Category Archives: Myanmar

The best of two worlds at Savoy Hotel Yangon

2017c Savoy Hotel

Savoy Hotel Yangon    –    original watercolor by Ginda Simpson

Savoy Hotel Yangon
129, Dhammazedi Road
Yangon, Myanmar
+95 1 526-289
http://www.savoy-myanmar.com
reservations@savoy-myanmar.com

Nearly everything pales to the experience of visiting Shwedagon, Yangon’s most cherished Buddhist Pagoda that glitters in the sunlight and dazzles one’s very soul. So afterwards, we slowly make our way back to our hotel, where we lounge poolside in a garden-like setting. I have ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc from Aythaya Vineyards, Myanmar’s nascent wine industry on the slopes of the Taunggyi Mountains in the Shan State. Its crisp, fruity bouquet suits my idle mood. I close my eyes and breathe in the stillness, punctuated only by a splash in the pool and the caw of crows as they swoop among the tall trees perhaps declaring their territorial rights. Who can blame them? There is the hum of traffic – not far from where I sit, but seemingly worlds away.

Hotel Savoy is a colonial-style hotel that easily transports its guests to a by-gone era, when life was unhurried. It is an intimate hotel with 24 light-filled, spacious rooms and six suites, tastefully decorated in Myanmar style, with teak furnishings, fine linens and weavings, with here and there beautifully arranged antiques, paintings and wood-carvings that reflect the culture.

Later in the evening, we dine at Kipling’s Restaurant known for its Green Pan Asian Cuisine as developed by Florian Eberhardt, chef extraordinaire who brings with him worlds of experience. The cuisine is light, using the freshest organic ingredients to be found in the Shan State while going moderate in its use of sugar, salt, butter and cream. The lightness of the dishes allows diners to experience the full, distinct flavors of the herbs and spices that make the food so satisfying and memorable. We start with Shwe Taung Khauk Swe, Golden Mountain noodles with chicken in a creamy coconut soup, bursting with flavor. We sample the Burmese lamb curry and vegetables, savoring the aroma of cumin, turmeric and shallots that steam up from its terracotta pot. The steamed bass is an offering fit for a temple – bathed in spinach with lotus seeds, lemongrass, ginger and Yamasa soy. We could be no place else but in Asia, and there is no place else we would rather be at this moment!

copyright Ginda Simpson – http://www.rooms-withaview.comhttp://www.gindasimpson.com

Advertisements

A Warm Welcome at Mandalay’s Eastern Palace Hotel

2017c Eastern Palace Hotel

View from my room at the Eastern Palace Hotel  –  original watercolor by Ginda Simpson

Eastern Palace Hotel
66A, 19 St.
Mandalay, 100101
Myanmar
+95-261-016
http://www.easternpalacehotels.com
reservations@easternpalacehotels.com

A welcome haven to the weary business or leisure traveler, the Eastern Palace Hotel is located several kilometers to the east of the Old City walls and its picturesque moat. After over 24 hours of travel, we were welcomed by the cheerful smiles of its staff at reception and then in their restaurant. Their menu offered a variety of continental and Asian choices, for either light dining or appetite-satisfying meals. We chose two Asian specialties, both generous portions of tasty vegetarian and meat and rice dishes.

Our room was bright, well-equipped, lacking nothing but comfort and rest. Too keyed up to sleep, I wandered to the rooftop terrace to enjoy the view over Mandalay, then back down to ground level where I was tempted to dip into their sparkling swimming pool. Finally I settled on a visit to their Pa Dau Spa and what a good decision that was! I opted to be pampered by one of their treatments. Metu, with her strong hands and gentle spirit, treated me to an invigorating yet relaxing 60-minute foot massage, while I sipped hot ginger tea and dreamed of Mandalay – my introduction to the Golden Land of Myanmar. She spent the final ten minutes kneading the tightness from my shoulders and back, preparing me for rest before taking on the vitality of the busy neighborhood outside our hotel.

We did attempt a short walk, but were too overwhelmed with fatigue to combat the chaos that awaited us during the early evening rush hour. Motorcycles, cars and trucks whizzed by us without pause, as we stood trying to get up the courage and the speed it was going to take to cross the street. Finally we simply asked two locals to accompany us and with genuine smiles they did just that, seeing us safely across the road. Oh, how we are going to like our Burmese sojourn! Oh, how we loved the retreat that the Eastern Palace Hotel offers!

copyright Ginda Simpson – http://www.rooms-withaview.comhttp://www.gindasimpson.com