Myanmar citizens are taking opportunity of the long public holiday from 29 December to 1 January, a merger between new year’s and December school break, to give in to their travel fever.
Mandalay invites pilgrims and jacket lovers
Many people are travelling to Mandalay on their long holiday to visit holy sites, pagodas and a taste of the cold winter air rare to lower Myanmar.
Min Min Oo, on break with friends from Yangon, said this is an excellent opportunity for them to visit holy pagodas and the cultural history of Mandalay.
“We work in a textile factory in Hlinethaya Township. We arrived here in Mandalay yesterday morning,” said Min Min Oo. “We were welcomed by the cool weather here. We’ve visited Mahamuni Pagoda and Mandalay Hill. We’re visiting Kuthodaw Pagoda now and plan to go to the flower festival in Maymyo (PyinOoLwin) tomorrow.”
Daw Tin Tin Aye, a fellow Yangonite, is together with her family in Mandalay. “Both my children and grandchildren are free to travel together. It’s been 5 years since I’ve been to Mandalay. There has been a lot of changes and development,” she said.
U Than Hla form Pathein also agreed that the long public holiday allowed he and his family to visit Mandalay’s prominent landmarks such as Shwenandaw Monastery and U Bein Bridge.
Nay Pyi Taw’s pagodas, recreation areas attract visitors
Civil servants, students and the general public are also heading to Nay Pyi Taw during the long holiday. An official from the capital city’s National Landmark Garden said the number of visitors has increased during the public break.
“We’ve had a lot of visitors since before Christmas. There were over 1,300 local visitors and 20 foreigners visiting the garden on 29 December,” said Daw Khin Nan Soe from the garden’s service department. She added that visitors can enter National Landmark Garden with their private cars, after paying the entrance fee, and spend the entire day relaxing with friends and families.
Daw Yupan, a high school teacher from Meiktila, is visiting National Landmark Garden with her family. She said the 4-day holiday allows her time to travel with her family and to unwind from the usual daily life.
Another popular destination is the Defence Services Museum, where Maung Pyae Mauk San, a fifth grader from Kyaung Ye model Village in Lewe Tsp on a school excursion, said he would like to pilot one of the aircrafts displayed at the museum one day.
Nay Pyi Taw also attracted pilgrims to religious sites such Uppatasanti Pagoda, Buddha Gaya, Maha Thatkya Yanthi Pagoda, and Dartuzeya Datpaungsu Pagoda, while tourists visited Ngalike elephant camp and the local zoological gardens. —Min Htet Aung (sub-printing house), Zaw Myo (Translated by Zaw Htet Oo)