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We spent January 2013 in Myanmar. I initially emailed 6 agents sourced from TA recommendations. Of those 6 only 3 replied and after a few emails to them all we went with Ayuda Travel. I sent an outline of where we wanted to go and how many days in each place, with an accomodation budget of $50US per night (it was our 25 wedding aniversary so we were not backpacking it). Victor from Ayuda sourced good hotels everywhere, even switching us out of one when the put their prices up in December and he felt "they were not worth it". He organised 3 internal flights for us and the Yangon - Mandalay sleeper train and the Yangon - Mawlamying day train. Everything went very smoothly and we were really pleased with the results. Certainly booking everything in advance leaves no room for variation, but arriving in each town and going straight to a hotel with no dramas was the payoff for the loss of flexibility. When my husband was really ill after the sleeper train I would have hated trying to find a Hotel in overbooked Mandalay, were heard of numerous problems at that time, and when you are sick you don't want to spend 2 hours hunting for a place to stay. Two of our flights changed times and we were always notified by Victor in plenty of time.
The Hotel in Mandalay was lovely and we would never have found it with out his help (not on TA or anywhere else that I can find).
The fact that we pre-paid 1/2 before we arrived cut down on the amount of cash we needed to bring, also meant we were never bumped from our bookings as many seem to be. I can understand the desire to wing it, but if you are going in a busy time I reckon an agent well worth it and can totally reccommend Ayuda.