Ganlamrazi conquered Climbing party preparing to return home

 MOE MYINT KYAW (MYIT MA KHA)

The joint Myan­mar-American climbing expedition had successfully climbed the snow-covered, 19192-ft (5850m) Ganlamrazi moun­tain (in Myanmar’s extreme north in Kachin State), whose summit no climbing party had reached before.

It is learnt that the mem­bers of the joint climbing party plan to return from Tahundan Village to Putao by helicopter if the weather permits.

According to a press release made by the Gan­lamrazi climbing expedi­tion, they plan to make the two-day trek to Tahundan Village which is the nearest to their base camp set up at about 16,000 feet. They plan to fly by helicopter from the village to Putao.

Ko Nyi Nyi Aung, a mem­ber of the Myanmar Moun­taineering Association who has been liaising with the joint climbing party and re­leasing news to the outside world, said that Ganlamrazi could be declared 90 feet higher than Khakaborazi, which is presently regarded as the highest mountain in South East Asia, only after careful calculations are made based on the refer­ence indexes in old maps used previously and infor­mation provided by the GPS system.

The attempt on the Ganlamrazi summit began at 3:OO AM in the morning of September 7th and Myan­mar climber Ko Pyae Phyo Aung and five American mountaineers became the first persons to reach the summit at 2:OOPM in the afternoon.

“What we do know is this wonderful feat is a new page in the mountaineering his­tory of South East Asia. We can take pride and say that we have many mountains in our country which consti­tute challenges to moun­taineers all over the world”, said Ko Nyi Nyi Aung.

The persons who reached the summit are Andy Tyson, Molly Tyson, Chris Nance, Mark Fisher, Pyae Phyo Aung and Eric Dutt and they returned to the base camp at 7:30PM in the evening.

U Ye Min, a member of the Myanmar Mountain­eering Association who had climbed snow-covered mountains in Myanmar before, said thus: “I feel very proud of them. I’m very happy for them. There are still many such unclimbed, unnamed mountains left in Kachin State. We will have to make attempts to climb these mountains”

The climbing expedition, which began mid-August and estimated to take 42 days, is organized by the Myanmar-Fonyin travel company.

No news has yet been released on who was the first person from the summit team to reach the top of Ganlamrazi. Likewise, no news was released on who had reached the summit of Khakaborazi first.

The highest mountain in Myanmar, and in South East Asia, is the Khakabo­razi, whose height is 19294 feet (5881m) in the extreme north of Kachin State. A Myanmar national of Tibet­an race, Namar Johnson, and a Japanese mountain­eer, Ozaki (now deceased), successfully reached Khakaborazi’s summit at 3:12PM in the afternoon on September 15th, 1996.

Source: The Traveller Journal

Nok mini; the very first airline for Mae Sot-Mawlamyine-Mae Sot schedule

Nok mini airline will start its daily flight of Mae Sot-Mawlamyine-Mae Sot route on 1 September.

The airline will ply one regular route every morning with low cost ticket fare. Cheap pre­paid ticket system will be used, said Nok mini airline manager U Aye Min Tun.

As the airline is low-cost one, ticket fare is from U.S $ 55 to U.S $ 80 per desti­nation and ticket will be purchased with Kyat, U.S$ and Baht, U Aye Min Tun added.

Furthermore for Nok mini airline, a plan to ply Mae Sot-Yangon-Mae Sot is to be underway as of Octo­ber 1. Nok mini is a branch of Nok Airlines. The course to Mawlamyine is the initial one for local route.

The plane to be used for Mawlamyine route is Sweden made SAAB 340B+ with 34 passenger seats. Nok Airlines flies over 100 flight schedules daily within Thailand.

The flight duration from Malamyine-Mae Sot route is only 25 minutes following 15-minute drive from Mae Sot to Myawaddy.

The motor way from Mawlamyine to Myawaddy is 6 hours while air way takes only 40 minutes. So it will be convenient for travellers from Mon State, U Aye Min Tun continued to say.

