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MyanmarApril 24, 2012 By: Meagan Drillinger Travel Agent
|A beautiful feature of The Governor’s Residence is the swimming pool surrounded by stylish and comfortable sunbeds for the ultimate relaxation and serenity.|
Although relatively new to the U.S. market, Myanmar has been welcoming visitors for years.
Last fall, Travel Agent asked its readers to share what they saw as the world’s top emerging destinations. The majority named Myanmar, a country whose years of political turmoil seem to be coming to a close. In fact, earlier this year, the U.S. restored diplomatic relations with the destination following a series of political and economic reforms in the country.
While the destination is a far cry from the tourism hubs of Southeast Asia that are Thailand and Vietnam, there is an ever-increasing tourism presence in Myanmar. If your clients are repeat visitors to the region and are looking for something different and “undiscovered,” Myanmar is an excellent place to start.
Clients making their first journey to Myanmar will most likely want to book a stay in Yangon, the former capital. This city is rich with 19th-century colonial architecture and is home to an impressive selection of boutique hotels.
The Strand Yangon is a historical hotel that sits in downtown Yangon. Dating back to 1901, this hotel is a prime example of Myanmar’s heritage. There are eight Superior Suites and 23 Deluxe Suites, with 12-foot-high ceilings, large windows and separate seating areas. Travel Agent learned that #204, #205, #206 and #207 have the best views of the Strand Boulevard.
Dining options include The Strand Grill, for elegant dining, and The Strand Café, which is best for casual lunches and snacks. The property also has a small spa, which is a converted suite with two treatment beds.
Contact General Manager Didier Belmonte ([email protected], 011-951-243-377) with questions.
The Governor’s Residence is another great option for travelers visiting Myanmar. Just 10 minutes outside of downtown Yangon, this property has 48 rooms, all with either king or twin beds. There are also two Junior Suites and one Two-bedroom Junior Suite.
While there is no gym or spa, there is a beautiful pool in which your clients can get a little aquatic exercise. Other amenities include the Kipling Bar, open until 11 p.m., the Mandalay Restaurant and the Mindon Lounge.
Reach out to Hotel Manager Shwe Sin El ([email protected], 011-951-229-860) with questions.
|Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon is a popular stop on tour itineraries.|
Perhaps the best-known tour operator in Myanmar is Asia Transpacific Journeys, which has been arranging trips to the country for the last 20 years. The company has three small-group travel offerings to the destination. It also organizes customized experiences for those who want a more personalized itinerary.
Asia Transpacific’s signature trip is the Land of the Golden Pagoda itinerary, a 13-day trip that visits Yangon, Mandalay, Amarapura, Irrawaddy River, Bagan, Mt. Popa, Kalaw, Inle Lake and Sagar. The company also has a 12-day On Burma’s Frontiers itinerary, which visits Yangon, Heho, Loikaw, Samborn, Inle Lake, Taunggyi, Sittwe, Saladan River, Mrauk U, Khamee, Sin Ke and other remote villages. Finally, guests can combine a trip to Myanmar with a visit to Bhutan with the Tradition & Transform itinerary. This 13-day experience takes guests to the top sights in Myanmar, along with cities in Bhutan such as Paro, Thimphu and Punakha.
|Young novice monks line up for their daily meal at Ka Lay Wa Monastery in Yangon.|
Last summer, the Khiri Travel Group, a Southeast Asia specialist with offices in Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, further expanded into Myanmar. The tour operator set up shop there with the hopes of offering a host of innovative travel options, such as Thibaw and Kyaukme in northern Shan State, the southern Shan State, Mrauk U and the Rakhine Mountains, as well as favorites such as Bagan, Mandalay and Inle.
Khiri will be able to arrange itineraries that include a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, along with a traditional breakfast, strolling and shopping in the markets in the small alleys around the pagoda, and Buddhist offerings by travelers in the pagoda itself.
Pacific Delight Tours has also announced a new itinerary to Myanmar. The 10-night Myanmar Discovery program includes highlights such as a visit to the site where Siddhartha attained enlightenment, as well as the famous Kyauktawgyi Paya Buddha. The program also features a cruise along the Irrawaddy River and a two-day sailing on Inle Lake. It also covers Yangon, Bagan and the Mandalay Region.
On the luxury side, Abercrombie & Kent has developed new itineraries to Myanmar for 2012. Clients should look into the operator’s 16-day Myanmar’s Burmese Heritage tour, 12-day Angkor Wat & The Road to Mandalay program or 13-day Signature Myanmar journey.
|Temples in Bagan, Myanmar.|