Monthly Archives: December 2015

Death Railway museum opens 2016

A Death Railway Museum at the site of the World War II-era Death Railway in Thanbyuzayat Township in Myanmar will open in April next year.Global New Light of Myanmar media reported the museum will showcase historic photos connected with the Death Railway, paintings and sculptures and 3D images of the daily life of prisoners of war who died during construction of the railway.It will be very similar in design and content to the death railway museums in Kanchanaburi, Thailand.Artists are putting the finishing touches to silicon statues of Japanese soldiers and prisoners of war, which will be displayed at the two-storey museum.Talamon Company Ltd won the right to build and operate the museum together with a hotel, a restaurant and other tourist facilities on land near Thanbyuzayat. The construction of the museum began in April last year.Hotels have yet to be built.The museum will offer visitors the opportunity to see a coal-fired C-0522 railway engine, which was used on the Death Railway and a memorial to mark where the death railway line originated, the report said.At present the only reminder of the railway is a signpost that states “Myanmar-Thailand-Japanese Death Railway line started here.” An old steam locomotive stands on a short section of track. A damaged statue of a soldier stands in tall grass.During the World War II occupation, the Japanese army forced tens of thousands of prisoners of war from Britain, the Netherlands and Australia, along with many Burmese and other Southeast Asian nationals, to construct a railway connecting Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province with Mon State’s Thanbyuzayat Township.More than 16,000 prisoners of war died during the construction, or about 38 prisoners for every kilometre of the 415-km railway. The death toll was the highest among conscripted labour from Thailand and Myanmar.In Thailand, some reconstructed sections of the railway track at “hell-fire pass”, two museums and a memorial park draw thousands of international visitors.Tala Mon Company is owned by wealthy Mon businessman, Min Banyar San, who controls local public transport through his Tala Mon Bus Company.Mon State is an administrative division of Myanmar sandwiched between Kayin State on the east, the Andaman Sea on the west, Bago Region on the north and Tanintharyi Region on the south, and has a short border with Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province at its southeastern tip.

Source : TTR Weekly

Myanmar tourism expected to increase in post-election period

Minister for Hotels and Tourism U Htay Aung said on Saturday at Yangon’s National Management College that he expects more tourists to visit during the current post-election period, although tourism during December is usually low in Myanmar. He was participating in a discussion on ‘The Development of Tourism in Myanmar and its Potential’, hosted by the college.
Myanmar’s general election was held on 8 November across the country.
“Tourism in Myanmar has been increasing yearly. Not only via airports; they now come in through border gates. In previous years, they didn’t usually visit Myanmar during the December holidays. But this year, during the post-election period, the number of tourists has increased,” said the minister.
Up to November this year, 4.2 million foreign tourists have visited Myanmar, and it this figure is expected to reach 4.7 million by the end of the year.  The number of tourists is expected to reach five million by the end of the 2015-2016 fiscal year on 31 March 2016, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.
“The lowest number of tourists comes during the raining season. But when we develop the northern areas, where there are snow-peaked mountains, and the archipelagos of the south, more tourists will visit all year round.  The government, the private sector and the public must participate in these efforts, which will boost incomes for everyone,” added the minister.
The rise in the number of tourists in recent years has also been facilitated by more accessible visas and the opening of border gates.—Zaw Gyi (Panita)

Source : Global News Light of Myanmar