Similarly, it takes a long time for travellers from Thailand who would like to go Kyaikhtiyoe and Mon and Kayin States through Yangon. Flying to Maw­lamyine will take a short time, he said.

Sky hub agent offers visa service for tourists by airline and air ticket sale for those who would like to go Thai for medical treatment.

KYE MON(29.8.13)

Source: The Traveller Journal

 

Thailand-based Business Air to Fly Yangon-Bangkok route thrice a week from 31st August

From August 31, Thai­land-based Business Air will start operating on Bangkok-Yangon-Bang­kok route with 250-seated Boeing 767-300 ER aircraft on Tuesday, Friday and Sat­urday, three days in a week, said by General Manager of Business Air, U Min Thein Naing .

Thailand-based Business Air is an airline which currently flies Bang­kok-Incheon, Bangkok-ja­karta, and Bangkok-Macau routes.

It is learnt that the first route of Business Air, the Bangkok-Yangon route, will be launched daily soon.

REF: DAILY ELEVEN, 30-8-2013

 Source The Traveller Journal

Workshop on Myanmar tour police sector kicks off

With the cooperation between Ministry of Home affairs of the Republic of Union of Myanmar and German based Hanns Seidel Foundation, work­shop on Myanmar tour police sector in responsible tourism industry was held at Central Hotel on Bogyoke Aung San Road on 29-30 August.

On the ceremony, Mr. Achim Munz (Myanmar Representative Officer) gave a welcome speech. Then, Police Commander Myo Min Oo (head of depart­ment (first class) (Admin, Security and Inspection) Myanmar tour police unit said that due to Myan­mar policy and economic reform, world travel and hotel and tourism industry have developed in Myanmar. As there is a need to set up a unit for tour police to accommodate tourists to be convenient and safe, the unit has been formed in February 2013. The unit is to prevent from entering gangsters following with flourishing tourism sector and crime and to alleviate trafficking with the cooper­ation of Ministry of Home Affairs. He presented that among facing challeng­es within the formation period of tour police unit, facts which are not real in practice and should be cancelled and those which should be added again to be discussed reciprocally to get perfect facts. He also ex­plained that the unit would be to collaborate with international tour police units after connecting with them and aim and objectives of workshop.

After that, responsible persons from Myanmar responsible tourism industry talked over policy of Myanmar responsible tourism industry, the Don’ts for tourists in Myanmar, the sector of neighbouring countries’ tour police, natural upris­ing and solving problems facing tourists. The work­shop was divided into two sections to be discussed within two days. Tour police unit members held talks among four groups within the two-day workshop. The conversed topics are about duty of tour police unit, the teamwork of other concerned organiza­tions, seizure, prohibition, investigation, crime and child violence, physical sex crone, trafficking, the abuse of drug (trade), accidental injury and robbery. The workshop is held according to the topics like world tea table.

After that, the results of workshop were presented to discuss again and at­tendees provided necessary points for the results. The workshop was held from 9 a.m to 5 p.m on 29-30 August.        KYEMON (2.9.13)

Source: The Traveller Journal

 

Mottama Hotel Zone to Build

It is learnt that the hotel zone will be established in the Mottama mountain ranges. As there are not many land areas in Motta­ma mountain ranges, only the small hotel zone can be developed.

Dr. Min Nwe Swe, Mon State Planning and Finance Minister said: “The formal approval from government to build hotels in Mottama moun­tain ranges is awaiting. As there are many historic pagodas, the high-rise buildings which block these views will not be allowed .The government will allow constructing hotels for the development of the state. The government will also permit to build hotels not only in mountain ranges but also in the islands of Mon State.”

U Aung Kyaw Moe, the director of Thanlwinaye company which propose to build hotel in the moun­tain ranges, said that our company has 23-acre land plot and intend to build the hotels with between 80 and 100 rooms for 150 and 200 guests. We request the ar­chitects to make the design as the glassed-in build­ings to enjoy the beautiful scenery. We will start our project as soon as we obtain the government approval and design. Including our company, the other three companies also propose to do the project.

