As we got off the bus in from Mandalay airport, on our first ever visit to Myanmar, there was a crowd of taxi drivers waiting to greet the arriving bus.
We selected a driver purely on instinct, and boy oh boy did we make an excellent choice.
Introducing William Thein Soe, a very safe and competent driver, and his absolutely adorable wife Colleen who, for the duration of our stay, travelled with us in the car driven by her husband, dispensing information and conversation and humour and anecdotes, along with wet wipes and snacks and tissues and bottles of water.
We hadn’t requested any of this, but Colleen had an apparently endless supply of treats, and so every time we collapsed back in the car, hot and a bit dusty, there would be water and a wet wipe and food if she felt we looked hungry.
They both speak good English – Colleen especially – and they both worked for many years in Singapore. They make a great team, explaining and informing, but never overloading you with information, and never ever over-stepping any boundaries.
Never once did they suggest we shop, or visit a particular restaurant. They were both uber-polite, dignified and totally trustworthy. They added to our enjoyment, honestly and truly.
It was an absolute pleasure being with them, and I would recommend them without hesitation.
Their details are below:
They don’t have a fixed tariff (well, they didn’t then), so decide each day what you want to do, where you want to go, and fix a rate with them. We averaged $30-35 a day (one day was even more because we did so much more), and we never begrudged them a penny. Such charming, helpful, un-pushy, friendly people deserve to be remunerated and encouraged.
I wish them both well, and would definitely call them on a subsequent trip to Mandalay.