Recently, I travelled to Myanmar for a holiday. This sovereign state is the 2nd largest country in Southeast Asia and is bordered by China, Laos, India, Bangladesh and Thailand. It has a population of over 60 million. It gained independence in 1948 but from 1962 to 2011, it was under military rule.
I was in Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, for 5 days.Yangon, with a population of over 6 million, is the country's largest city and the most important commercial centre although the military government has officially relocated the capital to Naypyidaw since March 2006.
Although Yangon's infrastructure is undeveloped compared to those of other major cities in Southeast Asia, it has the largest number of colonial buildings, most of them are decaying due to through poor maintenance and not keeping up with its increasing population.
We stayed at the Parkroyal Yangon Hotel, located 30 minutes from Yangon International Airport and right in the heart of the city's cultural attractions.
Our hotel room was spacious with two Queen-sized beds. The hotel's WiFi is good considering how hard it is to get phone signals or internet connection once we were out. There is totally no auto roam service for Singtel subscribers. A SIM card costs 25,000 kyat (US$20, S$39).
On our first night, we had dinner at Padonamar Restaurant which is located in an old colonial style house with a large garden. We had to eat indoors because the tables in the garden were fully occupied. This fine dining restaurant serves Myanmar and Thai cuisine to expatriates and busloads of tourists.
There was a photo on the wall showing Cliff Richard dined here. :)
Steamed white rice comes in bamboo containers. We were served the popular lentil soup that was commonly offered throughout our stay. I like the nutty taste of this soup. We tried Myanmar curries despite being told Myanmar curries are “swimming“ in cooking oil. :P
There is this age old tradition of Myanmar hospitality : “the more oil in the curry the more welcome you are”! There was only a little oil in the curries we ordered. Fortunately. :)
What we ate at Padonmar Restaurant. I doubt it is cholesterol free. :P
Note : A valid passport with entry visa is required for all visitors. A tourist visa allows a stay of 28 days extendable for an additional 14 days.