Yangon English Speaking Guide / Driver - Zaw Hein

FYI - I just returned from 3 days in Yangon where my wife and I used Zaw Hein as a guide / driver for a day based on an earlier forum post. We thought Zaw did a great job and recommend him if you desire a guide to help you visit Yangon vicinity tourist sites. Zaw's contact info is [email protected] or 00 959 503 9504.

We thought Zaw did a very good job and his car is small, but with good AC and ample storage space for any camera gear, clothing and souvenirs you have for a full day around Yangon.

Zaw was very knowledgeable about tourist locations as well as local markets and speak very good English. We started the day with an open ended approach, telling Zaw where we had been to date prior to meeting him and asking him to "show us the sights" in Yangon. Zaw had a full menu of attractions set up, and once my wife and I had seen a few, we modified the afternoon plan to include a massage before we went to the lake with the floating boat restaurant to watch the Shwedragon pagoda light up after sunset from across the lake.

My advice is to understand what items are a priority to see and make understand that you can spend a LOT of time sitting In traffic as you transit across the city to see various attractions.

The shwedragon pagoda was incredible at night - thousands of oil lamps are lit up on the ring around the pagoda and families / visitors make offerings, mediate, linger and socialize. Bring a tripod and give yourself a full evening there from 30 minutes before sunset with no other evening plans so that you can be present "in the moment" throughout the evening.

My wife, my adult son and I had two delightful days in and around Yangon, thanks mainly to our guide, Zaw Hein. Zaw Hein speaks excellent English, has a wealth of knowledge about Myanmar, its people and its religion, and tailors his trips around his clients’ expressed desires. He also has a wonderful sense of humor. He taught us much about the Buddhist and Myanmar history and culture.

We told Zaw Hein that we wanted to see, in addition to the Shwedagon Temple, and the other major attractions for foreigners, sites off the beaten path that would provide us a window into the life of the average Burmese. He obliged us by taking us to the temple of the Reclining Buddha (where we were the only foreigners), the Meinmahla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary crocodile refuge (again, we were the only foreigners and were treated to a private tour by the director of the sanctuary), the Kyauktan Yele Pagoda island in the village of Thanlyin (crowded with local pilgrims but again, we were the only foreigners), the downtown market in Yangon, and the poor farming village of Nyaung Wai (no other tourists at all, foreign or Burmese). We ate in Burmese restaurants patronized solely by Burmese. As a result, we were treated to such local delicacies as goat, barking deer, tamarind, and tea leaf salad.

Zaw Hein’s sole concern throughout our trip was making sure that he met our travel needs. We recommend him highly for anybody wanting to see the “real” Myanmar.

Both your trips sound fantastic. It all sounds very exciting. We are planning on spending 3 days in Yangon in June. Can I ask how much does Zaw Hein cost approx for a day tour.

Viv

I am also wondering what the cost is for a day of using him as a guide with car included of course.

I can't agree to you more about Zaw.

Me and my wife just returned yesterday from a 3 full-day trip in Yangon. As usual, we prefer touring the places by ourselves rather than joining the group tours. Since the country was opened only for 2 years, we couldn’t find any helpful guidebooks and with the dramatic changes that took place in these 2 days, most of the materials we could find on the internet were far outdated. We saw the need to hire a driver-guide and we came across Zaw’s name in this forum. We emailed Zaw and told him when we would be in Yangon and he came back to us with his availability on the same day. We briefly told him about our areas of interest (no shopping or factory visits but visits to historical sites and pagoda as many as we could), and he put up for us a decent schedule for Yangon and the neighboring city of Bagon for those two days that we engaged his services.

He came to our hotel punctually (in fact much earlier than we agreed) with his white Nissan sedan. It is not a new car (In fact, don't ever expect that in Yangon. Zaw's car is just a 2nd hand car imported from Japan as you can find thousands of them running on the street of Yangon), but maintained absolutely in a very good condition and we had no complaint about its air-con which is indispensable when you are riding in Yangon mid-day.

