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An exceptional private guide
I pass on to you the Internet address of a private guide who I warmly recommend without hesitation. He speaks English (and Italian) well, knows the history and culture of his country on his fingertips. He will do everything to find you the best options and arrange to have comfortable hotels at very interesting prices.



He is a discreet person but has a great sense of humour, which makes the journey in his company a very pleasant one. As organizer/coordinator of your travel, he will provide you with an experienced English-speaking driver-guide, working under his supervision, if another customer already books him. Excellent value for money, you will not find better

Cars are also in excellent condition and are checked after every journey, given the state of roads generally.
I warmly recommend him to you, especially since it is not a state agency but a private licensed guide.
 
Posted By: Thorn Tree
Lonely Planet
www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree/
Hi there
Wanted to write to let you know about a great Tour Guide that I travelled with in Myanmar. He was absolutely fantastic! He goes by the name of Sonny (full name is Tin Aung Soe). His company is currently called Sonny Travel Group. I have written the contact info below.


Normally, I never travel with a tour guide (and never have before) as like to have my own adventures and stay off the beaten path. However, after meeting Sonny at Yangon and then meeting him and a friend of his for dinner on my first night in Myanmar, his sincerity and up front manner won me over. (The fact that he brought me to a great local spot, not a tourist one, on the river in Yangon helped a lot too….)
I only had 12 days in Myanmar and saw a ton, without him I would not have seen as much or had as much information on the places that I did go to. When I pulled out my Lonely Planet and told him all that I wanted to see he said most people take twice as much time as I had. He was totally upfront about what could be accomplished realistically in a shout period of time, which was great. He did not try to promise me the impossible just to get my business, which was greatly appreciated and, in my experience of travelling in Asia, all to rare. He told me the schedule would be tough, It was….8 hours driving in 40 degree heat some days but he got everywhere I really wanted to go and he was right, there was no way I could have seem more.
He is funny, knowledgeable and very relaxed. I change my itinerary twice in the middle of the trip as things interested me. When I wanted to stay longer or explore more he was totally cool with it. Also, he was great for trying to provide you with a real local experience. He is very respectful and supportive of locals.
Sonny is also very intuitive, when he sensed that you wanted to do your own thing and explore on your own he left you to do that which was great and important to me. He want to give you value for money and never tries to take the easy way or lazy way. He tries to ensure that you have a variety of experiences and really wantches to see what things interest you. He does not try to decide for you what you will enjoy. He makes suggestions, if appropriate, and then leaves it up to you.
I could not have asked for a more good-natured, flexible, knowledgeable, fun or relaxed travelling companion. He is great! ! !
He also asked for critique at the end of the trip to know if there was anything that could have made the trip better or that annoyed me ….It was all-good!! Amazing … How many people open themselves up to criticism?
Sonny made my trip; I could never have seen all that I did without him.
I highly recommend Sonny to anyone wishing to explore Myanmar!
Georgina Kosich
 
Posted By: Georgie and Alex
Canada and Fiji Islands
If you're reading this, you are sitting where we were a month ago, in the back of Tin Aung Soe's cab, reading his book of recommendations, and feeling sceptical. Perhaps you're like we were: first time in Myanmar, have only a short time to explore it, want some solid advice about where to go and what to do and how to do it, but nervous to enlist a complete stranger. And if you're at all like us, you're probably wondering, "what are the odds that this random guy driving the cab is a good bet to stake our vacation on? "We're writing this letter to say without reservation: DO IT. Travel with Sonny. You will not regret it.


