Jill Davies review 26 Feb 2015
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
We enjoyed travelling 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 travellers booking this holiday?
This is not a holiday 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 holiday 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 travelling, 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 holiday 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 holiday Jill and we hope you will be travelling 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.