As a Burmese, Zaw speaks very good English (I wouldn’t say perfect, but better than anyone we found in Sule Shangri La where we stayed) and he is indeed very talkative. His knowledge about the country’s history, Anng San Su Ki and the Pagodas are beyond doubt. We managed to visit all the places in the itinerary in a good and easy pace. He impressed us as a nice and easy family man who is so proud of what he is doing as a profession and cares so much about his service, other than his young wife and his 3-year old son.

Definitely, it costs you a bit more hiring a driver-guide when travelling in Yangon than taking the buses or taxi. But unless you are a backpacker who can afford to spend weeks in this country, it definitely gives you very good value, in terms of comfort and what you can really explore and enjoy.

We would love to contact this guide. Can you give us a hint as to the cost for the day? We are somewhat budget conscious but are willing to pay for outstanding service. Thank you SO much.

Bear120410

I wrote to Zaw and asked him the same question. He quoted USD90 for the one-day trip going to Bago (which is 2-hour drive from Yangon City) and USD70 for another one-day tour in Yangon and its vicinity. I wrote back and accepted both of them for the 2nd and 3rd day when me and my wife were there. Frankly speaking, I didn't know if those were the fair or market prices, but took it simply with the belief that it couldn't be too wrong. At the end of our trip, I handed him an envelop with two US$100 bills inside and asked him to keep the change. I am not normally that generous when giving tips, but gladly made an exception this time. He really deserved it.

We just came back from a trip in Myanmar and spent our last day in Yangon with Zaw Hein. I agree with the other posts in the forum: you won't regret it if you book Zaw Hein for a day! He speaks very good English and we really enjoyed asking lots of little questions about life in Myanmar. We had already been to Yangon before and this time only had a few hours, but Zaw Hein was great for using that time efficiently. He definitely showed us some things that we otherwise would not have thought of, or didn't even think we would be interested in. The kids (ages 11 and 8) in particular enjoyed the crocodile farm, but everything was good. He also really knows the traffic situations (rush hour traffic) and plans the trip around them. Zaw Hein also took us to some really cool places to eat; the places were packed with locals, they were clean, and the food was fantastic. When we arrived in Yangon yesterday, we just meant to get a taxi from the airport to downtown, but now are so glad we toured a bit more with Zaw Hein. I can definitely recommend him for anyone going to Yangon. His email is the same as posted before: [email protected] or call him at 00 959 5039504 (or 095039504 when in Yangon). He also is on Facebook.

Zaw Hein was our first contact in 2007 as we started our first trip in Myanmar. He was our driver from the Airport to our hotel, he changed money for us while we are booking our flights. In all our four trips to Myanmar we met him, one time for a short trip to the surroundings of Yangon, one time he picked us up after a hard nighttrip per bus from Mandalay early in the morning. This year we met him for the fourth time at the end of our trip coming from the South. After visiting Shwedagon we went together to a formidable BBQ to St. 19 in Chinatown. We had many questions to the change of Myanmar and Zaw Hein had many answers. He is always fair, friendly and a very good driver. For our next stay in Myanmar, i think we do a longer trip with him.

Zaw Hein is an excellent guide and I would strongly recommend his services.

We first encountered him when we visited Myanmar in 2010, as he happened to be our driver from the airport. At that time, it was quite difficult to find your way as a tourist, but he couldn't have been more helpful to us - helping us change money (at this point, money could only be exchanged in black markets), sort out an itinerary, book transport and accommodation, etc. At that time, there were also no ATMs in the country, so we had very little money. Zaw even refused payment from us due to this, but we insisted.

We visited Myanmar again a few years later, and had the chance to meet up with Zaw for a second time. It is one of our favourite countries and if you are in Yangon, even for a day or two, Zaw is the man to call.

My mother and I just came back from the most amazing trip in our life. Zaw Hein was such a wonderful guide. If you want to have the real myanmar experience, I would strongly recommend Zaw as tour guide. His English is very good and he has a good sense of humor. The traffic in Yangon is sometimes a bit annoying. However, I never felled bored in the traffic james with all the fun/informative stories of Zaw. If you are looking for a prototype Burmese, which is helpfull lovely and nice: Zaw is the man you need!

Great marketing Zaw Hein

(-:

SS

Copyright © 2002-2016 Trip-Pub All Rights Reserved.