I am going to Myanmar for seven days at the end of June.
Where should I go? I don't have time to cover too much of the country and I don't want to be rushed. Please advise. Thanks, Sonia
If you want to travel slowly and enjoy everything you see, seven days are fine. My advice would be to begin the trip in Yangon and visit the Shwedagon pagoda on the first night. Leave Yangon on the early morning flight the next day for Mandalay, then take an Irrawaddy boat trip to Bagan before flying back to Yangon.
With this itinerary, you will have two nights in Mandalay, giving you time to visit the Mandalay palace, Mandalay Hill and go out of Mandalay to see the old Burmese capitals of Inwa, Amarapura and Sakiang, which are within 30 kilometres of Mandalay town. However, do try to find a hotel near the old palace and the river or a budget hotel not too far from the night market and restaurants.
It's well worth taking a river trip from Mandalay to Bagan. This boat trip usually takes a day to complete but you should just count it as a part of the journey. Your two days in Bagan will be spent among the temples and pagodas. If you feel up to it, go to Mt Popa the next day. But if you prefer a more relaxing pace, just take your time and cycle around the pagodas of Bagan, explore its market and look around the lacquerware shops. You can then fly back to Yangon and spend your last day there, exploring the city's highlights before leaving.
I will be staying at a hotel in Sukhumvit Soi 22, and have to travel to Don Mueang Airport to catch a Nok Air flight at 6am to Vientiane. How long will it take by taxi from Sukhumvit 22 to Don Mueang? Is it easy to find a taxi early in the morning, or should I arrange a hotel taxi? Thanks for your reply. Billie
There is nothing to worry about as Sukhumvit 22 is right in the city centre and you'll be able to wave down a taxi at any hour of the day or night. You can always ask the hotel front-desk staff or concierge to get one for you, so you don't have to carry your luggage out to the road. You can also ask them to book one for you in advance by calling a taxi company and arranging a pick-up time.
To play safe, you should leave the hotel not later than 4am, or at 4.15 at the latest, and try to get to Don Mueang Airport at around 5am. It should take you 30-45 minutes by taxi to Don Mueang Airport and the check-in counter will close 45 minutes before departure time.
If you leave at 4am, you have some time in hand to find the check-in counter or for any short delays on the roads.
If you don't have any special requests on the flight, it's also a good idea to do online check-in 24 hours before your departure time. In fact, the website says that the online check-in service can be processed 30 minutes after you have completed your reservation. If you do so, you will be more relaxed on the airport journey. Just don't forget to set your alarm clock or order a wakeup call that morning! Bon voyage!