16 Mar Getting away
Thandaung Gyi, a picturesque hill station off the tourist trail
|A chance for a quiet sojourn - Thandaung Gyi. Photo: Aurelia Rusek|
Near the top of the Dawparkho mountain range in Kayin State, at the end of a road that runs east from Taungoo is Thandaung Gyi, one of the less well known of the hill stations established during British colonial rule.
|Sunset on the beach in the Myeik archipelago. Photo: AX|
In conjunction with an invitation to attend the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Nay Pyi Taw at the end of January, I decided to take a long-awaited and planned overland trip to southern Myanmar to explore and survey a “Buddha Land” region with a myriad of golden glittering pagodas.
Hpa-an Lodge is a welcome addition to the somewhat limited dining options in the Kayin State capital. There are a number of tea shops and some excellent Thai restaurants on the main road leading to the centre of Hpa-an, but there were just about zero options for upscale restaurants until the Lodge opened last year.
Like many of the weekend getaway spots that seem deceptively close to Yangon on a map, a trip to Hpa-an takes longer than you might want for a weekend getaway from the commercial capital. A visit to the Kayin State capital is better suited to a holiday weekend, when you can leave work early on Friday.
|Bagan remains the jewel in the crown of tourism attractions in Myanmar. Tourists visit a temple in Bagan. Photo: Mizzima|
Bagan has been pushed to second place by Luang Prabang in this year’s ranking by a magazine of the world’s top city tourist destinations, according to Wanderlust Travel Magazine.