Posts Tagged ‘Yangon’

Myanmar’s e-Visa

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

Myanmar aims for 5 million through its doors.

Beguiling Myanmar

Beguiling Myanmar

Myanmar has this week introduced a new e-Visa service, designed to encourage more tourists to visit the country, as they aim to welcome 5 million visitors by 2015. The e-Visa is open to tourists from 41 countries, including the UK and USA, but only grants entry to the country at Yangon International Airport, making the method unsuitable for those crossing at land borders. The single-entry e-Visa costs $50, will be stamped on arrival (it must be stamped within 90 days of the approval letter being issued) and is valid for 28 days. Applicants need to supply a colour, passport-size photograph taken in the last three months and details of a return ticket. For anyone looking to visit Myanmar and its intriguing sites, the best time to visit is during the cool, dry season between November and February.

Myanmar is THE place to go

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

The Lonely Planet guide to Myanmar is hot off the press. It’s definitely worth reading especially as previously off-limits areas are opening up and the crowds are heading to Myanmar in ever-increasing numbers.

Shwedagon Paya, Myanmar

Shwedagon Paya, Myanmar

The brand new Lonely Planet guide to Myanmar, 425 pages of hotel and eating suggestions, maps, photographs and recommendations that will help you to plan your perfect visit from your armchair at home. Their Myanmar Top 10 is a listing of what you must include in your itinerary, and here it is:

1 – Shwedagon Paya. 2- Inle Lake. 3- Bagan. 4 – Mrauk U. 5 – Kalaw. 6 – Pyin Oo Lwin. 7 – Mt Kyaiktiyo (Golden Rock). 8 – Mawlamyine. 9 – Hsipaw. 10 – Myeil Arcgipelago.

So why did the Shwedagon Paya come in at number 1? Is there a more stunning monument to religion in Southeast Asia? We don’t think so – says LP. In fact, the sheer size and mystical aura of Yangon’s guilded masterpiece may even cause you to question your inner atheist. But it’s not all about quiet contemplation: Shwedagon Paya is equal parts religious pilgrimage and amusement park, and your visit may coincide with a noisy ordination ceremony or fantastic fortune-telling session. If you’re looking for one reason to linger in Yangon before heading upcountry, this is it. Make sure Myanmar is on your radar.

A personal look at Yangon

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Fodor’s Travel invited author Jan-Philipp Sendker to blog about one of his favourite cities, Myanmar’s Yangon.

With the exception of the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the city of Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, is surprisingly devoid of major sightseeing highlights. But what the city lacks in obvious points of interest, it makes up for in ubiquitous charm. The best way to enjoy the city is oftentimes simply just to step outside your door and wander. Rather than worry about checking off all the major tourist destinations in a city, you’ll be free to simply enjoy Yangon without the pressure of having to “see it all.” Here are five things to keep in mind when exploring the city.

Keep an Open Mind

Strolling the city without a must-see, must-do list is one of the most pleasant and exciting things about visiting Yangon. Only a few years ago, Yangon was one of the most laidback cities in Southeast Asia, with only a few cars on the streets, no high-rise buildings, and no neon signs. Today, the first thing you’ll notice is how much it’s changing. This sleeping beauty is evolving into a typical Asian cosmopolitan city, with the cars, traffic jams, and construction to match. Still, Yangon has held onto its unique charm and the best way to enjoy the city is simply to see where the wind takes you.

Visit Downtown

Though the size of downtown means that it is far too large to see all at once, it’s worth a stroll through the city’s center. Leave the main roads and crisscross the side streets, where the sidewalks are covered with stalls full of tropical fruits and chairs and tables from tea houses. You should sit down and try the local specialty, a Burmese tea, a strong black tea with lots of sweetened milk. While enjoying your beverage, people may walk by and greet you with a smile or a nod, or a student may approach you hoping to practice his or her English. Be sure to take in the impressive colonial style buildings you find downtown and you’ll understand why many travelers have called Yangon the most beautiful city in Southeast Asia. For a taste of local diversity, walk through Chinatown and Little India. They are only a few blocks apart, and both are overcrowded and full of small shops and restaurants, but have completely distinct feels: different smells, different sights, and different sounds.

Keep an Eye on Local Events

Grab a copy of one of the English-language weeklies or dailies to see what is going on in the city, or buy an issue of The Irrawaddy, the best monthly political magazine. It will update you on all the challenges the country is facing in its difficult transition to democracy.