“During the tour of the businessmen from Tak District, Thailand on August 20, they are very interested in hotel zone project and signed MOU to coordinate the hotels and tourism industry between Myanmar and Thai. They also offer to open a high standard Thai Restaurant in Mawlamyine” said by the secretary of the UMFCCI, Mon state, U Htin Aung Kyaw.

At the meeting with hoteliers and businessmen in Mawlamyine, on 27August,Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism, U Htay Aung, said that the government will help to establish hotel zone and for the development of tourism industry.

REF: KYAY MONE, 30-8-2013

Source: The Traveller Journal

Myanmar Airways transferred the passengers to another aircraft

News has been received that ATR aircraft belonging to Myanmar Airways oc­curred a mechanical prob­lem on Yangon-Sittwe route and the passengers were moved to 19-seated Beech aircraft on 28th August.

An official from Civil Avia­tion Department said:”The plane’s engine is good .But the air-con is in bad condition and that flight is substituted with another plane.”

It is learnt that the delays occurred by carrying 15 passengers in each route with another plane.

Myanmar Airways flies Yangon-Sittwe-Ann route on every Wednesday. The official of Civil Avia­tion Department said that it is used to substitute with an­other aircraft for the safety of the passengers if the regular one has the minor aircraft problems such as oil leakage and flat tyre, etc.

Myanmar Airway reduces the cost of Yangon-Sittwe air tickets. The cost of ticket for ATR-72 aircraft is Ks. 56,000 per person and Ks. 63,000 for Embraer-190 aircraft.

Source: The Traveller Journal

Press Meet for permitting Entry into and Departure from Myanmar to Myanmar-Thai citizens and Third country citizens

Union Minister of Immi­gration and Population, U Khin Yi, Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism, U Htay Aung, Kayin State Security and Border Affairs Minister Col Aung lwin, Kayin State Transport Minister U Khin Maung Myint , Kayin State Social Welfare Minister U Chit Hlaing attended a press meet on launching of the permission to enter and depart from Myanmar for Myanmar-Thai citizens and third country citizens at Ayechanphyo Hall in Myawaddy, on 28th August.

The media persons and locals asked the government officials about the visa on arrival, the permission to take the foreigners’ vehi­cles across the border, the permission for Myanmar nationals who depart from the Airport with passport to enter Myanmar through the border checkpoints, the opening and closing hour of Thai-Myawaddy Friend­ship Bridge will be changed or not, and at present,  Myawaddy locals hold one day Border Pass and one year Border Pass and it is allowed to enter Myanmar with these Border Pass by taking Nok Air line from Mae-Sot or not, etc.

The government officials replied the queries that Myanmar allows entry and exit of tourists with six visas. Myanmar also shares with five neighbouring countries and has (16) border check points. Now, the visitors are allowed to visit any place freely except restricted ar­eas and Myanmar nationals who have identity cards can enter Myanmar with entry visa. But the foreigners are not permitted to overland with vehicles at present as Myanmar is right-hand traffic country and the neighbouring countries are left-hand traffic. Myawaddy locals, holding temporary border passes could not take the flight. And the officials expound on the parameters of the new reg­ulation to the audiences.

REF: M YANMAR A LIN, 30-8-2013

Joint venture between ANA and Asian Wings coming at the end of this year

Japan based ANA airline and local based Asian Wings airline will undertake to complete in partnership at the end of this year, said Asian Wings managing director.

Currently, the process to get permission from Aviation Departments from counterpart countries is carried on. To sign MoU will be hoped at the ending days of this year, said Managing Director U Lwin Moe.

In the text of collabora­tion, ANA owns 49% share and the rest 51% will be for Asian Wings among the whole share, said Chief Executive of Asian Wings U Kyi Win.

Asian Wings will be the very first local airline owned by private to cooperate with interna­tional airline. The flight schedules will be started in October, 2014, added U Lwin Moe.

In spite of the announce­ment of ANA to invest US $ 20 million, Asian Wings has officially spoken out nothing about investment yet.

At present time, Asian Wings plies to 15 destina­tions with three ATR-72 airplanes in local.

In accord with the pre- discussion between ANA and Asian Wings, the associated airline will strengthen to ten airplanes with Air Bus A 320.

