Accommodation standards in Myanmar still vary widely, especially in quality. During high season, the hotels with character are in huge demand getting booked up many months ahead. New and refurbished hotels meeting international standards are available in Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, Ngapali Beach and Ngwe Saung Beach. Real Treasure Travel cannot guarantee specific hotel requests and upcountry reserves the right to substitute accommodation for the best available alternative standard when a first-choice hotel is not available. Clients are advised that accommodation in remote locations can be very basic and simple.
Occasionally, according to the Buddhist lunar calendar and traditions, recitation of monks at monasteries or pagodas occur all over the country. Especially, during the 3-month Buddhist lent (June to October), Patthana chanting can be heard non-stop, day and night for a week. These recitations usually are broadcast with loud speakers in order to spread to every direction. People believe that reciting the Patthana, or hearing its recitation will impart certain blessings such as warding off dangers and spirits, curing illness, attaining prosperity or success, or being guarded by angels. The loud noise from monasteries can be a disturbance during the night for the hotels nearby especially in Bagan, Inle Lake and Golden Rock.
Pagoda festivals are also very common in Myanmar. They are usually held during the full moon days and can last from 1 – 3 weeks. Evening entertainments, music, dances and night markets until midnight take place with many people enjoying the festivities. It is advisable to carry ear plugs as some hotels which are nearby these festivities are disturbed by the noise.
Real Treasure Travel does its utmost to provide the best available cars and buses. As the import of new vehicles as well as spare parts is very difficult and extremely expensive, most of the tourist cars used are secondhand vehicles, sometimes older than 15 years. Recently regulations have changed and imports of new cars are now permitted to some extent. In the near future, there will be more luxury cars available for tourists.
In remote areas, however, air-conditioned vehicles may not always be available and travellers should be advised that the quality of roads throughout Myanmar vary from reasonable to poor.
Traffic is getting more and more crowded in Yangon and Mandalay and driving in the cities can be slow with delays at traffic lights. We recommend respecting the timing indicated by your tour guide for sightseeing or transfers. High awareness and attention is needed when crossing streets.
No taxis in Myanmar use meters and the fare must be negotiated before the beginning of the trip. Public buses offer a cheap albeit crowded alternative to taxis; the challenge is finding out where the bus is going.