Hotels

Best Western Chinatown, Yangon

My stay at the Best Western hotel in Yangon’s Chinatown was pleasant. The room was wonderful – they provided the standard bathroom amenities and it was nice that there was both a shower and a tub. The beds were comfortable, and fairly quiet. As a bonus, I had a great view of Shwedagon Pagoda from the room.

Breakfast is included with the rooms, and if you have to leave very early in the morning to catch a flight, the hotel packs a to-go breakfast for you.

Areindmar Hotel, Bagan

I had a nice stay in Areindmar hotel. I ran into two issues though. One was the internet. It absolutely didn’t work inside the room for any guest. The only place that the internet worked was in the hotel lobby. The other issue was with the dinner (see below).

The rooms include a breakfast buffet.

Yadarnapon Dynasty Hotel, Mandalay

I didn’t have a good experience at this hotel. There were a few issues. Firstly, describing the rooms as “non-smoking” is a little misleading. The rooms themselves didn’t allow smoking, but people are allowed to smoke outside the villa rooms (which is what guests with more than 2 people in the party get). Secondly, there was 1 US plug with a ground pin in the room, and that was located in the room. That posed several problems when I tried to use my laptop, not that it mattered, because the internet connection only worked between 5AM and 7AM. The last issue was a room decor problem. They have a decorative coffee table in the natural shape of wood. The one in my room protruded far too much into the room and was quite sharp. (Yes, I ran into it and had a nasty green bruise for days). That being said, every room has a differently shaped table, so I was just very unfortunate to get the cursed room.

Otherwise so, the room was ok (I think currently one of the better hotels in Mandalay), and included a breakfast buffet.

Ann Heritage Lodge

The Ann Heritage Lodge is a nice hotel to stay in while visiting Inle Lake. The amenities are good, but more than that the hotel staff, especially the manager went above and beyond when I got food poisoning. She allowed me to get specially prepared food the day after so that I would feel better, and she gave me electrolyte powder for the day.

The rooms include a breakfast buffet.

Airlines

Air KBZ

KBZ Airline was okay for getting from place to place. It was usually on time, and they didn’t make a fuss about bags or anything. Even though there are no assigned seats, the planes that Air KBZ uses are propeller planes, so you may be asked to move to distribute the weight on the plane. They even provided food on every flight.

Restaurants

Green Elephant

I can’t say enough good things about Green Elephant. I’ve mentioned that the food and service are excellent, and even the prices are reasonable. They may be slightly more expensive than other restaurants but the difference is negligible (maybe $3). Additionally, I like that the consistency was basically uniform between Mandalay and Yangon. As it happens, I went to the one in Mandalay by accident (proximity to hotel), and then again in Yangon, on my last day, and this was also by chance due to proximity.

Treasure Restaurant, Bagan

The food at the Treasure Restaurant is fantastic. Though the freshly purchased produce went a long way to make the food tasty, the preparation was really good. None of us went wrong with any of the dishes that we ordered. We liked it so much that we went back for dinner. While dinner was good, it wasn’t as good. The preparation for the same dishes differed a bit, but the main factor for my opinion is likely the vegetables not being as fresh. It still wasn’t bad though. The portions were filling, and I had no regrets (unlike the hotel restaurant).

Pictures coming soon.

Areindmar Hotel Restaurant, Bagan

I had dinner here one night. I would discourage anyone from doing that, if possible. The portions are low, the food’s not prepared well, and it’s double the price of any outside restaurant.

Shwe Pyi Moe Café

This is the restaurant that our guide in Mandalay takes tourists who like to sample authentic Burmese food (without the digestion dangers).

The food was pretty good, and I had fun trying out samples of food there. I found that the food was similar to Indian food, though different enough to make it distinct.

 

Ann Heritage Lodge Hotel Restaurant

While my stay was pleasant at the Ann Heritage, I didn’t have good experience with the chicken. The vegetarian food is fine though, and the breakfast is good too.

Other

Audley and Tour Mandalay

I mentioned that I arranged a custom private tour for my family. I used Audley Travels, based out of the UK, with an office in Boston, MA. They were wonderful, albeit pricey. However, after feeling frustrated a few weeks before my trip because of logistics and lack of consistent information, I used them. I definitely recommend them for Myanmar after my wonderful experience with the tour. The tour guides especially were absolutely top-notch. (As an FYI, the local tour company who Audley used to actually booked the tour was Tour Mandalay, and the tour guides were contracted through Tour Mandalay.)

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