The Strand, Yangon
Once considered to be the best Establishment East of Suez the Grand Old Dame that is the Strand Hotel sits like an Ocean Liner in the Old Colonial Heart of Yangon.
Facing the River The Strand is the prefect base for exploring the Old Town of Yangon. Grandly Decaying Old Colonial architectural masterpieces crowd the Old town which is a regular grid of large boulevards and small side streets littered with mosques, Galleries, upscale Bars and restaurants and adjoins the old warehouse art district. We explored the most is an easy walking area which covers Colonial Masterpieces such as the Old Customs house, the High court and Main Post office.The north west corner is pinned on the 2000 year old Sule Pagoda, the north east by the Ministers Office and the south by the Strand itself. The Strand Hotel's walking map really covers the places of interest well but we did our best to sniff out some new blood in the area.
Several Galleries are to hand selling mainly tourist Art but in among them are some serious spaces such as the Myanmar Deitta, a space specialising in documentary style Photography as a gallery and resource Centre for Burmese and International photographers. In the warehouse district TS1 Yangon is also worth a visit.
Walking at night in the old town seemed to be pretty safe but it certainly bemused the locals as most westerners move form place to place in SUVs or TOUR busses and are seldom seen on the streets. The evening is great to see the local street life, markets, food, and the clash of cultures already impinging on local life. For instance a strategically placed KFC beside a Hindu temple.
The Old town seems to be ethnically Indian and Bangladeshi which is a hang over from British re colonisation after WWII they bought fighting and support units from the Raj as well as servants and hangers on. This makes for quite a cultural mix in the Old Town.
its worthwhile venturing further afield to the warehouse district which is very up and coming and also to the old Pegu Club. A truly crumbling legacy of the old Empire.
its beside the Pegu bus stop some ways form the old town and technically off limits however one can just tlak in at your own risk, if you are lucky.
Across the river from the Strand itself via the main ferry is Dala, home to many of the workers of the city itself, its a real step back into non urban life. Dalais a crowded sprawling village with very few of the amenities of the big city across the river, but bike tours and easy access to the countryside make it a great place to visit.
For night life (such as it is, there seems to be a ten pm curfew) the city has been blessed with a very enterprising crew called below57 who are responsible for several restaurants/bars in walking distance. We heartily recommend Gekko (Japanese food and sake bar, with live music on occasion), TinTin Mexican food and cocktails and the Union Bar, western food.
The Strand itself offers an island of tranquility, some where to retreat to and travel down memory lane in the House Bar, famous for its tall stories from bygone eras.
The Cafe and Breakfast / brunch restaurant has great eggs Benedict and a Strand traditional Burmese, slightly spicy, breakfast dish, Very delicious!
The All Suite hotel has spacious rooms and a feel of Older times. The Grand old Dame does have some wrinkles (im not a huge fan of the brown on brown colour scheme) but she does provide a truly unique experience. More like a members club than a hotel. Blandine the Elegant and Charming GM was more of a Hostess of a Party at a Grand Country House than the normal back room general managers you often meet!
We are looking forward to revisiting next year after the planned renovations to see how the Old Lady's facelift looks!
This story was shot on film!
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#hotel #Yangon #Burma #unique #travel #interiors
The Excellent breakfast
Our two favourites
The Strand Bar
The Spa entrance
Junior Suite Detail
The River Gallery Annex
The Strand Fine Dinning restauarant
The Penthouse Suite
A Proper In Room bar selection!
The Strand Shop
The Old Town
The Old Post office
often full of Red Cross expats form next door
Red Cross Lobby
Myanmar Deitta Gallery
Photographic gallery and documentary resource centre
the ferry to Dala
Indian Ambassadors Residence