Myanmar has been named by Lonely Planet as one of the Top 10 countries to visit in 2017.
Indeed, switched-on international travellers are already in Myanmar, often on a river cruise to see the country’s glorious sights, including sky-piercing golden stupas and pagodas, en route between the ancient cities of Bagan and Mandalay.
australiancruisingnews.com notes that another cruise is now in the limelight as the legendary Strand Hotel in Yangon has added The Strand river ship to its portfolio.
It certainly adds a further touch of class to the river scene as the Strand Hotel was built in 1901 by the legendary hoteliers, the Sarkies brothers. No sooner had she opened, than the Strand Hotel became known as “the finest hostelry east of Suez”.
Right now the Strand Hotel is in the final stages of renovations, and due to reopen within weeks, in all her refined grandeur. Overseeing the operations is the vice-president of the Strand Hotel, Olivier Trinquand, who says the building’s total integrity has been retained, with the addition of contemporary touches such as air-conditioning and an up-to-the-minute communications system.
Frenchman Olivier says cocktails in the rattan furnished Sarkies Bar and the hotel’s fine dining room will continue to offer distinctive tastes of Myanmar, while service will hark back to colonial days, with a butler to unpack/pack luggage and iron guests clothing.
Such dedicated service is also found on The Strand river cruise, which carries a maximum of 42 passengers for 4 days on the Ayeyarwady (Irawaddy) River from Bagan to Mandalay (or in the opposite direction).
The Strand cruise has access to private moorings close to landmarks along the river, and a highlight is an exclusive overnight mooring at Ava which allows passengers access to the beautiful temple of Maha Aungmye Bonzan after the crowds leave in the evening. The Strand is also the only river operator to offer visits, on north and south bound itineraries, to the photogenic U-Bein teak bridge, which was built in 1850 across Taungthaman Lake near Amarapura.
The Strand currently offers passengers booking a Superior Suite for a minimum of one night at The Strand Hotel, and a Strand Cabin on The Strand cruise between Bagan and Mandalay, complimentary round-trip domestic flights from Yangon to connect with the cruise, thestrandcruise.com