Mar 12, 2011

Amazing Resort in Myanmar

The trip to Bangkok is long – very long. We planned a recuperation day at the beautiful Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel before continuing on. They provide airport pickup and The Novotel has a lovely pool and a great spa.

From Bangkok it is a short, inexpensive flight on Air Asia to Yangon, Myanmar. The most impressive site in Yangon is the golden Schwedagon Pagoda. From our window at Traders Hotel we could see the amazing pagoda at night. The lighting makes it look like a vision from a fairy tale.

From Yangon it was a one-hour flight on a domestic airline that served a light lunch with a drink to Amazing Resort in Ngapali. The resort is so amazing we recently returned for our fourth visit. The sand is soft on the long curving beach, the waves are gently and the water of the Bay of Bengal is warm. The beautifully landscaped property reflects Myanmar style with local handicrafts for decorations. It all blends beautifully with the palm trees.

This year we arrived in time to celebrate John’s birthday. As usual the staff dressed in local attire was at the gate of the small airport waiting to transport us to the hotel which is only about five minutes away while other staff members transported our luggage directly from the airport to the our room. But what was really amazing was when we arrived at the hotel. The staff had made a beautiful welcome sign for us.

The next morning, John’s birthday, we went for a walk on the beach before breakfast. The dining area of the hotel overlooks the infinity pool and beach with a panoramic view of the Bay of Bengal. The staff had prepared a special breakfast table decorated with blossoms and a card for the birthday boy. If that wasn’t special enough Adrian, the Service Manager, and Kyaw Swar Maung Maung, the Resident Manager, presented us with Amazing Resort golf shirts that had John’s name with a birthday greeting on the back. Amazing! But what really caught us off guard was when we returned to our room to find three staff waiting. They had decorated the room with balloons and inscribed on the king size bed in red and yellow rose petals was “Happy Birthday, Mr. John Scott.” John’s birthday dinner ended with a cake surrounded by a musical trio singing “Happy Birthday.”

We spent most of our time relaxing on the beach. John walked into town a couple of times, I enjoyed my free spa treatments and we visited the Buddhist monastery across from the hotel.

Myanmar has wonderful tourist sites: the ancient city of Bagan, Lake Inle with the unique leg rowers, Mandalay and many other places. When people hear we are going to Myanmar we get a raised eyebrow expression. To go or not to go was a dilemma we faced before our first visit but when we found that many tour groups from Europe visit we decided to go. We found a country that is beautiful, the people welcoming and one of the safest countries in the world for tourists. We stay at places that are locally and privately owned. The only difficulty is that it is a cash-only country. Credit cards are not accepted so we have to make sure we bring enough dollars to cover all our expenses. We have seen improvements since our first visit. Change is coming but slowly.