4.5m tourists expected this year

Tourist arrivals are expected to exceed 4.5 million this year despite recent disasters, Vice-President Nyan Tun said in his opening address at the World Tourism Day event held at the MICC-2 in Nay Pyi Taw.

Last year, 3.08 million tourists arrived, generating US$1.5 billion or 30 per cent of the service-sector income. Travel and tourism was the world's fourth largest industry after oil, chemical products and food, he said.

Mingun entrance fee to increase for foreigners

MANDALAY—The entrance fee for foreign visitors to the Mingun area in Sagaing Region will increase from Ks 3,000 to Ks 5,000 on October 1.

 “The Archeology Research Department currently collects an entrance fee of Ks 3000 from each foreign visitor. The department hands over the fees to the Sagaing Region Government Committee.  Under the new programme to begin on October 1, the staff of a tender-winning company chosen by the Region Government Committee will collect the entrance fee,” said a security officer in the Mingun area.

Tourist arrivals hit 3 million

Three million tourists arrived in Myanmar by the end of August, the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism told the Myanmar Global Investment Forum in Nay Pyi Taw.

“We’re expecting to see up to 5 million tourists by the end of the year,” said Khin Than Win, the ministry’s director.

Around 792,000 tourists entered Myanmar in 2010, 816,000 in 2011, 1 million in 2012, 2 million in 2013 and 3 million last year.

International tourists allowed to visit the Myeik archipelago for a day trip

MYEIK- International tourists have been allowed to visit the archipelagos in Myeik Township, Tanintharyi Region, as a day trip, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

In the past, there were restrictions on the visit of Myeik’s archipelago. As for international tourists, they have no chance to visit those islands in Myeik Township.

Luxembourg to invest in tourism

YANGON – The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism says it is working with Luxembourg to invest US$5.7 million in the development of human resources within the tourism industry.

A delegation from Luxembourg has conducted field trips in Bagan, Yangon and Nay Pyi Taw to develop human resource training in the private sector and at universities.

The ministry said there were more than 800,000 jobs in the tourist sector with the potential to reach about 3 million.

A crowd-free pilgrimage to Kyaikhtiyo

The Golden Rock is perched precariously on the cliff edge. (Photo – EMG)

The Kyaikhtiyo Pagoda, or the Golden Rock, in Mon State is one of the most popular places of pilgrimage among local and foreign visitors. Despite its all-season accessibility, tourists tend to come here during the summer and winter.

We set out on our journey to the pagoda one early morning. As we passed through the sleepy town of Kyaikhto, I still was half asleep and half awake, but could see the road lined with endless rows of rubber plantations. The Kinpun base camp had sprung into life when we arrived.

Where the golden spires rule

An ancient temple in Myingun closely resembles the Ananda Temple in Bagan. (Photo – EMG)

Magway Region is home to many ancient pagodas and temples on the banks of Ayeyawady River. These Bagan-style structures can be found in three areas: Salay town(famous for its Salay Yokesonekyaung Monastery), Salay area in Yenanchaung Township, and Myingun town in Magway Township. 

During my recent trip to Myingun, I visited ancient ‘cave’ temples that look like those in Bagan, and especially the cave where Shin Izza Gawna is said to have forged a philosopher’s stone, and the 100 Pillars Monastery.

The neon glare of Nyaung Shwe

From Nyaung Shwe’s main dock, it’s a short boat ride to Inle Lake. (Photo - EMG)

On one humid night delegates from civil society organisations across Southeast Asia were celebrating the end of a conference at a posh big hotel in Nyaung Shwe on the edge of Inle Lake. The boisterous party dragged on way past 10pm. Lights from the hotel’s rooftop illuminated the small town.