Japan based ANA airline flies thrice per week to Myanmar following maiden flight for daily schedule as of 30 September.

7DAY DAILY (29.8.13)

Source: The Traveller Journal

Open the tour guide training course for Myawaddy

 After the permission to travel from four Myan­mar-Thai border entrances/ exists has effect on 28th  August, it is planned to open the tour guide training courses in Myawaddy.

U HtayAung, Union Minster of Hotels & tourism said: “The tour guide training course will be opening. It takes between 8 weeks and 10 weeks for a course and the trainees are required. The courses are launch­ing in Mogkok. It will be opened in Kayar State soon. Especially, the trainees should be high school graduates. But it is very dif­ficult to get the high school graduate in border areas. So the people who can speak English or Thai are accept­ed.”

It is not allowed legally to bring the foreign tour guides in both Myanmar and ASEAN countries. Only local tour guides have the rights to explain and ac­company with the tourists.

In comparison with Thai­land, Thai Tourism Industry is 20 times of Myanmar’s and it is expected that tour­ist arrivals will be up to two million in this year.

Minister of Security and Border Affairs, Col Aung Lwin, said that the govern­ment is arranging for the convenience of entry and exist of the tourists through Myawaddy border check point and trying to provide the safety and necessary helps for the tourists. The public also need to main­tain the dignity of the state. It is very important to pro­mote the standard of hotels, motels and inns.

REF: DAILY ELEVEN, 30-8-2013

Source: The Traveller Journal

 

 

Sedona Video

CCTV records of High qulity video taken in Sedona Hotel Yangon leaked online, according to printed media as well as online media such as Aye Chan Mon.

Video Link : http://blog.irrawaddy.org/2013/09/blog-post_6362.html

Launching on Thai and other tourists entering through 4 Thai-Myanmar border gates designated as international tour gates

The news has been received that it has kicked off to permit Thai and other tourists to enter from Myawadi, Tharchilake, Kaukthaung and Hteekee border gates allotted with the mutual agreement of Thai and Myanmar as inter­national entry.

Tharchilake-Mae Sai, Myawadi-Mae Sot, Kauk­thaung-Yanaung and Hteekee-Phunaryon border gates which are Thai-Myan­mar border crossings are designated as international border gates.

Myanmar, Thai citizens and third citizens (citizens besides Myanmar and Thai citizens) with visa-on-ar­rival have been allowed to enter since August 28 morning.

“According to the current policy, six visa classifica­tions relating to interna­tional tourists entering country area are allowed. From three international entries at Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay, visa-on-arrival is permitted to 50 countries. But the visa-on-arrival is not let at these four gates. The dis­cussion to increase border areas to visit for tourists with BP.TBP (Border Pass, Temporary Border Pass) within two countries is underway between the two counterparts,” said Union Minister for Immigration, U Khm Yee at the Interna­tional border gates opening ceremony held at Friend­ship bridge in Myawady on 28 morning August.

The tourism industry would be booming speedily as tourists can enter across Kaukthaung borderline and Hteekee borderline in Thanintharyi and Myawady borderline in Kayin State and Tharchilake borderline in Shan State.

“We aim to promote trav­elling between two coun­tries and to arrange the flow of tourists to be easy and smooth,” said Union Minister for hotel and Tourism, U Htay Aung.

In the past, tourists who passed via border line gates were allowed to visit near border line city and neighbouring towns for one day or one week. But tourists passing this newly opened international border gates are let to visit other tourist destinations in Myanmar except restricted areas.

While allowing Thai citizens and third citizens with passport and visa, 28-days is granted for visit-visa and 70-day for work-visa. Fine will have to be paid for visa-expire.

After entering through these gates, visitors can leave from any official tour gates including Yangon, Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay. Those who pass border gates to have visa and passport is a must. The fee will be collected depending on type of visa and duration for stay.

