OTBT serves up terrific coffee – and unseen destinations

Su Lei Aung

Off the Beaten Track Café (OTBT), located in Kandawgyi Natural Park, is a breath of fresh air in Yangon’s coffee scene with its extensive menu featuring more than 100 options of European and Asian cuisine. 

OTBT grilled chicken, country-style chicken curry, and Singaporean fried shrimp are some of the must-try dishes costing betweenKs 1,000 (US$1) and Ks 8,000 (US$8). Other specialitiesincludelaphet salad (pickled tea leaf salad), spring rolls and fish head soup.

The café’s gazebo-style layout evokes a wonderfully relaxed tropical beach vibe, with a small beach bungalow as its centrepiece. Each gazebo is named after some of the lesser-known destinations in Myanmar such as Putao, Bhamo, Katha, Mawlamyaing, Hpa-an, Monywa, Lashio and Thibaw.

With his 20 years’ experience in tourism, OTBT founder Nay Linn Htikehas a real knack for creating a niche for himself, positioning OTBT as a travel café that serves not only coffee but a wealth of information about various tourist destinations in his country, as well.

“While it is true that Myanmar is experiencing a tourism boom, the tourism revenue mostly flows into the five popular destinations. The income for the rest is not all that much. I want the revenue to be evenly spread across all destinations. That’s why the gazebos carry these names. I hope the visitors will become better informed of these lesser-known places that are worthy of a visit in their own rights,” he says.

He adds that OTBT is designed as a hangout for both coffee lovers and travellers, a place where they can while away the hours sipping their favourite cup of coffee while discussing their adventures in Myanmar with friends or discovering new unseen destinations with a helping hand from the café’s friendly staff. OTBT runs catering and other services for special occasions from birthday to wedding parties.