Be Wary of Traffic

Traffic is heavy nowadays and most people only acquired a driver’s license rather recently. But Yagonians drive the way they conduct other businesses, patiently and passively. Rarely will you hear a horn or see cars jump lanes or cut off other drivers. When you want to cross the street, it won’t take long for someone to stop and let you cross. In other Asian cities, you could be waiting for days. The particularly daring traveler should head to 19th Street at night, when the area is closed to traffic and full of crowded restaurants. Chairs, tables, and grills crowd the sidewalk and road, with the delicious smell of freshly barbecued meat, fish, and vegetables wafting through the air. Enjoy your food with a cold beer or white wine from Myanmar. The local vineyard was founded and is still run by a German.

See the Shwedagon Pagoda

No matter how often you’ve been to Yangon, the highlight of any trip is sure to be a visit to the magical Shwedagon Pagoda. Crowded from sunrise to sunset with people praying, meditating, eating, and chatting, you can easily spend hours here. Find a spot in the shade of the temple or pavilion and people watch while listening to the chime of the bells. Very little has changed here, with the exception of new ATMs scattered throughout.

Jan-Philipp Sendker is the internationally bestselling author of  The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. His latest novel is A Well-Tempered Heart.

For inspiration on visiting Myanmar, take a look at Hanuman’s suggested tours throughout the country at http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Myanmar/Myanmar.html.

Highlights of Myanmar with Laos

Friday, December 6th, 2013

Uncover Myanmar and Laos on our 15-day tour of the best highlights of both countries.

The beauty of Myanmar and Laos

The beauty of Myanmar and Laos

Yangon is our starting point to uncover the essential elements of Myanmar, followed by the ancient Burmese capital of Bagan, with over 4,000 stupas satisfying your temple desires amidst dramatic scenery. Mandalay and the dazzling floating gardens of Inle Lake await us before we return to Yangon. The beautiful World Heritage city of Luang Prabang has much to offer as we explore its myriad wats and museums, Pak Ou Caves and take a dip in the Kuang Si falls before heading south to Vientiane. The bizarre Buddha Park offers an alternative experience to the more mainstream temples in the city. Later, we fly to the southern region of Champasak to experience our second Mekong River cruise to discover the awe-inspiring ruins of the mountain temple of Vat Phu and the magical 4,000 islands of sleepy Si Phan Don. The tour ends in Southern Laos with the option to continue southwards into Cambodia by land, return to Pakse or travel overland into neighbouring Thailand.

Find out more details on this 15-day tour of Myanmar and Laos at http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Myanmar/Myanmar_Laos_Uncovered.html.

Essential Myanmar

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Myanmar is opening its doors and welcoming all-comers. It’s one of the hottest destinations in Asia for visitors at the moment. Try our 8-day Essential Myanmar tour to get a feel for this beguiling country.

Essential Myanmar

Essential Myanmar

Our eight day snapshot of the essential elements of your Myanmar adventures begins in the shimmering city of Yangon with its legendary Shwedagon Pagoda, followed by the ancient Burmese capital of Bagan, with over 4,000 stupas satisfying your temple desires amidst dramatic scenery. In Mandalay, local crafts, ancient cities and the world’s largest book await us, before the unique leg rowers and dazzling floating gardens of Inle Lake beckon. We return to Yangon before departure.

Find out more about this beautiful country and our Essential Myanmar tour at http://www.hanuman.travel/Tours/Myanmar/Essential_Myanmar.html or contact our Sales team at Hanuman for details and prices.

Good cause dining in Yangon

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Quality food with a social conscience in Yangon.

Inside the kitchen of Shwe Sa Bwe

Inside the kitchen of Shwe Sa Bwe

Looking for a great place to eat and to see your money go to a good cause, then look no further than Shwe Sa Bwe Restaurant, or “Golden Table”, in Yangon, Myanmar. Located in a quiet upmarket area just north of Inya Lake, Shwe Sa Bwe is similar in concept to the successful Friends and Romdeng Restaurants in Phnom Penh or Mak Phet in Vientiane It’s a unique training restaurant, located in a splendid villa, set up to help disadvantaged young people acquire training and development in the catering and hospitality industry. The restaurant offers both inside and al fresco dining and is open for lunch and dinner every day of the week. Top quality food with a social conscience.