Source: The Traveller Journal

 

 

 

String puppet show held at school function

PAING SIT THWAY MIN

It is learnt that, spon­sored by TOTAL E&P Myanmar company, Thwe-Oo Myanmar Puppet Troupe performed at the Basic Education High School No.3 in Mayangone Township on the occasion of the annual meeting of the school’s parent-teach­er association and the prize-giving ceremony to outstanding students. The performance was hugely appreciated by parents, teachers and students. After the performance, Htait Tan Tin Tin Aye donated its brand mohin­ga (thin fermented rice noodles in fish soup) to all those present on the occasion.

U Thet Khaing, man­aging director, MT&K Tourism Co.Ltd. (Nature and Cultural Odysseys), presented a cash award to Thwe-Oo Myanmar Puppet Troupe.

This opportunity for stu­dents to watch their own traditional Myanmar pup­pet show is a very rare and valuable chance indeed and teachers and parents are grateful to the sponsors for making it happen.

Source: The Traveller Journal

Yangon-Kyaikhto special train introduced for pilgrims to Kyaikhtiyoe Pagoda

MAY MYAT THU

A press briefing on the introduction of the Yan­gon-Kyaikhto-Yangon special express train was held on September 3′ morning at the Sakhantha Hall special guest room at the Yangon Railway Station. The Yangon-Kyaikhto-Yan­gon special express train will begin running on Septem­ber 7th.

U Tun Aung Thin, general manager for Lower Myan­mar of Myanma Railways, said thus: “The Yan­gon-Kyaikhto Down No. 1 train will start operating on September 7th, while the Kyaikhto-Yangon Up No.2 train will run on September 8th. After that, both No.1 and No.2 trains will run respec­tively on Saturdays and Sun­days on a regular basis with six trains. These trains have been introduced to facilitate the visits to Kyaikhtiyoe Pa­goda by both local pilgrims and foreign tourists. We have also arranged with the Kyaikhto bus association so that they could travel from Kyaikhto to Kinpoon Sakhan (way station) at the foot of Kyaikhtiyoe mountain. It is learnt that the one-way fare is Ks.3500 for locals and US$ 10 for foreign nationals.

It is learnt that each train will have five carriages with a seating capacity of 332 passengers. All carriages will have only upper class seats. The trains are RBE P 50.29 (1 Cab) bought from Japan. It is learnt that security mea­sures, especially for the safe­ty of foreign nationals, have been installed and each train will have 13 attendants and engineers.

Source: The Traveller Journal

Opening of border entry points draws more foreign tourists

MIN MIN LAT (MYIT­MAKHA)

It is learnt from the Min­istry of Hotels and Tourism that more foreign tourists visited Myanmar during this year’s tourist season compared to last year.

“1.06 million foreign tourists came in the whole of last year. This year, their number is over 900,000 up till August. So, it is our estimate that the inflow of tourists will surpass the 2 million mark for the whole year. This has come about due to changing political situation. The present situation is now wholly unlike the past. It is also due to the recent government’s decision to allow tourists to enter the country across the border”, said an official from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

An official from Equal Link Travels, a tour com­pany, said that as Asean supporters will probably choose cheaper ways to travel to the South East Asian Games to be held in Myanmar in coming December, they could come via the border gates.

He added thus: “We are preparing to offer tours to Myanmar across the border. They include those who will come in cars and those riding bicycles. These people will comprise a large assortment”

An official from the Myanmar Hoteliers Asso­ciation said in assessment that, in view of the immi­nent large influx of tourists, hotels in Myanmar should prepare themselves for pro­viding excellent service and other facilities, a cut above the old services. He said: “The era of relatives man­ning reception counters is gone. This is the time to give their best services”.

According to statistics is­sued by the Myanmar Hote­liers Association (Mandalay Zone), there are presently 87 hotels, with a combined 3749 hotel rooms in Mandalay zone.

It is learnt that Tachilek, Myawady, Kawthaung and Phaya Thonezu on the border with Thailand are well-known border entry points while Muse, Laukkai and Kunlon on the border with China are less-known border entry points.

Source: The Traveller Journal

Tourist spots in Yangon

MIN MIN THU

The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has designated in 2012 nearly 60 places as tourist sites in Yangon.

