Myar Taw Win Hotel, Nay Pyi Taw

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The Hotel is set out more like a resort, with a bunch of cabins and buildings around a large, garden-like landscape. The suite room has a really crazy over-the-top bathroom, with a Jacuzzi and a separate shower.

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The rooms are very clean, equipped with TV, internet and even Blue-Ray player! The air conditioner works good, which is really important in such country as Myanmar. Everywhere is clean.

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The hotel is good value by Burmese standards at 35$ for a bungalow. Breakfast choice is good but quality is no more than adequate. The coffee is bad. Internet worked pretty well for Myanmar.

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Yeah, Naypyidaw is weird. Not really a city, just a bunch of gigantic roads with some buildings really far apart. You can drive on the empty roads & visit the empty Uppatasanti Pagoda & the Fountain Garden.

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The best about it is its location, just opposite two shopping malls and very near the golf course. The Junction Shopping Centre across the road from the hotel. This means that you can walk to a mall to get meals otherwise you have to take a taxi. The hotel is located in the middle of commercial district Hotel Zone in the Capital Naypyidaw, opposite Embassies Compound. Property stands on 37 acres.

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Naypyidaw   – Hotel No.4, Hotel Zone, Nay Pyi Taw – Laewai Road, Nay Pyi Taw City.

Tel : 067-414141E-mail :


Preparations for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games 2013 in Myanmar!

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The SEA games (sports completion held every 4 years between the 10 ASEAN countries and East Timor) brings me fond memories of Jakarta 2009 when the previous SEA games were held in Indonesia. I went to watch the football and badminton competitions. During 11-22 December 2013, I will be in Myanmar when the SEA games will be held for the 27th time in Nay Pyi Taw, the new capital of Myanmar, as well as in other main cities, Yangon, Mandalay and Ngwesaung Beach. Myanmar had already hosted the Games in 1961 and 1969 and this will be the third time that Myanmar will host the SEA Games.

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As I drive into work every morning I see owls all over the city of Nay Pyi Taw. The official mascot of the 2013 Southeast Asian Games is a couple of owls which are considered lucky charms in Myanmar tradition. The male owl is called Shwe Yoe and female owl is called Ma Moe. In Myanmar, the owl is taken to be auspicious and believed to bring forth luck and prosperity to the family.

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I am hoping to watch the football and badminton. I watched both these sports when the previous games were held in Jakarta, Indonesia. The badminton finals were of very high standard so I am expecting it to be the same in Nay Pyi Taw. Myanmar will host 440 events and 33 sports, less than the number of sport in 2011 Southeast Asian Games in Indonesia.


The inclusion of Chinlone, a traditional Burmese sport and the exclusion of Olympic sports like gymnastics and tennis became one of the controversial issues heading before the 27th Southeast Asian Games. Also, it gives Myanmar the best chance to winning a gold medal!!

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It is now quite easy to travel to Nay Pyi Taw by air via Yangon or Bangkok (for more into please see my post on Nay Pyi Taw). Visa application is available upon arrival at Nay Pyi Taw, Yangon and Mandalay International Airports. The visa is only valid for fifteen days. The cost is approximately US$ 20 (method of payment is cash). To be on the safe side, please check the most up-to-date information prior to your departure. The main problem in Nay Pyi Taw will be accommodation as what is available is limited. So you will need to hurry to get a room booked in Nay Pyi Taw.

Yangon the Old Capital of Burma!

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I have spent a lot of time in Myanmar this year, however only spent a few days at time in Yangon. Yangon reminds me of Colombo, Sri Lanka around 30 years ago. Yangon is also known as Rangoon and is the former capital of Burma (Myanmar). Although the military government officially relocated the capital to Nay Pyi Taw in March 2006, Yangon is the country’s largest city.

It quite easy to get to Yangon by plane as there are several daily flights from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok. I normally take the Jakarta-Singapore-Yangon route on Singapore Airlines and Silk Air, but by far the cheapest option is via Kuala Lumpur on Malaysian airlines. Recently, more and more budget airlines stated operating flights to Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw.

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View of Yangon from the Sakura Tower sky bar and bistro.

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Yangon is undeveloped compared to other major cities in Asia but has a largest number of colonial buildings.

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Bogyoke Aung San Market, formerly Scott’s Market is a major bazaar located in central Yangon. It is known for its colonial architecture and inner cobblestone streets, the market is a major tourist destination, dominated by antique, Burmese handicraft and jewellery shops, art galleries, and clothing stores.  The market also has a number of stores for local shoppers, selling medicine, foodstuffs, garments and foreign goods.

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It is a must to visit the the Shwedagon Pagoda when in Yangon. It is also known as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda. It is a gilded pagoda and stupa located on top of the Singuttara Hill, thus can be seen from anywhere in the city. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese with relics of the past four Buddhas. Uppatasanti Pagoda is an exact replica of Shwedagon Pagoda in Naypyidaw, the new capital of Burma.

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My favourite hotel in Yangon is the Traders Hotel located a 7-minute walk from Bogyoke Aung San Market and Sule Pagoda. It was opened in 1996, as part of the Shangri-La Hotels Group. However, the cost of the rooms has more than doubled in that past year.

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, My Second Home This Year!

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I have spent many weeks in Nay Pyi Taw this year. It is the administrative capital of Myanmar and is centrally located between Yangon and Mandalay. It is around 400 km from Yangon and is approximately 300 km from Mandalay. It is said that the city is one of the world’s 10th fastest-growing cities.

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There are several monuments to see, though not many: Uppatasanti Pagoda: Similar in size and shape to the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Uppatasanti Pagoda was completed in 2009.

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The Gem Museum located in Zabuthri Township near the hotels zone of Nay Pyi Taw. In the museum, precious jewels such as ruby, sapphire, jade and the largest pearl in Myanmar are put on display. It opens from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm and is worth a visit. It is also possible to buy some gems at the museum.

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I went to see the white elephants in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar (located next to the main Pagoda). Its worth visiting the White Elephant Park if you have the time to spare and have never seen a white elephants like me.  There were about 5 elephants (including 2 babies). They are not fully white elephants (kind of pinkish).

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Nay Pyi Taw International Airport is located 16 kilometres southeast of the city. The airport officially opened on 19 December 2011. Only a few flights arrive and depart daily from Yangon. Only recently, Air Asia and Bangkok airways introduced flights to and from Bangkok directly to Nay Pyi Taw. Prior to this the only option to fly to Nay Pyi Taw was via a Yangon on Myanmar Airways or a charter flight (FMI). It is also possible to get to Nay Pyi Taw by train (8 hours) or by car (5 hours). I have done the road trip a few times but it is not very pleasant!

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There is a 20-lane boulevard with hardly a vehicle in sight, which is so pleasant after the horrible traffic of Jakarta. Un-like most roads in major capital cities, the roads in Nay Pyi Taw are largely empty.

Boat trip from Bagan to Madalay, Myanmar in Oct 2013

This is my seventh (!) visit to Myanmar. I flew to Bagan from Yangoon which took one hour and cost USD 106.


Spent the day cycling around old Bagan and the village of Nyaung-U.

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Then,  I took the boat from Bagan to Mandalay which cost me USD 40.

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It was 6:30 AM start from Nyaung-U jetty and the journey took 11.5 hours. The river was so wide and magnificent. It was a relaxing journey. Fortunately, the boat was not crowded so there was plenty of space for the few passengers on board. The cost of the ticket included breakfast (boiled egg, banana and two slices of bread). However, you could purchase drinks ( Myanmar beer, Australian wine and soft drinks) and food was available on the boat at a cost of 3000 Kytes per meal.

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