Myanmar Travel Guide
Located in the capital city, Nay Pyi Taw, the newly built hotel is surrounded by a tropical garden overlooking a tranquil lake. Guests are greeted at the hotel entrance by three imposing bells, reminiscent of the Great Bell of Mingun (thought to be the second largest bell in the world) and the inspiration behind the hotel's logo and theme. The giant bell is also home to one of the hotel's three restaurants featuring regional cuisine, from local Myanmar to its neighboring dishes.
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As our bro Jaunted noted last week in his coverage of the state of Southeast Asian tourism, Myanmar is growing at an incredible rate after opening its doors to tourists a few years ago. Seven million tourists are expected in 2020, up from only 300,000 in 2010. In 2013, the number of visitors went up an astonishing 93%, from 1.3 million in 2012 to 2.4 in 2013.
That is absolutely incredible growth, but a question quickly arises: Does the infrastructure exist to support all those visitors? The answer currently is no, but the country is working to ensure they have enough beds.
Last week, Peninsula Hotels struck a deal to build a new luxury hotel out of the former Burma Railway Building in Yangon, close to the famous Scott's Market (a "major" tourist attraction.)
Specifics of the hotel, such as how many floors, guest rooms and even when it will open have yet to be determined, but the hotel will open as part of a mixed use development. Since the building's original architecture was created in an elegant colonial style (way back when the British called the country, Burma), Peninsula isn't going to mess with it too much.
Below, you can see a photo of how it looks today as well as a future rendering above.
This is a major hotel development for Myanmar, located in Southeast Asia and bordered by China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh. That's because up until 2011, the country had been under harsh military rule and its people severely oppressed.
Trade sanctions by the U.S. and the European Union were only recently lifted, thanks to the presence of a new civilian government, yet there have been some new incidents between the country's Buddhist and Muslim populations.
Now that Myanmar's iron-fisted miltary dictatorship has decided to free a few political prisoners and re-open its doors to foreigners, let the luxury hotel invasion begin!
First up at bat? Southeast Asia's Apple Tree Group, whose international hotel portfolio includes a colonial-era steamship, a villa built by the grandson of a Laotian king, and a thatched roof ecolodge along the Mekong in Vietnam, is shooting for an April 15th opening of its "highly anticipated tented luxury lodge" on the shores of the Irawaddy River in Bagan, called… wait for it…Bagan Lodge.
We are most definitely in two minds about the pros and cons of visiting Myanmar aka Burma at the moment, but that doesn't stop us from looking at interesting places to stay should the situation change in the future.
And one place that crossed our desk this week is the Malikha Lodge in the northern state of Kachin.
The October CN Traveler's back page focuses on Myanmar.
The above photo is the view from room 805 at the Popa Mountain Resort, and to reach the volcanic plug monastery in the photo you gots to climb 777 stairs.
Yeah, all of a sudden kicking back on the balcony of one of the 38 rooms in the resort sounds like a good idea doesn't it.
Is it just us, or does this kinda look like where Edward Scissorhands lived?