Myanmar with Big Five

I just returned from a month long travel adventure that began with 11 days in Myanmar with Big Five.  Thanks to our fabulous travel agent, who contacted you when our first booking with (another company) fell through this summer, we were able to book a customized trip with Big Five and squeeze it into very specific dates.   As (Agent) told me at the time, “this could end up being a good thing.”  It was!  Every aspect of our trip was fabulous–beyond expectations.  I wanted to personally thank YOU for the extra effort involved in putting together such a wonderful itinerary at the last moment.  I know you and (Agent) both jumped through hoops, and we are most appreciative.

 

All of the Big Five guides we worked with were top notch, and our hotel accommodations were breathtaking, especially the Governor’s Residence in Yangon and the Inle Lake Princess Resort.  We loved our time with Thet Thet San at Inle Lake and Kakku.  She was so passionate and knowledgeable; an absolute delight to work with. (We were still talking about her when we got to Uzbekistan at the end of our travels.)  She maximized every moment without ever making us feel that we were rushed.  Her personal touch with the villagers, from the lotus weavers to the boat makers, the paper makers and  the silk weavers, was very authentic.  They were all so happy to see her and greeted us with incredible hospitality and big smiles.  Inle Lake was the highlight of our entire month of traveling!

 

I also want to comment on how much we appreciated the White Glove Service® that we received.  To give you little background: the Irrawaddy Cruise on the Kindat Pandaw was a dream in every aspect, EXCEPT for the fact that the guides that they had hired for the week long trip were very substandard.  There were two, and both of them were incredibly difficult to understand–their English was very poor–and their ability to tell a good story, put it into historical context, and keep a large group engaged and moving together was non-existent.  As a result, we didn’t get nearly as much as we would have liked to out of the Bagan portion of our cruise.  After that first disastrous excursion I shared my frustrations and concerns with the Purser, and asked if there was a possibility of getting better guides.  While he was understanding, his hands were tied to do anything about it.  He heard the same complaints many times over from the other passengers, who were from the UK, Australia, Tasmania, and Canada. Other than that, the river cruise was fantastic.

 

After the first day’s disastrous excursion with the Kindat Pandaw guides, I emailed the WGS hotline and explained our concerns.  They responded immediately and arranged for private guides to work with us in the major cities and attractions for the rest of the cruise.  Your WGS® team communicated closely with the Purser, and we were extremely well taken care of for the remaining itinerary.  (Guide) in Mandalay provided an excellent finale to our trip to Myanmar.  We were very grateful to be able to experience the sights there with a guide that was so efficient, knowledgeable, and personable.

 

We probably will never have the opportunity to return to Myanmar, so it was terribly important to get the most out of our experience while there.  Your 24-Hour White Glove Service® Guest Assistance team made that happen.  I wanted you to know that Big Five delivered Big Time on their WGS brand promise.

Thank you for everything!

R.W

 

November 5, 2015

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