Thanks so much, Suzanne. I had a fantastic time in Myanmar! Everything went very smoothly. Everyone picking us up was punctual and knew exactly where to go.
Inle Lake was my favorite place. The Inle Princess is gorgeous and has fantastic food. I thought the Inle Lake guide (we called her Lala) was especially good but all the guides were quite nice and knowledgeable. I could easily spend a week at Inle Lake.
We found plenty to do in Mandalay and wound up liking it a lot more than we expected. The hotel we changed to in Mandalay was nice but kind of unusual (especially the bathroom). I’d recommend that people stay closer to town when rooms elsewhere are available to avoid lengthy cab rides back and forth. The Mandalay guide (I’d have to look up his name) was very accommodating to our special requests.
The staff people at the Amazing Bagan Resort were very attentive. They put a happy birthday message made of flowers on Lisa’s bed and gave her a birthday cake. The free bikes there were not in very good shape and we gave up trying to ride them. I’d rather pay a bit, like at the Princess, and have bikes in very good working order. I really enjoyed the pool at the Amazing. The sunset boat ride in Bagan was a highlight for me. I encountered the most mosquitoes in Bagan and would recommend insect repellant there. I got bit a number of times at lunch at an open air restaurant in the little town near our hotel.
The Park Royal in Yangon had the best breakfast buffet (although all were very good). The hotel’s location is also fairly convenient, although it took us awhile to get our bearings the first day. Travelers should take small flashlights with them in Yangon in case they wind up out after dark b/c the sidewalks are very bad. We really liked the coffee shop, Cafe 365, next door to the Park Royal. (We went there twice, in fact.) Our Yangon guide took us to meet the students at an English language school, which was fun. He was also very accommodating to our special requests. We went to the incredible Swedagon twice — once with our guide and once on our own on the last day.
For fellow coffee lovers, all the hotels had bottled water, water heaters, and complimentary coffee — albeit instant — in the rooms. The easy access to coffee in the morning made me very happy.
As far as money, the Park Royal’s jewelry store, where we changed some money upon arrival in Yangon, was the only place that rejected any of my money (b/c of ink stains on the edges that I had not even noticed). Otherwise, I had no problems with my bills. In most cases, it was possible to use either dollars or local currency. Prices were generally very reasonable.
That’s all that comes to mind at the moment. Thanks, again!