View Full Version : Kalaw (Myanmar) Trek
02-11-2007, 05:08 AM
wondering if anybody would be in Kalaw from abt 18th-23rd March. I intend to trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake and thought it would be nice if i can trek with fellow photographers. We can understand each other's needs better ya?
Feel free to write to me if you have the same plans.
02-18-2007, 06:04 AM
There is a small chance that I might be in Kalaw around that time as I am thinking of going back to Burma in early march. I will keep in touch and let you know how things stand after i finish my trip to yuanyang in china.
However, if I dont make it to mynamar and its your first time in Kalaw allow me to recommend Sams trekking service; If you want to avoid seeing too many tourists you can ask to trek on a more "unusual" route, Sam and his guides did a great job of taking me on the less beaten path.
02-19-2007, 05:18 PM
so happy to hear from you! :D
Hey, you're heading to YY this month? Are you going with Thanh?
Hmm...seems like Sam is really quite good. I've received recommendations about Sam from others too.
I think i should really check Sam out.
Hope to see you in Kalaw bro!
02-19-2007, 05:26 PM
ohh.....you're really going with Thanh to YY, crossing in from Vietnam. Wish you guys all the best and i look forward to beautiful pictures from you guys.
02-20-2007, 03:51 AM
yep, will be meeting Thanh and his friend when they get off the train from hanoi, I'm looking forward to getting back yuanyang!
Sams trekking really is quite good; I spent 3 days checking out the different guides in kalaw until I finally met Sam -- I really wanted to get off the beaten path and especially spend my last night in a monastary that wasnt packed with other tourists -- Sam provided in spades! Thats not to say the others are not good -- two of my friends had an amazing trek with a different guide service, I think they are all very dependable and worthwhile in Kalaw... but i think sam can tailor make treks a little easier than the others.
Kalaw is also really great nice, and if your not sure where to stay you might wanna give Eastern paradise guesthouse a try.
I hope to see you there!
03-10-2007, 01:31 PM
hi again Sebastian,
well, its not looking like i will get a chance to meet up with you for some hiking in Kalaw, too bad....
ah well, have a good time though. I look forward to seeing your photos from the trek.
03-16-2007, 07:31 AM
I understand that you'll be going to YY again. No problem Steve. I sincerely wish you all the best in getting your picture. I'm trying my best here in Bagan now and heading to Kalaw on the 18th. Suppose to leave today, but i'm still not very happy with what i've got.
You take care too.
03-16-2007, 10:01 AM
If you have time i was wondering if you could answer some questions about the weather and shooting conditions in bagan right now.
-is it really hot and are there many tourists now -- i am especially wondering about the frequency of hot air ballons taking off in the morning, are there many?
-and what are the sunrises like - are there are clouds - is the morning/afternoon sky hazy or clear?
i wish you luck in getting some better shots, hopefully kalaw-inle is good for you as it was for me ;)
have fun with the rest of you trip,
04-02-2007, 12:59 PM
so sorry for my late reply as i did not get onto the web again after my last msg.
Not sure if you still need the info, but it was really hot in Bagan when i was there till the 19th. Not many tourists i would say, and weather is generally hazy, with short shooting window. The sun comes on really strong from 9am onwards...Clouds are almost non-existent. Only abt 2-3 hot air balloons sighted in the mornings taking off at approx 0630hrs...
I did not trek to Inle in the end after getting some feedback from guides and other travellers that it's too hazy and hot, and dusty. Trekked to nearby villages instead. Sam's is great indeed !!!
How was your trip to YY again? Got your picture?
I'm not sure abt mine, as i just touched down 3 hrs ago. Hopefully, i'll have something worth sharing...
04-02-2007, 04:31 PM
yep, still need it - thanks!
Too bad about kalaw, when i was there it was on the chilly side.
As to YY, well, i got some good ones - but YY suffered from haze also, so it was useless trying to get a shot that wasnt within 200meters distance. considering the scale of YY, that took away alot of potential shots...... oh well, next time.
