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ASIA | MYANMAR

Planning your trip to Myanmar

By Joe Robinson

Special to The Los Angeles Times

August 12, 2007

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THE BEST WAY

From LAX, Thai Airways, Eva, Malaysia, Cathay Pacific and Singapore have connecting service (change of plane) to Yangon. Restricted round-trip fares begin at $1,150 until Aug. 31, dropping to $1,090 until Nov. 30. Air Bagan, a new airline not owned by the government, flies from Yangon to Bagan. One-way fares to Bagan are $82.

TELEPHONES

To call the numbers below, dial 011 (the international dialing code), 95 (country code for Myanmar) and the local number.

CURRENCY

You can't use traveler's checks or credit cards. Bring dollars in all denominations, including a stack of U.S. dollar bills. Most transit, aside from cabs, must be paid for in dollars. Make sure your dollars are clean, not marked or folded, or they won't be accepted. Myanmar's currency is the kyat. One kyat is worth the equivalent of about 16 cents.

WHERE TO STAY

Thiripyisaya Sakura Hotel, Bagan Archeological Zone, Old Bagan; 61-60048, fax 61-60033, www.bagan-thiripyitsaya-sakura-hotel.com. Doubles from $105.

Thazin Garden Hotel, Thazin Road, Archeological Province, Bagan; phone and fax 61-60302, www.thazingardenhotel.com. Doubles in high season, October to April, start at $65.

WHERE TO EAT

The Thiripyisaya Sakura (above) has an excellent restaurant, featuring a cross between Chinese and Thai cuisines. Dinners about $40.

Shwe Nandawun Riverside Garden Restaurant, Lawkananda Park, New Bagan. A beautiful garden retreat overlooking the Irrawaddy River. Fish, curry and rice dishes are superb. Dinners about $30.

Mahar Bagan Restaurant, Khayae Road, Khan Laung Quarter, New Bagan. Serves traditional Burmese food, Thai, Chinese and European. Dinners about $20.

TO LEARN MORE

Embassy of the Union of Myanmar, (202) 332-3344, www.mewashingtondc.com. Visitors need a tourist visa, good for 28 days, to enter Myanmar.