Last pic from Bagan and time to
move next. It was really fantastic days, this place definitely got the energy of world’s top place.
Today it’s almost full-day bus ride from Bagan to my next destination – Inle lake.
Most of my accommodation in Myanmar was reserved few months back. I found that lot have changed during these months. I have heard and saw other people reservations and most of them paying literally twice as more for the same rooms as i do. Once i even heard one lady, who was happy to pay kind of 50$ for a room with basic breakfast. Which is insane for this part of the world.
Another interesting thing is that lots of information i had about Myanmar and it’s practical aspects wasn’t true. Firstly, accommodation and transportation are absolutely fine. Secondly, it’s not a hidden gem anymore, but quite touristy destination. For some reason, mostly grown-ups come here, lots of them in groups and ready to spend. I never saw so many people wearing really expensive natgeo clothes. So it looks like the businesses are taking these advantages. Third, prices are higher than inexpected (wikitravel says bicycles rent is <1$/day, reality is 3-4$/day), there are new tourist taxes like paying 20$+ to enter Bagan or 10$+to enter Inle lake. Anyway, country feels really adventurous, it’s definitely still not another vacations. And it’s still possible to go relatively cheap, but requires some efforts.
I had hotel reservation in Inle lake, but it was the only one, which was overpriced and looks like shit. As this place is very touristy, I decided just to come and shop around. There are lots of hotels here, but surprisingly almost noone is ready to bargain. I spend 1,5 hours around sunset time (that means not much chance for another clients) searching for a good place. It was really surprising that with lots of free rooms they prefere to leave them empty, but not give better price. I got some feeling that they hardly understand what is bargain.
At the end i found really nice and recently opened hotel with senior manager at the desk. Looks like she was able to make decisions, so I ended up with the really nice room with amazing breakfast for 25$. No surprise, same hotel rooms were around 45-70$ per night, but it is at least half empty. And compared to my previous reservation I saved at least 50%.
It was interesting to try it in Myanmar and i found that it’s not like the rest if southeast asia. Firstly, almost noone came without prior reservation. And to get better deal you definitely need to find someone older, as most of the stuff is very young and could just smile and repeat what they know.