#Myanmar (Burma) Yangon-sur-plage

Yangon beach

A hidden beach 100km from Yangon offers muddy wades and fresh fish.

You are in a deserted Yangon and haven’t planned anything for the break, but adventure is still out there.

Most of Myanmar’s beaches are several hours away by car, but one hidden gem awaits just about 100 kilometres from Yangon. Ale Ywar beach, also known as Sal Eain Tan Let Khok Kone, is the ideal spot to go on a mini-break and enjoy some crustaceans – it has one of the best and freshest seafood I have ever had.   

Ale Ywar is in the Mottama Gulf, in Yangon Region. It is a few kilometers away from Let Khok Kone beach. That name probably won’t ring any bells, but Let Khok Kone was a resort opened by the military government in the 90’s. And like many projects from that particular era, it failed. Today, bushes have reclaimed the installations created to welcome families. The resort is surrounded by mud from the delta. Everything is closed there. 

Meanwhile, Ale Ywar is booming. My husband visited it two years ago, he and his friends were the only ones there. Today, the beach is buzzing with shops and restaurants. Parking is full of cars, and the sea is full of swimmers. 

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The boom started in 2016, during the Buddhist water festival, a synonym of national holidays. This was short-lived though. With the rain, shops closed. This year though, the flow of tourists seems to keep the local economy afloat.

Yangon fish

The beach itself is a natural treasure. It is almost untouched and has not been developed yet. It is entirely owned by the villagers, and restaurant owners rent the spaces and have cleared up the lands.  

It isn’t a white sandy beach though. The sand is almost brown and turns into mud as you get closer to the water. 

We were there during low tide and the earthy beach stretched off into the distance. 

You’d think it’s dirty, but it wasn’t. The mud was soft and most pleasurable to walk on – my 3-year old daughter enjoyed it too. She went a-splashing in it and ended up covered head to toe in mud – a proper mud bath spa for free. 

Eatery 

Choosing a restaurant is not the most difficult thing. There are only about five – and they all looked the same to us. We opted for “Yangon”. The menu only included seafood and do not expect an amazing chardonnay to go with it. The list of beverages is limited to beer and soft drinks. 

Yangon crap

Surprisingly, the seafood is not cheap. The law of the market usually commands that if you consume locally, the bill goes down, but here the owner explained that getting the fishermen to sell their catch is rather difficult. They have contracts with shops and supermarkets in Yangon who by everything in advance.

The seafood is worth the price you’re paying for it though.

We ordered a sour and spicy crab curry (K8000 for four pieces), a sautéed fish called Nga Tha Laut Owe Mhauk (K15,000), fried prawns (K15,000 for 10 pieces) and a small dried fish salad for K 2000 a bowl. A plate of steamed rice cost about K500, and wasn’t impressive. One beer cost K 3000 for a bottle, which is a tad pricier than in town. And a single coconut was K1000.

The shop does not have a proper menu – the staff simply hangs a list on the wall with the catch of the day written on it. Tourists beware: the price isn’t written on it.

The setting is so informal that you can go to the kitchen to check how fresh the fish is and pick your own.

We saw a group of guest sitting next to our table checking the fish and told them what to cook for them. They all looked happy when a waitress brought them fish curry. Nothing is prepared in advance; the chef cooks everything on the spot.

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If it was not for the trace of MSG (a flavour enhancer commonly added to Asian food), the curry would have been perfect. 

Unlike Ngapali or Ngwe Saung beaches — the two most popular beaches for Yangonites — there is no official committee controlling the hygiene of restaurants on Ale Ywar. The shop owners buy purified water from the village nearby. At K200 a bucket, it most probably uses it sparingly. 

There are showers at the back of the restaurants and you can buy a bucket of yellowish water for K500. No soap or towel is provided. I suggest taking a barrel of water in your car ahead of departure, or not wash at all. 

If you are too picky, don’t waste your time in Ale Ywar. If you like an adventure but do not have the time to go too far, you’ll find gold in the mud there. 

How to get there?

