Some of our tours have early morning departures, but this one has a late morning flight, so it's novel to have time for breakfast at our airport hotel before we leave! After a quick bite, Richard heads to Heathrow Terminal Two to greet guests arriving for our Thai Airways flight check-in. Dawn accompanies the guests who have stayed overnight at the Premier Inn.
At check-in we hand out our normal welcome package and arrange boarding cards, and give everyone a little extra present ... a small radio receiver and ear piece for use on our tours. We'll set up our local guides with a transmitter and microphone, and everyone will enjoy a much higher quality of commentary, especially in noisy environments, like a city tour. We're giving the radios out at Heathrow so Richard doesn't have to carry over 40 of them through security. Escaping Heathrow with a bag of radios on previous occasions has been fine, but entering Myanmar with radios and batteries is altogether a different experience! Fingers crossed our guests won't get arrested!
We’re flying on a new Thai Airways Boeing A380 and we’re all upstairs, so we sit back and relax. Excellent in-flight service and a few films later, we arrive at Bangkok Airport, ready to transfer to our onward flight to Yangon. Bangkok Airport is quite large, and we first need to walk from one concourse to another. It seems like miles later, we arrive at a security and hand-luggage check, before heading up an escalator to our new departure gate. With everyone on board the new flight, it's not long before we land at Yangon Airport, and begin our immigration formalities to enter Myanmar. We've arranged electronic tourist visas for everyone in advance, and the system works well, and we're soon claiming our luggage and heading out to meet our local guides, Zaw and Sandro.
We have two private coaches and we head off downtown. Traffic is predictably slow, but we arrive at our 5-star hotel, the Sule Shangri-La in good time and we're greeted by a nice cool drink and hot towels. We're arriving well ahead of normal hotel check-in time, but the Furlongs negotiating team does well (!), and we're all given access to our bedrooms immediately. Thank you Shangri-La!
The next event is lunch in the hotel's Cafe Sule. Shangri-La hotels world-wide are known for exceptionally good lunch and dinner buffets, and this is no exception! A huge variety of hot and cold dishes, starters, entrees and desserts. After lunch, most guests enjoy a well-earned siesta.
This evening, another Cafe Sule buffet, this time for dinner. Everyone is fairly prompt and then early to bed.
Welcome to Myanmar!