Sunday, December 21, 2014
the best-laid plans
As I mentioned once before, we are travelers of the plan-as-we-go sort. We may be "older" (ahem) but we don't feel ready for organised trips, and, to be honest, I can't imagine ever choosing to join a tour group beyond the incidental kind. I always fret: but what if I love a place and want to stay longer? What if I hate a place and long to depart tout de suite?*
And then: Myanmar. If my husband even knew what a bucket list was, Myanmar would be at the top of it. I originally campaigned for Laos top-to-toe (including the two-day Mekong boat trip that we missed in January) but hey. I love Southeast Asia wherever and Myanmar looked stunning, so we booked our flight.
All my research indicated that hiring a Burmese agent to organise the whole trip would be easiest. It also indicated that not pre-booking all accommodation and transportation well in advance would be foolishness. Okay. I love researching, and I love a challenge, so I practically lived on TripAdvisor, Travelfish, Agoda, and Booking.com for the whole month of October.
BUT: without an agent (though, admittedly, perhaps for more Kyat) I managed to put together an itinerary that pleases me enormously. I can't stray from it, but okay, that's life:
Mandalay - MaMa Guest House
Boat to Bagan
Bagan - Zfreeti Hotel
Bus (not booked yet!) to Inle Lake
Inle Lake (Nyaung Shwe) - Golden Empress Hotel
Flight (Golden Myanmar) to Yangon
Yangon - Thanlwin Guest House
Perfect. I hope.
And the rest of our trip (Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand/Golden Triangle)? THAT we will plan-as-we-go. :-)
And Laos next year. Because it is beautiful, as you can see from the photos in this post...
*An almost-legend in this family: we found ourselves, decades ago, overnighting - in our tent - at a campsite near Huelgoat, in Brittany. Not only did I not feel safe there, but the caravanners on the adjacent pitch made so much noise all night that I could not sleep. Before dawn, I pulled the plugs out of all four of our air mattresses. It may have been a rude awakening for the husband and young'uns, but we were checked out and on our way, happily for me, as the sun rose.