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“Pleasant stay in a heck of a place”
Review of Thande Hotel Bagan

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Thande Hotel Bagan
Ranked #8 of 46 Hotels in Bagan
Certificate of Excellence
New York City
Level Contributor
31 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“Pleasant stay in a heck of a place”
Reviewed July 11, 2013

This hotel is fine for what it is. At the price, it could have been a bit more. Speaking of price, the prices for laundry ($1/item) and the restaurant are way too high. Also, the bikes they offers to rent, such an important part of the Bagan experience, are really crummy. On the positive side, the rooms are clean, the staff is friendly (especially the head lady at the front desk), and the complementary breakfast (complete with creepy new-age spiritual music) were great.

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank blackrooster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (302)
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Singapore
Level Contributor
26 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed July 4, 2013

I requested for a Deluxe Room with a river view and I was not disappointed. Room was spacious and the bathroom was one of the biggest that I have ever seen in Myanmar. The sprawling grounds and well-laid out chalets next to the Ayeyarwaddy River were blissful and relaxing. The unblocked view of spectacular sunsets from the River Terrace was, perhaps the single reason why I chose the Bagan Thande over the Tharabar Gate Hotel (great reviews in Trip Advisor). My two-night stay would have been almost perfect, except for the room air-con that was barely cool even when it was set to 16C (lowest). On my first night, I woke up in the middle of the night perspiring. The next day, they moved me to another chalet, which had just been renovated and, guess what? I experienced the same problem with the air-con there. Thank God, I managed to inform them before nightfall, and for a second time round they moved me to a river suite, which was twice bigger than the first 2 chalets with not one, but two wall-mounted air-cons. Air-cons are really essential because many places in Myanmar can get scorchingly hot, especially in Bagan where the weather is usually dryer and temperatures can soar during the day.

With my guide, we explored many of the major pagodas and stupas on foot, horse carts and even on a chartered river boat that took us upstream to see the magnificent sunset from right in the middle of the Areyarwaddy. Food around the Old Bagan is mediocre at best, but I would recommend eating vegetarian as there is not much choices other than chicken if you want to eat meat. Oh, you must definitely try the roasted peanuts. They taste scrumptious and, no wonder because they have so many peanut farms dotting the landscape in and around Bagan.

If you only have two nights in this enchanting corner of Myanmar, you must spend one of them climbing up one of the tallest pagodas to watch the stunning sunset. Get there before 6.30pm and find a good spot as it can crowded with tourists jostling for the best vantage position.

When you come to Bagan, 3/4 of your time will be spent visiting one pagoda after another. Just make sure to allocate half a day for a visit to Mt. Popa - the famous extinct volcano that is about an hour and 1/2's drive from Old Bagan. One of the survival tips if you are going pagoda hopping is to wear shorts and t-shirt with a pair of sandals, or better yet a pair of slippers. Why? Because at the entrance of every pagoda, you have to remove your footwear and leave them at the doorway. Please respect the Buddhist culture. Also, remember to wear a hat and sunglasses and apply some sun block if you don't want to get a serious case of sunburn. Another warning is that, in many of the bigger pagodas where the ceilings are impressively high (reminds one of the old cathedrals in Europe) and dark, they have become havens for BATS over the centuries. When there are so many bats in one place, there can only only be one big downside - the acrid smell of their droppings! If you cannot stand that, then chances are you will not enjoy your pagoda visits. Remember to also bring along a powerful flashlight, as you need it to view the many centuries-old paintings that cover the inside walls of many of the stupas and pagodas. Most of them depict the life of Buddha, but one of them was particularly amusing because there were like thousands of paintings of near naked couples cavorting in all sorts of positions, much like the Kama Sutra in India. Bagan is indeed a surprising and fascinating destination that you must visit and explore if you visit Myanmar. Just don't expect the usual creature comforts of developed countries or you will be sadly disappointed.

Room Tip: You must book a room facing the river and away from the restaurant, where it can get quite noisy at...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
5 Thank Keltin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
51 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed June 29, 2013

We stayed here for 2 nights while in Bagan. The location in Old Bagan is great (literally right next to the Archeological Museum). Rooms were clean and basic, but nice. The grounds were really nice, and the view from the River Terrace is excellent. One night we ate dinner at hotel restaurant and found it to be quite expensive and only so-so. The next night we opted to eat at one of the local restaurants-- much better food and price.

We arranged our transportation around the ruins with locals (you can't miss them, they wait at the entrance), rather than through the hotel. We had a great experience here.