A virtual trip through Myanmar

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Come and enjoy a virtual trip through Myanmar with Hanuman Travel TV.

On the Streets of Yangon

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Join with Hanuman Travel TV for a look around Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city with its British colonial buildings, markets and of course, its beautiful temples.

The endearing colonial charm of Yangon, known as Rangoon during the British administration of the former capital city, along with the awe-inspiring Shwedagon Paya, its vibrant street markets and friendly local inhabitants make it well worth a few days of anyone’s time, if Myanmar is your next destination. With a population of over 4 million people, it certainly doesn’t feel like it, as the city closes down around 9pm at night and you’ll also notice the lack of motorcycles on the city streets. Visit the Shwedagon Paya at sunset, and take a stroll around Kandawgyi Lake and make sure to pop into the colonial-era relic that is the Strand Hotel.

Saved from destruction

Thursday, December 27th, 2012
233 Pansodan Street (right) in Yangon

233 Pansodan Street (right) in Yangon

As Myanmar forges ahead with change, concerns abound over the fate of its British colonial heritage.

Myanmar’s Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon) is a city that is undergoing rapid transformation and change. In this city of six million people, the fate of the country’s colonial buildings are a real concern, with many having already been demolished to make way for newer structures. Others have been renovated but many remain in a poor state of health. One such iconic colonial structure, at 233-235 Pansodan Street, was declared dangerous by the city’s developers and workers were sent to tear it down. However, the building, which served as a hostel for famous Burmese politicians, writers and artists during the colonial era, was subject to a last-minute reprieve after a successful campaign by the Rangoon Heritage Trust carried by the local media, prompted government officials to postpone their original order.

Only around 40 historic colonial building in downtown Rangoon remain, some are over 100 years old, and many have been declared restricted buildings after falling into serious disrepair. Activists worry that colonial buildings in the city center will be torn down to make space for hotels catering for Burma’s blossoming tourism industry. The local authorities have already painted the century-old Rangoon City Hall, which now looks rejuvenated, with other nearby examples, such as the Immigration Office, covered with plastic and bamboo poles in preparation for renovation. The Trust group has asked the government not to auction the 101-year-old Rangoon High Court and Police Commissioner Office to a consortium of local and Chinese businessmen who plan to turn the buildings into a restaurant and museum. The British colonial-era heritage of Yangon is a feature of the city which traditionalists and conservationists are keen to maintain but they face a battle to convince the majority of their countrymen, who don’t necessarily put great value in antiquity and given the choice of a restored older building against a modern development, will choose the latter. It’s an on-going tug-of-war being played out in many cities across Asia.

The new Hanuman Travel Collection 2013/14

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

The latest Hanuman Travel Collection 2013/14 is back from the printer and we have uploaded it live to the Hanuman website at www. hanuman.travel.

The Hanuman Travel Collection 2013/14 is now available for browsing, including Inspirational Holidays, Authentic Journeys, Original Adventures and Unique Experiences. The collection features our recommended hotels and cruises around the region, as well as themed trips to help your journey planning.

Myanmar is new for 2013/14, including 10 pages of inspirational advice on planning trips to this enigmatic destination. As well as our recommended destinations and journey planner, we also showcase our signature unique experiences and some responsible tourism initiatives.  Stand out hotels include the historic Strand in Yangon, the Rupar Mandalar Hotel in Mandalay and the Amara Ocean Resort in Ngapali. We also feature two of the most popular cruises, Ayravata Cruise and the Road to Mandalay under our Cruising section.

Here is an excerpt to whet your appetite:

Introducing Myanmar

“Myanmar is one of the most desirable destinations on the planet in this day and age, now that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi has invited travellers to visit once again and the government continues to surpise observers with its reform programme. The shimmering spire of Shwedagon Paya is a symbol of the nation, but this enigmatic country is home to the incredible temples of Bagan, the crumbling ancient capitals around Mandalay and the stunning natural beauty of Inle Lake. Further afield lie unspoilt beaches, charming colonial relics and unique local cultures. Quite simply, as Kipling once said, “Burma is quite unlike any place you know about”.

To view the brochure online, please visit http://www.hanuman.travel/pdf/HNM-brochure-2012-13Edition.pdf