Take the ferry from Pansodan jetty to Dala and rent a motor bike or car to the beach. If you wish to go with your own car here are two possible itineraries: 

Route one (way there)

Hlaing Tharyar road junction – Dala – 13.7km (8.6 miles)

Dala – War Ba Lauk Thauk (Kawhmu junction) – 32.8km (20.4 miles) 

War Ba Lauk Thauk (Kawhmu junction) – Letkokkon – 22.5km (14 miles) 

Letkokkon – Ale Ywar – 6km (3.7 miles) (10mins)

Total: 75km (46.7 miles)

Route two (way back)

Ale Ywar – Letkokkon – 6km (3.7 miles)

Letkokkon – War Ba Lauk Thauk (Kawhmu junction) – 22.5km (14 miles)

War Ba Lauk Thauk (Kawhmu junction) – Kawhmu – 14km (8.5 miles)

Kawhmu to Hlaing Tharyar road – 23.5km (14.5 miles)

Total: 66km (40.7 miles)

Source – MMTimes

We take you to the Pearls of the Orient

CAMBODIA Siem Reap – Here you will find influences of French colonial and Chinese architecture. With the Tuk Tuk service to the ancient city of Angkor Thom, to visit Angkor Ta Prohm, one of the famous temples of Cambodia. In the afternoon with a Jeep to the Angkor Wat Temple. MYANMAR Mandalay – After arriving…

via Pearls of the Orient — NEWS & TRAVEL GURU MAGAZINE

Savoy (5 Star) Hotel, Yangon Myanmar

Myanmar (Burma) is the upcoming Travel Destination

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Including an outdoor swimming pool, Savoy Hotel offers a garden and sun terrace. Free WiFi is offered throughout.

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Featuring Myanmar antique furnishings and colonial-style fittings, all room types are fitted with polished wooden flooring and floor-length windows. Each air-conditioned accommodation provides a seating area and TV with satellite channels. The bathroom comes with a bath and shower.

Savoy Hote 5

Kipling’s Restaurant offers Asian and Western dishes along with the view of Shwedagon Pagoda. Other dining options include French cuisine at Bistro at Dhammazedi, cocktails at Captain’s Bar and homemade cakes at Cafe Yangon.

Savoy Hote 4

Savoy Hotel is a 10-minute drive from Yangon City. It is a 20-minute drive from Yangon International Airport. Free parking is available on-site.

Savoy Hote 3

Bahan is a great choice for travellers interested in history, sightseeing and temples.

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This property is also rated for the best value in Yangon! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.

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Sedona Hotel, Yangon Myanmar

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Sedona Hotel Yangon is a 10-minute drive from Shwedagon Pagoda. It offers air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi. The hotel features a pool, spa and fitness centre. Free public parking is possible on site.

Sedona Hotel 2

The hotel is a 3-minute drive to Inya Lake and a 10-minute drive from Kabar Aye Pagoda. It is 9 km from Sule Pagoda and the center of Yangon.

Sedona Hotel 3

Rooms come with a flat-screen TV, refrigerator and safety deposit box. Featuring a shower, private bathrooms also come with a hairdryer.

Sedona Hotel 4

Guests can enjoy international cuisine at Brasserie Restaurant. Room service can be arranged upon request.

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Yankin Township is a great choice for travelers interested in parks, markets and ancient landmarks.

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This property is also rated for the best value in Yangon! Guests are getting more for their money when compared to other properties in this city.

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PARKROYAL Hotel, Yangon Myanmar

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PARKROYAL 1

Featuring 5-star luxury in the cultural heart of Myanmar, the PARKROYAL Yangon features an outdoor pool and full spa services. In addition to 5 dining options, it has a modern gym and tennis courts.

PARKROYAL 2

PARKROYAL 3

The Hotel PARKROYAL Yangon is within a 10-minute drive of historic Shwedagon Pagoda and Bogyoke Aung San Market (Scott Market). It is a 30-minute drive from Yangon International Airport.

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The air-conditioned rooms are fitted with classic furnishings and carpeted floors. They include a minibar, free tea/coffee-making amenities and a safe.

PARKROYAL 5

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Guests can arrange day trips at the tour desk, or rent cars to explore the city. The hotel also provides a souvenir shop and laundry services.

PARKROYAL 7

Hearty international buffets are available at Spice Brasserie and Shiki-Tei features a sushi counter. Chinese specialties can be sampled at the Si Chuan Dou Hua before heading to The Music Club for a cocktail.

PARKROYAL 9

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Asean set for tourism push

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As grouping turns 50 next year, campaign will promote 600 destinations in the region.

IN ORDER to build a real sense of community, Asean will for the first time launch a regional tourism campaign to promote 600 destinations to boost arrivals and income when the regional grouping turns 50 next year.

Pongpanu Svetarundra, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, said officials of national tourism organisations from the 10 nations had agreed at a meeting in the Philippines to introduce “Asean at 50” as the new regional tourism campaign.