  • Stayed June 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank asdavis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
92 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013 via mobile

This is one of the best places to stay not only in Bagan but in Myanmar. Room rate is reasonable. Staff are pleasant. Breakfast or dinner with spectacular river view. This is my third stay here and will love to come back. Last time, we had early boat trip and had to leave at 5 am, they packed breakfast for us with boiled eggs, croissant and banana. Deluxe garden view facing river are the best.

Stayed June 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
2 Thank shwezinhs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2013 via mobile

A good base in old Bagan being on the waterfront with pleasant view and close to most of the major pagodas. Very attentive staff, which is not unusual at low season in Burma. Nice cabin-style room, swimming pool which is ok by burma standards and very warm. Fairly spread out so you don't feel rooms are crammed together and some nice features throughout. Lunch menu is good if you want to eat and surf, although hotel prices, only slightly disappointing thing was average breakfsst which was only ok quality and not much variety local or otherwise. But the Thande certainly recommended if you want a mid-range place.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Simartin76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Indianapolis, Indiana
Level Contributor
69 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 241 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2013

The hotel has a premium location which overlooks the Ayeyarwaddy River. I have included a room map of the hotel(see photo attached) to help fellow tripadvisor travelers pick a room with the best views. Please note that the rooms that start with a 2(eg. 2011) have been upgraded and are now Deluxe Rooms. They include slightly better furniture, and an LCD TV. The Superior Rooms are the same rooms as the Deluxe Rooms but they have older furniture and CRT TVs. The Superior Rooms are great value for money, and run anything up to US$60-90 per night cheaper(according to the 2013 price list posted by the hotel) depending on when in the year you arrive and the type of Deluxe room you select(eg.Garden View, River View...).

Hopefully with the room map, you can make a decision on what you are paying, or not paying for.

According to the hotel, this was the first hotel in Bagan and it has a building on the campus which goes back to 1922 when King Edward the VII visited Bagan. The grounds are lush(see photos) and this could have only come from years of care taken in maintaining the flora and fauna on this property.

This hotel seems to have a pretty reliable power supply and our room A/Cs were constantly on because it was baking hot during our entire stay there. There was plenty of hot water in the showers and our rooms were very clean. The hotel provides an electric kettle and free coffee, tea and bottled water in the rooms. There is also a room safe in all the rooms. Our only complaint about the room was that the free wifi was only available in the reception area and the speed of the connection was spotty at best.

The hotel has a nice pool where our kids and us spent countless of hours cooling down from the oppressive heat. One of the days we were there, it was so hot that the pool water started to warm up to a tepid temperature. Beside the pool there is a small grotto(see picture) which serves as an entrance into the Thande Spa which is slightly below ground level. Going down the stairs, takes you to a well appointed Spa. According to my wife, the Burmese massages offered there for US$17 per hour are excellent and worth every cent.

The Acacia Shade Restaurant has an awesome view of the Ayeyarwaddy River and I would recommend having a drink here in the evening and watching the long sunsets which Bagan is famous for. The food however is pricey and there are many good options for food at Restaurant Row in Old Bagan - a short cab/horse cart ride away.

Since the hotel is situated in old Bagan it is really only a short walk from the main drag of temples, pagodas...

Overall, the hotel is still rated as a 3 star hotel in Myanmar, but it was aggressively being upgraded throughout the hotel. I think that eventually they will take out the Superior Rooms as they chase their fourth star. Time might be running out to enjoy this almost 4 star hotel at 3 star prices.

If you have found this review helpful, please indicate. Thank you.

Room Tip: Check the Room Map photo attached with this review when you book your room.
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Stayed June 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
14 Thank Dover C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pune
Level Contributor
73 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
Reviewed June 19, 2013

The property is huge, rooms are spread about with the choice rooms along the river having better view. The breakfast is really good while the dinner as others have mentioned is expensive and takes ages to arrive. Also the entertainment is very sad with the young girl singing many sad songs every night followed by a puppet show equally bad.

Room Tip: Pay more and get a room near the river.
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sahibbibi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Thande Hotel Bagan

Property: Thande Hotel Bagan
Address: Old Bagan, Bagan, Myanmar
Location: Myanmar > Mandalay Region > Bagan
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Spa Hotel in Bagan
#8 Romantic Hotel in Bagan
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Thande Hotel Bagan 3*
Number of rooms: 78
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
We have airport transportation service upon request and have internet access as well and free wifi at lobby area though we charge if the guest uses our hotel computer. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bagan Thande Hotel

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