Published on December 8, 2014
Nay Pyi Daw
Myanmar’s capital was officially moved from Yangon to a green-field site in 2005. A decade later, it has turned into a fully-fledged capital, Nay Pyi Daw. The city offers a modern face with impressive State structures such as the Assembly of the Union Hall, the Presidential Palace, the City Hall and various ministries. Some traditional markets, the Uppatasanti Pagoda – constructed in the style of Yangon Shwedagon Pagoda – some museums and a zoo are a few of the attractions offered by the city. Nay Pyi Daw is linked to Yangon and Mandalay by the only existing highway in Myanmar, while the international airport has direct flights to Myanmar’s main cities as well as to Bangkok. Nay Pyi Daw is divided in zones of activity, including a hotel zone with a dozen properties. Two conference and exhibition centres are available in the capital, the Myanmar International Convention Centre (MICC) and the Maniradana Jade Emporium Hall located next to the Gems Museum.
Myanmar’s historical capital, Yangon, is the best equipped to receive MICE events as it offers many international first class and deluxe hotels, fine restaurants and good air transport connections. Yangon also has many historical sights and attractions for visitors to discover. The city’s beautiful old-style architecture and impressive colonial structures reflect the grandeur of old Rangoon decades ago. The waterfront along the Irrawaddy River is symbolic of Yangon’s past opulence. MICE visitors will not only find beautiful hotels but also many historical places to host a prestigious event, such as the City Hall or the former railways administration building (currently being redeveloped as a deluxe hotel). It might take time to obtain permission but patience can pay off! With tourism booming, Yangon suffers now with hotel under-capacity. Hence MICE events should be oriented to small or medium size conferences to secure accommodation. There are two conference and exhibition halls in the city, the Tatmadaw Exhibition Hall and the Myanmar Convention Centre Yangon.
A premier archaeological site with some 2,000 stupas and temples stretching for kilometres over as vast plain, Bagan is one of the most spectacular historical sites in Southeast Asia. However, limited infrastructure can only accommodate small MICE groups of 100 to 200 people. Bagan has a couple of international standard first class and luxury properties such as the Aureum Palace Hotel and Resort, a beautiful hotel with 114 rooms and conference facilities in the nearby Aureum Tower. It offers unparalleled views over the archaeological zone. Two beautiful boutique properties, the Bagan lodge with 85 rooms and the Hotel @ Tharabar Gate with 82 rooms, are excellent alternatives.
Myanmar’s second largest city has been an important trading place for gems, wood and agricultural products for 150 years. Mandalay offers a limited number of historical attractions within the city limits but it is an easy gateway to explore ancient cities and old temples in its surroundings. The Sedona Hotel and the Mandalay Hill Resort are two international five star properties providing excellent facilities in the heart of the historical town near to the old royal palace. Both offer facilities for MICE events with conference halls, meeting rooms and private function spaces. An hour and a half away from Mandalay, the old hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin (formerly Maymyo) has a few luxury hotels in old colonial buildings able to accommodate small incentive groups or conference delegates.