawlamlyine which was excellent. The hotel in Yangon had nice rooms but the catering was very poor. The dining room was rat infested and all the food at breakfast including rice was cold when we arrived and was then slowly being heated-a recipe for disaster! Where hotels were rather basic (such as Golden Rock where my mattress was only half covered by the sheet) there was always a better hotel nearby and we couldn't help wondering why particular hotels had been chosen. The Journey on the last day was very long. The guide said that we would get back to Yangon by early afternoon, whereas actually it was just after 4pm. It was a very long run.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

There is a narrow line between what is generally acceptable standards and ensuring local businesses are supported. The 2 very local 'cafes' where we had lunch were rather basic as far as food and toilet facilities. We were happy to use a local taxi to get to and from the airport but I do feel that arriving in a strange country often very weary from traveling, it is a great relief to be met by someone who can speak the language. Excellent local driver.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

It was a very interesting experience. The range of activities were rather limited. For example it would have been wonderful to have experienced some of the music and dance of the country. Our guide was extremely well informed and had a reasonable grasp of English. More flexibility with catering would have been appreciated. Eg we did not always want a cooked lunch but the cost of this was sometimes included in our itinery. It would have been nice if our dinner could have been included on the days when we didn't want much at lunch time. We had a great time and enjoyed the individual attention which was able to be given as there were only 3 in the group.

Read the operator's response here:

So glad you enjoyed your vacation Jill and we hope you will be traveling again with us in the future - glad you appreciated what an off the beaten track experience this tour is. We'd love to be able to offer experiences like the visit to the local school on the itinerary but regrettably we can't publish something which can't be guaranteed. The tour leaders always try and incorporate anything that will be of interest and involve the local communities but these are often impromptu. Sorry not all hotels appeared to be the best in the area but they are selected in accordance with our responsible travel policy and we do our utmost to ensure that no government owned or supported hotels are used, this does limit our choice, but hopefully our customers support this decision. Thanks for your comment on catering, we will have a look at this again. People's wishes tend to be individual and we try our best to offer choice when there's a free day and plenty of places to choose from, however, for logistical reasons these have to be fixed in advance.

review 23 Apr 2014

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

Visiting the golden rock Pagoda and mixing with local vacation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

Go with an open mind, it's a vacation for travelers not vacation makers.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

It benefitted local people because we used local hotels and visited local markets and ate with local people in their cafés.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

A great experience.

Read the operator's response here:

Thanks for your comments Ruth. Always good to hear when people enjoy a new itinerary and destination and Southern Burma is certainly that. We look forward to welcoming you back on a future tour.

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