The campaign will be announced tomorrow at the Asean Tourism Forum in Manila and there will be a grand opening at the International Tourism Berse (ITB) in Germany in the first quarter of this year.

“Asean promotes itself as a single-market tourist destination as all members were integrated into an economic community at the end of last year. The campaign will be part of Asean’s 50th anniversary celebrations,” Pongpanu said.

Asean will be promoting 600 attractions located across the region, which will be divided into 12 different categories under the theme of “50 Best…”.

The dozen categories will be the 50 best of cities, hotels, restaurants, food, festivals and celebrations, beaches, shopping, historical sites, adventure tourism, small towns and villages, markets, as well as unforgettable experiences.

Pongpanu said each Asean member would propose their attractions and products to a central committee, which should complete the selection procedure before the grand opening in Germany.

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Thailand is assigned to lead the selection of two categories: festivals and celebrations, as well as unforgettable experiences, he said.

“The new campaign should boost tourism income and total arrivals in the region by 15 per cent from 100 million to 115 million,” he added.

Officials from national tourism organisations also approved another 10-year Asean Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) set for 2016-25, while Asean tourism ministers adopted the ATSP 2011-15 that focused on 19 measures.

Plan for tourism professIonals

The 10-year plan is also expected to boost tourism earnings for the entire region from 10 to 15 per cent in 2025, while employment in the sector should rise from 3 to 7 per cent, travellers’ length of stay will climb from 6.3 days to eight days and average spending per trip per visitor will rise from $900 to $1,500 or Bt 27,000 to Bt45,000.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation, the total number of international arrivals in Asean is expected to rise to 123 million by 2020, 152 million by 2025 and 187 million by 2030.

Pongpanu said Asean will be also focusing on other developments such as improving infrastructure, enhancing competency, labour transfer, a single visa for all nations in the grouping as well as maintaining major tourism markets such as China, India and Russia.

Myan Mar

On January 19, all 10 Asean tourism ministers signed an agreement on the establishment of the Regional Secretariat to support the implementation of Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professional (MRA-TP.) The secretariat will be based in Jakarta and will commence operations this year.

Signed by Asean Tourism Ministers in November 2012, MRA-TP was developed to facilitate mobility of tourism professionals in the region.

Dr Ong Hong Peng, secretary-general of Malaysia’s Tourism and Culture Ministry, said the MRA-TP marked a significant milestone for tourism development in Asean.

“Moving forward, Malaysia, as chairman of the Asean Tourism Professional Monitoring Committee, will fully support and contribute towards the realisation of the objectives and targets of the Asean MRA-TP,” he said.

Source: The Nation

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Visa waiver for Thais flying into Myanmar

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The exemption is part of an agreement on visa waiver between Thailand and Myanmar.

Visa waiver for Thais flying into Myanmar

Thai passport holders can now travel in Myanmar without a visa for 14 days provided they enter Myanmar through Yangon, Mandalay or Naypyidaw airports. The exemption is part of an agreement on visa waiver between Thailand and Myanmar. Thais wanting to enter Myanmar at other international checkpoints must have a valid visa. For more information, call the embassy at (02) 233 2237.

More leg room for tall passengers

Low cost Thai airline Nok Air has launched its new “Nok Premium Seat”, a programme that’s designed to make passengers feel more comfortable, private and special. Costing Bt240 more than the usual air ticket, Nok Premium Seat promises the passengers comfortable seats in front rows from seat numbers 31 to 35 and 44 to 45.

So rich, So creamy

Sofitel So Bangkok’s Chocolab releases its debut designer chocolate collection “I SO BK” with 17bites of heaven especially designed by renowned Bangkok-based fashion label Tawn C. Each of the 17 designer treats will be individually filled with Chocolab’s signature chocolate fillings, including goji berry, orange yuzu, crunchy hazelnut, jasmine, salted caramel, honey comb, white peach and matcha. Find out more at (02) 624 0000 or email: h6835-fb3@sofitel.com.

Pedals to the metal

Bhumibol Dam International Mountain Bike Championship returns to Tak province from August 28 to 30. This annual tournament aims to promote the province as a mountain bike destination and features competitions ranging from 12-kilometre leisure cycling to a 60-kilometre international race. Live music, cultural performances, a classic bicycle show and fun activities add colour to the competition. Call the local tourism organisation at (055) 549 509.

Source: The Nation
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