04-11-2007, 04:35 PM
i have a couple of questions on YY hence i need your help here.
Is it difficult to get to YY from Hekou?
May i ask what's your mode of transport there and how long is the journey to YY?
Is it necessary to get a vehicle to get to the paddy fields in YY, or are they walking dist? Any gh to stay hearby?
Thinking of heading there myself next Feb.
Thanks in advance.
04-12-2007, 07:37 AM
by the time you intend to go to yuanyang there will be a brand new super highway built which will give you a very easy 2.5-4 hour drive to yuanyang. but right now its not fun...
taxi or van is the best way. the bus sucks, i dont recommend it(though if your on a budget you'll have no choice) you can get a taxi driver to take you there for 400yuan, which is about 50$. he will say more, usually over 500, but tell him your friends or yourself made the ride before for the price of 400yuan. to let them know exactly where you want to go and if language is a barrier for you then just print up the following photo and present it to them: (the prices might not be accurate considering the new highway(should be cheaper i would think))
if thats too much money then you'll have to opt for the bus which is about 40-50yuan -- but it aint fun.
also, if you dont have a big group; i would actually recommend using a taxi car rather than van as the vans regularly make that run but change to different drivers/vans every 50km or so. the taxi car will take you all the way there only stopping for a quick bite to eat. not sure how that might change with the advent of the new highway though?
there are two yuanyangs, old and new. the new one is at the bottom of the steep mountain climb, about 1 hour before the old yuanyang. the old one is the yuanyang you want. so after about 2-3 hours you will arrive in a town with signs saying yuanyang and your driver might say "here we are", but no, unless you drove the last leg of the journey up a very tall mountain, then your not in yuanyang -- its a town perched near the very top of a mountain.
yes, it is very necessary to have a driver/vehicle during your stay there as the area is quite large spanning up to 50km or more from town-field in some cases. when i was with Thanh and when i went on my own we used the same driver: he was good, heres his info --
"1388.7596.415 and/or 0873.562.4561
he has a purple van"
but there are many drivers there and its easy to find one and set something up for the next day. they are all lined up in front of the chinese governmental hotel/guesthouse which is the hotel i recommend to you. that dirver will take you 4-5 hours in morning and another 4-5 in the evening for around 200yuan per day. if thats too expensive then you can strike a cheaper deal which a tuk-tuk driver, but you may not be able to cover as much territory during sunrise/sunset as the tuk-tuks are slower. The guesthouse is near the Yun Ti hotel, its kind of the main area in town. once you enter town keep driving along the same road until you come to a short tunnel. stop before the tunnel and the guesthouse is down on the right.
keep in mind also that the time you want to go will be around the yuanyang peak season so rooms/vehicle will be at a premium(think everything up to +100yuan)
i think thats it, if you have anymore question feel free to ask me(especially since its all still fresh in my mind).
04-14-2007, 04:53 AM
thank you so much for all that detailed info. Absolutely precious to me!
Interested to go again next year?
I wonder if Jan or Feb would be a better month to shoot the rice terraces with a foggy mood....what do you think?
04-23-2007, 12:06 PM
I did the trek in january with Sam's, they were brilliant, i really recommend them.
05-17-2007, 03:24 PM
sorry for the loooooooong delay in my reply -0- no excuse really, just forgot....
anywho: next year i would not be able to join you as I will be working until about late august 2008...then back on vacation!.... January would be the better bet for clouds/fog i would think -- In late november/early december I never lacked those elements, had them in spades. problem was that you can have too much of good thing! the clouds would appear and keep moving up the valleys until you were drenched in thick fog -- so a van is essential to outrun those pesky(but oft wished for) clouds and get a shot in another valley that is clear.
always feel free to email me with any questions you might have Sebastian -- you'll have a great time there.
05-23-2007, 12:17 AM
thanks for your reply,no worries abt the "lateness".
You take care too.
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