New Park Guesthouse. Highly recommend!
In June 2000 (low season) we paid $5 for a very clean double with attached bath and A/C, breakfast included. A single is $3. Use of a bicycle is also included, which is very handy for getting around the temples. Each bike has an attached locking device with key, which is quite handy.
New Park GH is some distance from the main site, but at $3/$5 single/double, breakfast included, as well as free bicycle usage, it is a real value. It's an easy bike ride to the nearby town, where you can find loads of inexpensive and good restaurants. There are a couple of good restaurants right around the corner as well. The woman owner was very hospitable and helpful. While there, we experienced an incredible invasion of ants in our room due to some sweets that I had placed in the trash bin; the staff attended to the problem immediately. Like most people that I met in Myanmar, they were swell folks! Also, there is a clothesline area in the back where you can dry out your hand washables.
US $4 per person
I wound up visiting Inle Lake (Nyaungshwe) twice during this trip, with two different travel companions. Both times I stayed at Remember Inn, a pleasant place a short distance from the market. A tout from Shweyaung brought us directly to the inn. It was probably the best accomodations deal in all of Myanmar, at $4 per person ($8 for a double) per night, with attached bath and nice breakfast of egg, fruit, toast and jam, and coffee. Laundry services were inexpensive, about 60 kyat for a cotton dress. Thu-Thu is the young woman who manages the place for her uncle, and she's very good about arranging long-distance transportation and local tours, as well as advising on other things-to-do like treks and boat forays.
The Strand Hotel has now been renovated to bring it up to the standards that are expected of a top hotel in the Orient. And they charge the same price you'd pay in one of those palatial, pampering hotels in Bangkok. But when old Cliffie dined there some years ago in flickering lamplight, with rats scuttling through the lobby, it was hard to imagine the glory days that the hotel had experienced nearly a century ago, when the Strand was mentioned in the same breath as Raffles in Singapore.
In Yangon, we also stayed at Kandawgyi Palace, nice place, beautiful garden, but not as romantic as Pansea Hotel.A little cheaper however than Pansea! ......
In Bagan, we stayed at Thante Hotel, with a nice bungalow in front of the river, nice view, good value! ......
In Mandalay, we stayed at Novotel, great swimming pool!!!! excellent food, nice rooms. The building itself is not so beautiful, but after visiting Mandalay and around, going to this wonderful swimming pool for sunset, with a fresh Mandalay beer, is really a nice moment. I highly recommend it. ......
In Pindaya, we stayed at Inle Inn hotel, nice people, shan dinner and show, cheap. ......
In Nyaungshwe, we also stayed at Inle Inn (same owner), clean, nice and cheap. ......
In Bago, we had to stay at the government hotel (don't remember the name): awful, expensive, dirty, didn't sleep at all! a new private hotel was about to open near Kyaik Pun Buddha, try it! ......
In Kyaiktyio, we stayed at the hotel on the top of the hill (5 min walk from golden rock): quite expensive, and poor value, but clean and very good located to see sunset and sundawn. Other hotels opened in the area, cheaper and better value, but far away from golden rock (30-60 min walk).
I stayed at the Strand, an old British-built property next to the British High Commission. I believe it has undergone a renovation. If so, I hope they maintained the old turn of the 20th century style of rooms and public areas. The photo below is the Strand a few years ago, before it was taken over by a new owner. I don't know if it's been 'renovated'.
High ceiling rooms, appointments reminiscent of the days before the workd of electronics and IT took over.
In Bagan, the Thripitsaya Sakura hotel is a charming set of bungalows along the river. Although originally built as an upscale, exclusively Japanese hotel, the management has changed and is now equal-opportunity friendly. The price includes breakfast. Many beautiful craft artifacts are part of the decor, including spectacular black and gold lacquer paintings. The hotel is set among many of the pagodas.
c. US$ 50 for a double.
A clean swimming pool and very attentive service.
Accommodations in Burma/Myanmar are in incredibly reasonable (ok, they are dirt cheap!), clean, and readily available. I have recently read (through a Burma Net Watch e-newsletter) that Burma has too many rooms and hotels for its tiny tourism business...and with the current government in place, it is only going to get smaller. For tourists, if you play the game right (cheating the government when you can and giving directly to the people all you can), you can get great 'Three Star Burma-style' rooms for a quarter of the price anytime of year including during the 'busy' tourist season. The key is to ask to see the room and barter using the 'things that turn me off' about the room to low their price (thanks for the hint LP). I have also found that the always available and included 'breakfast' is a waste of time (no on can eat the same thing for weeks on end without getting sick (or it) or going nuts!) and that asking 'to forget about it' always lowers the price. Plus, you can always find better meals at the local Burmese tea shops (the jem of Burma) on every corner.
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A comprehensive one stop shopping center for low to moderately priced hotels all over Myanmar. Be prepared for a huge surprise at how low the prices are in this Country. First class hotels with restaurants and all the amenities at less than hostel prices.
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