Great service as always
Amazing! Sent a thank you note to Tash last night - she was fab - a credit to you
Stacey is amazing at her job. Literally listens to what you want and delivers on every aspect. Couldn’t recommend her enough! 100% will book my next holiday with Stacey and DialAFlight.
Excellent service right from the very first enquiry. Ryan was exceptional in his communication. Will definitely use again
Rebecca was great. Extremely helpful throughout!
DialAFlight's travel manager was very supportive. He explained things very clearly and kept in touch to make sure all was going to plan. He was polite and very kind.
Ian was super helpful, as always and managed to find us the perfect hotel/location all in budget. 10/10
Would have of liked better plane seats
Brandy was most helpful - I will deal with her again 100%
Slightly worried with connecting flight delay
Great service and information
Positive experience and excellent communication
As usual Christian very helpful
Thanks to Isaac for booking us a fabulous holiday
Really good, friendly and informative
Many thanks to Declan - everything was perfect and we had a wonderful holiday.
Thank you to Lucy, will definitely use again
Jim Camahin was brilliant, great service, that's why I use DialAFlight
Marshall is exceptional
Excellent communication and always available promptly on the phone.
All went very smoothly as usual. Amelia looked after me well
Glen Blackburn is a genius.
Justin and the team couldnt have been better thanks so much
Everything made easy and stress free. Excellent support given throughout.
Definitely the best travel agent around. Professional and courteous service and always deliver 100% what they promise. Big thank you to Brody and Dale
Everything went very smoothly. Brilliant as always.
Joe was so helpful, even calling me the night before to check I was happy and ready to go. A fab service! I will definitely use again.
Ring at any time and you can expect to get assistance - so reassuring!
Keep up the good work - everything went like clockwork
Very helpful, can’t fault you
It’s twilight at the Shwedagon pagoda, a 300-ft tower of shimmering gold.
Amid a sea of candles, burning incense and kneeling worshippers, a monk has retrieved his mobile phone from the folds of his maroon robes and is posing for a selfie.
The most impressive Buddhist site in South East Asia still looms over the low skyline of Yangon, but everywhere a closed society is colliding with the modern world.
The Shwedagon pagoda, in Yangon, is one of the most impressive Buddhist sites in South East Asia.
Since the lifting of international sanctions three years ago, change has come to the city.
This was Burma’s capital until 2005, when military rulers decided on a whim to build a new one 200 miles away. Now, hotels, shops and high-end restaurants are springing up among the crumbling apartment blocks and spice-laden roadside markets.
Cars, phones and other luxuries once preserved for a rich elite are trickling down, and there’s cautious optimism.
Before it was plunged into half a century of isolation, Rangoon, as it was then, was a trading centre of the British Empire. The colonial past lingers on downtown.
Along wide Victorian avenues are the stucco-fronted Telegraph office, Port Authority, old Secretariat and offices of long-defunct companies, in slow decay with foliage poking out of some upstairs windows.
The Strand Hotel, built in 1901, is one of the few restored to former glory and is an atmospheric stop for a drink, with wood panels and twinkling chandeliers.
Swathes of the country, renamed Myanmar in 1989, still feel barely touched by the 21st century.
We follow a typical route for foreigners, taking in the misty plains of Bagan packed with ancient temples, to the floating villages of Inle Lake, trekking in the hills of Kalaw and exploring the last royal city of Mandalay.
Bagan is a ghost city, built between 1057 and 1287 as the capital of a once prosperous dynasty, before their reign was abruptly ended by invading Mongols.
About 2,000 temples still stand, in an archaeological wonder to rival Angkor Wat in Cambodia - but with a fraction of the visitors. They range from tiny red brick cabins, to palace-sized shrines painted with intricate wall murals, 30-foot gold Buddhas and whole souvenir markets inside.
One of the grandest was put up by a 12th century king to atone for executing his father, brother and wife.
We had a hot air balloon at dawn over Bagan, and were treated with unforgettable views drifting across the stunning landscape, eerily quiet except for farmers herding cattle far below.
Our guide took us to businesses locals will benefit from, one of them the Be Kind to Animals restaurant in Old Bagan. The vegetarian owner serves delicious tamarind leaf curry to a full house at lunchtimes.
Our arrival in Mandalay, the capital of the last Burmese kings, is by boat down the Irrawaddy River. Then the artery for armies of timber traders and merchants, today we sail along almost alone.
From the top of Mandalay Hill, a beautiful temple with views for miles around, novice monks practise English by asking about the fortunes of Manchester United and Chelsea.
From there, we head north to Kalaw, a former British hill station where officials enjoyed some cool air in the baking summer.
Surrounded by misty mountaintops, it is a haven for trekkers passing through the mountain villages and remote monasteries.
Quiet at night, like most of Burma, it sprang to life on our first evening for the full moon, with fireworks flung in all directions, troupes in traditional costumes processing through town with blazing lanterns, and a huge sound system struggling behind by horse drawn cart.
Our final stop is Inle Lake, a four by ten mile expanse of water heaving with life. Around a number of bustling villages on stilts, children paddle to school, farmers tend floating tomato crops and fishing boats glide among them.
Travelling by longboat through the fray, we pass restaurants, yet more gold-topped temples, and workshops full of silk weavers, umbrella makers and silversmiths.
Ten years ago there were just a few guesthouses along its banks. Now there are dozens in the main town of Nyaung Shwe, where the beginnings of a backpacker vibe are emerging.
Tourism has brought much needed jobs but many fear reform may stall for Burma, sandwiched between powerful China and India, trapped between the iron grip of the old government and tantalising new freedoms on the horizon.
We chew over the possibilities with a retired civil servant at a monastery back in Yangon.
Despite the advent of more employment and a rise in living standards, he is concerned that the younger generation, many still poorly educated, should share in the benefits.
‘The change is good, but we must make sure it helps our people’, he said. ‘We must make our own way this time.’
First published in the Mail Online - August 2015
More articles below...
Not quite what you're looking for?
We can easily customise an offer to suit your exact requirements