There are 19 places to which first priority may be given for visits. They are Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, Kaba Aye Pagoda, Karaweik Hall, Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, National Museum, National Races Village, Botahtaung Pagoda, Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda, Kyaik Maw Wun Yay Lei Pagoda (Kyauk­tan), Thanhlyin Kyauktan, Gems Museum, Twantay, Htaukkyant War Cemetery, Zoological Gardens, Kan­tawgyi, City Hall, Bogyoke Market, China Town,etc.

There are 38 places to which second pri­ority may be given for visits. They are Ah Lein Five-Tier Pagoda, Chan Myei Vipassana, Customs House, Danyingone Golf Course, Dhamma Zawtika Vipassana, High Court, Hlawga Park, Hninzigone Home for the Aged, Immanuel Baptist Church, Independence Monument Pillar, Ayeyarwady Flottila Building, Inya Lake, Kalewa TawyaYeiktha, Kheng/Hock Keong Chinese Temple, Nine-Tier Pagoda, Kyaik­kalei Pagoda, Kyaikkalo Pagoda, Kyaikkasan Pagoda, Kyaikkhauk Pagoda, Maha Patthana Cave, MahaWiz­aya Pagoda, Bogyoke Aung San Museum, Arzani Mausoleum, Myaing Haywun Elephant Camp, Myanma Port Authority, Five-Tier Pagoda, Pun Hlaing Golf Course, People’s Park and Square, St. Mary’s Cathe­dral, The Strand Hotel, Zafar Shah Dargah (Tomb), Replica Tooth Relic Pagoda, U-To Golf Course, Yangon General Hospital, Mai La Mu Pagoda, Mahasi Sasana Yeiktha, etc.

Source: The Traveller Journal

Enjoy Mandalay scenes from a hot air balloon

ZAWJI (MYIT MA KHA)

Oriental Ballooning Myanmar Co. said that hot air balloon tour over Mandalay would begin on Octo­ber 25th  with six balloons.

The six hot air balloons consist of four big balloons and two smaller ones. The big balloons can carry eight persons while the smaller balloons can carry four persons.

Operation manager Daw Ni Ni Khaing of Oriental Ballooning Myanmar Co. said: “These tours have been organized to enable tourists to enjoy Mandalay scenes from up”.

The hot air balloon tours are scheduled to start with Mandalay but, later, they would be extended to Bagan and Inlay.

“We bought 12 hot air balloons. We are currently using only six for the initial tour service. When the rest of our balloons arrive, we will extend the tour service to Bagan and Inlay”, added Daw Ni Ni Khaing.

She said that the pilots are holders of hot air balloon pilot license issued in the United Kingdom and that there is full guarantee of a safe tour.

Oriental Ballooning Myanmar Co. said that fam­ilies and couples could take the hot air balloon rides and that life insurance policies would be taken out for the passengers.

The tours will start daily at dawn and each flight will last between 45 minutes and one hour, depending on the wind direction. The cost of a ride is US$360. “Common Myanmar people would not be able to afford the ride”, said a local resident who was looking forward to riding a hot air balloon.

Source: The Traveller Journal

 

Shwedagon geared for upcoming peak tourist season

MIN MIN THU

Head of office of the Shwedagon Pagoda board of trustees, UWin Kyaing, said that security will be tightened a bit more in preparation for the upcom­ing peak tourist season from October to February.

“Presently, we station about 100 security per­sonnel on the pagoda. These are private security personnel appointed by the board of trustees, not police personnel. We will up security a bit more from the present level for the peak tourist season”, added U Win Kyaing.

U Win Kyaing continued and said that tender bids were invited on 5.6.2013 for the construction of a bridge passageway between the Buddha Exhibition Hall/ Museum and the Pitaka Repositary/Archives but the invitation has been put on hold under instruc­tions from the Ministry of Religious Affairs for design change. However, the con­struction of the lift would be completed before October 1st.

It is learnt that 1000 to 1200 leaflets about the pagoda are being handed out daily and that 18,752 foreign nationals visited the Shwedagon till August 21st averaging about 890 foreign visitors per day.