After settling into our hotel we talked it over. We knew we didn't want to stumble around on our own with a guidebook, we knew we would have a million questions and we knew we wanted to meet people… so we invited him to come talk to us. We got a good feeling right away… his calm demeanour; the specificity of his proposals and the sophistication of his knowledge impressed us. We took him up on his offer and after10 days travelling with him from Yangon to Bagan to Kalaw to Inle Lake and back to Yangon, we concluded that luck had truly smiled on us when we happened to jump in Sonny's cab.
He fit any list of ideal guide criteria we could have drawn up, and in many ways surpassed our fairly demanding set of expectations. We wanted someone who could map out for us an itinerary that would allow us to see as much as possible, but would be completely flexible and let us determine the route as we went. We wanted someone well informed who could help us interpret what we were hearing and seeing, but we didn't want a blabbermouth who would force us into endless conversation.
Most of all, we wanted someone we could trust. Sonny more than fit the bill. He is an exceptional guide. For starters, he revealed Yangon itself to us. We had spent a morning strolling alone and shopping in markets, finding our way and enjoying it but not really knowing what was under the skin of what we were seeing. Knocking around the city with Sonny the next day was an infinitely more illuminating experience. He helped make sense of the overwhelming profusion of detail at the Shwedagon Pagoda, but he also responded to our wish to see things off the beaten tourist path. He took us outside the center of the city to where he and his family live, giving us a sense of daily life for the average Myanmar person. We needed haircuts so he took us to a fantastic local barber in his neighbourhood. David got a haircut so good that we think it will change his social life.
Sonny could point us to the best tourist restaurants, but also take us to the places he and his friends would hang out, and get the same authentic cuisine peddled by the tourist joints but at a fraction of the price. Probably the best thing about Sonny is that when he felt he was not the most informed person on a particular place, he supplied someone who was. He arranged a guide for us in Bagan who turned out to be an archaeological and ecological expert of the area, as well as a totally amiable companion.
He arranged for another well-informed guide to take us on a truly eye-popping two-day hike from Kalaw to Inle Lake. In both cases, the guides were absolutely trustworthy, unbelievably inexpensive, and thoroughly competent. And with them, as well as with Sonny, the guides informed our experience without crowding us. We wanted our space to have our trip, and they all gave us that in a natural and warm manner.
Sonny also has the inside scoop on everything. He knows the best places to stay at every price level, and proved able to broker a better price everywhere we stayed. He knew the best places to find authentic crafts, and knew people who could make sure we weren't getting ripped off by sellers taking advantage of tourists. He was very up front about when he was taking us to a friend's hotel or restaurant, and never pushed us to go to any one place because of some connection. We soon learned that Sonny's suggestions were almost always sound and compatible with what we wanted, but even so, he was scrupulous in making sure we knew all the options available to us.
Sonny also had a real knack for finding ways for us to meet and interact with Myanmar people. He stopped in roadside villages to see people make palm candy and clay pots and, at one roadside village at dusk, we stopped to play a few rounds of chin-lo (a combination of soccer and volleyball) with a group of local kids. We consistently felt like we were not merely seeing sights, but getting at least a brief glimpse into people's lives.
When we met Sonny, we were as sceptical as two seasoned travellers could be. Won't he try to rip us off? How do we know he's really informed? How can he possibly have our best interests at heart? This guy, we can assure you, is the real deal. He has truly dedicated himself to crafting great travel experiences and to sharing his country with his guests. He's got great advice but also will let you shape your own trip. He's an easy-going companion who was comfortable offering his expertise without ever forcing his company on you. And we found him to have impeccable taste, able to steer us away from the bogus "touristy" experiences and toward the truly worthwhile ones.
If you're going to hire a guide for part or your entire trip, you simply can't do better than this guy. We encountered a number of other visitors to Myanmar from a variety of countries and none of them were as happy with their experiences as we were. We felt like we had the secret key to the place the whole time. And by the way, Sonny saved us so much money bargaining prices for us that we spent less than half what we'd been told by friends. Whatever Sonny is charging for his services, he's more than worth it. He's worth double the going rate.
Triple. If we return to Myanmar, which we hope and plan to do, we will be emailing Tin Aung Soe (Sonny) to arrange our trip. He was already starting to research a hike into the nature reserves when we left. Count yourself lucky and have a great trip.
 
Posted By: Edward Norton & David Sampliner
Edward Norton is an actor and director from New York known best for movies like American History X and Fight Club. He has travelled all over Asia and never had a better guide than Sonny. David Sampliner is documentary filmmaker from New York. This was his first trip to Asia and he wants Sonny to be his guide everywhere now., New York City
Potebbero interessar Vi delle foto scannerizzate riguardanti un sito archeologico birmano da poco portato alla luce non ancora menzionato dalle vostre guide?Possiarmo eventualmente mettervi in contatto-come scritto nella mail precedente che riporto-con una persona in Myanmar-Birmania che accompagna I turisti e li porta(come ha fatto con noi)anche fuori dai normali circuiti turistici facendo base presso piccoli alberghi o famiglie.


Vorrei anche porre in rilievo che non siamo mai stati in alcun posto gestito dal governo del Myanmar,ma sempre in alberghetti,case,locande gestite direttamente dai locali.La zona visitata fa parte della regione intorno al Largo Inlay,Nelle vallate popolate dalla tribu shan che fino a qualche tempo fa non erano visitabili a causa dei dissidi con il governo,ora,pur essendoci ancora qualche rischio,richiedendo un permesso nella cittadina vicino al largo Inlay (se non ricordo male Taunggyi),e prendendo una guida che parli la lingua Shan e` divenuto possibile visitare queste zone.Cordiali Saluti.
 
Posted By: A. Craca Andrea
Italy
Per viaggiare all'interno del paese consiglio vivamente di utilizzare come mezzo di transporto l'auto con autista(in Myanmar e`impossibile affittare solamente la macchina):
in primo luogo,perche' I trasporti pubblici sono decisamente lenti,e poi perche' in questo modo e`possibile visitare I posti piu`caratteristici e I villaggi che si trovano lungo le strade,con la possibilita` di fermarsi per osserveare I paesaggi piu` belli e per scattare fotografie,anche se si hanno minori possibilita di stare a contatto conla gente.

Se in piu` si volesse anche averealla guida un ragazzo simpatico,gentile,colto,intelligente e soprattutto prudente,allora consiglierei di rivolgersi senz'altro a Sonny,la guida che ci ha accompagnato nel nostro viaggio.Una volta contattato tramite internet,sara` in grado di organizzare a chiunque ami e desideri conoscere il Myanmar una vacanza perfetta.
 
Posted By: Liliana Diato
Italy

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