Monthly Archives: April 2017

Hard Rock Cafe Opens First Location in Myanmar

Myanmar’s prominent rocker Zaw Win Htut (Right) is present at the opening of Hard Rock Cafe where his leather jacket is displayed.

Hard Rock Café, opened its first café in Myanmar on 27th April 2017 at the Myanmar Plaza in Yangon, continuing its expansion worldwide.
The 853 square-meter, state-of-the-art cafe highlights Hard Rock’s new design style and latest technology.
“Hard Rock Cafe has been looking forward to opening its first cafe in Myanmar and we could not have asked for a better destination to showcase the Hard Rock Cafe Yangon experience” said Steve Yang, Area Vice President Asia Pacific Hard Rock International. “We look forward to becoming a must-see venue for locals and visitors alike. We would like to congratulate our local franchise partners at MGS Resort and Entertainment Ltd, on this historic occasion”.
Hard Rock Cafe is located on the fourth floor roof-top of the Myanmar Plaza, this mall location is adjacent to the iconic Inya lake and positioned between two of the city’s newest hotels: Sedona & Melia Hotel. The cafe will seat indoor 192 guests, featuring a large feature bar, a VIP dining room and a custom built karaoke room.
Hard Rock Cafe also boasts a live indoor entertainment stage that will feature the best live music and Dj’s in Myanmar.
The Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Malcolm Young, alongside contemporary artists such as Lady Gaga & Eminem. Additionally, Hard Rock Cafe Yangon will feature and display local Myanmar artist memorabilia from well known, respected musicians such as Htoo Eain Thin and Zaw Win Htut.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Ayeyawady dolphin found dead with tail chopped off


An Ayeyawady Dolphin was found dead with tail chopped off floating in the Ayeyawady River in Singu Township on 28th April.
The 6-ft long body of the dolphin was washed up on the shore of the river near Myitkangyi Village by a villager.
“We have already informed the death of the dolphin to a local Fisheries Department,” said U Maung Maug Lay
who found the fish.
The dwindling numbers of Ayeyawady dolphins, which are facing extinction, is attributed to electrocution fishing and becoming trapped in fishing nets.
A total of 72 dolphins were counted in 2011 and 2014, whereas only 60 dolphins were found in previous years.
According to 2016 February data, there were 65 dolphins in Mandalay and Bhamo towns, three died within 2016.
Ayeyawady dolphins can be found in rivers, lakes and seas across southern Asia, from the northwest Bay of Bengal, in India, to the south of Indonesia.
On this stretch of river in Myanmar the animals have developed a deep bond with local fishermen, who they work with in a generations-old partnership that has become the stuff of local folklore.
With careful choreography, locals call the animals using a throaty purr, splashing their oars and tapping on the side of the boat.
The dolphins signal they are ready to begin with a flick of a fin, before driving the fish towards the fishermen’s boats where they are scooped up by waiting nets.

Aung Thant Khaing

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Myanmar registers more tourist arrivals


The first two months of this year have witnessed an influx of tourists to Myanmar. Photo – Staff

Tourists coming to Myanmar during the first two months of this year have increased by 22 percent over the same period of last year, according to the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism.

“We got more than 600,000 international visitors at the end of February, the number of which was greater than the same period in 2016,” U Myint Htwe, director from the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism told The Myanmar Times.

However, the overall tourist arrivals last year were only 2.9 million, a decline of 38pc in comparison to the 4.68 million visitors in 2015, according to a new system of collecting data by the ministry, which did not include day trippers with border passes.

“The previous system counted visitors coming through international border checkpoints. But this year’s figures were systematically categorized into tourists, business travelers, day trippers,” according to U Ohn Maung, Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism, who made this comment at the recently held ASEAN Tourism Forum in Singapore.

“However, the overall tourism outlooks are very good, despite the 38pc decline due to a different way of counting foreign visitors,” Ma Hnin Hlwar Kyaw Win, sales manager from Myanmar Tourism Services Company told The Myanmar Times. She said that few visitors to Myanmar are coming from Russia and Japan but tourists from other countries have increased.

Source : Myanmar Times

Environment-friendly development projects

With Myanmar being one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, all development projects must take climate change into account, the union government said.

Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation Minister U Ohn Win said development projects must adapt and be resilient to cope with climate change.

“In reality, we are facing more adverse effects of climate change. It is necessary to have projects that can adapt and be able to withstand the changes in weather.

“This has to be the practice at all levels,” he said at the Final Report Workshop on National Climate Change Policy held in Nay Pyi Taw on April 26.

Climate change due to global warming has brought disasters such as droughts, floods, El Nino and La Nina.

Developing countries like Myanmar suffer more when such disasters hit.

U Ohn Win said Myanmar would be hit with damaged crops, food scarcity and disease outbreaks when natural disasters happened.

“Climate change adaptation and resilience is an important national agenda.

“Considering how the poor will suffer more, we have to take measures to mitigate the adverse impact,” the union minister said.

U Ohn Win said Myanmar had low carbon emission but this would change as the country developed and become urbanised.
“Carbon emission will increase due to growth in the industries, energy and transportation sectors,” he said.

He said the strategy and work program (2016-30) is being drafted to reduce carbon emission.

The discussions for that program have started with the help of UK-based experts since December 2016.

“The policy was drafted after holding national level workshops with the participation of regional and state ministers for environmental conservation, respective union ministries, NGOs and related parties from the private sector and international organisations, it is learnt.

Based on the suggestions made in this last workshop, the policy will be finalised and submitted to the higher authorities,” said the minister.

Myanmar has been cooperating with the international community to respond to climate change impact.

Myanmar is a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and 1997 Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

The country has also ratified the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The government was preparing the documents to submit to the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw.

Translation by Zaw Nyunt

Source : Myanmar Times

Myanma Railways to have separate rail lines for city and highway circular trains


Two locomotives on railway lines at a rural railway station.

Myanma Railways will have separate railroads for Yangon city circular trains and highway ones, said an official from Myanma Railways.
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will provide both technical and financial assistance for upgrading the railway system.
In 2016, Japan provided a low-interest loan of 25 billion yen (Ks310.25 billion) for improving the Yangon City circular train. Currently, Myanma Railways is constructing brick walls and installing signal system at railway crossings.
Myanma Railways also invited tenders for implementation of 10 projects including upgrading of Yangon circular railway.200

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Water festival to help boost tourism


Foreigners participate in the Thingyan water festival in Yangon. Photo – Staff

The traditional Myanmar Thingyan Water Festival this year will be something special, says U Myo Yi, chair of Myanmar Tourism Entrepreneurs Association (Mandalay Zone).

“On display will be Myanmar’s traditional cultural dances, music and food,” he said.

Speaking on March 28, he added that this year, the water festival will be held, for the first time, in the southern part of Mandalay City’s palace moat.

“We will make it a truly traditional affair with dance performances and musicians who will capture the heart and spirit of Myanmar culture,” he said.

This year’s traditional Thingyan will be jointly organised with the cooperation of hotel and tourism entrepreneurs, who are members of Hotels and Tourism Entrepreneurs Association.

Also part of the organising team will be tourist guides and the restaurant association (Mandalay Zone) and will contain ethnic traditional pandals, as well as Sadudita (distribution of free food to anyone).

U Min Naing, chair of Hotel Entrepreneurs Association (Mandalay Zone), added that there will be entertainment provided by pandals located from 67th Street to 69th Street at the southern part of the moat.

He added that the free food distribution will be carried out throughout the four days of the festival.

“Everybody can take part in the water festivities at the pandals. But alcohol will be strictly banned. We will also provide bowls and water pipes for foreigners to splash water on those around them. We also put Thabyay (Eugenia) sprigs in the water bowls.” he said.

The reason of holding Myanmar traditional culture walking-style Thingyan festival is to improve and to develop the tourism industry and for the tourists to enjoy and see the festival, he said.

U Min Naing said, “We are trying to promote tourism and culture through the traditional Thingyan festival. We will showcase Myanmar tradition in a systematic and organised manner for the world to see and understand.”

There will also be a singing contest open to all participants with no age limits. And the winners will walk away with prize money from K1 million to K3 million, said U Myo Yi.

“Everybody can compete. The people can get the forms at the Myanmar Tourism Association at 68th Street between 27th and 26th streets. Professional singers will not be allowed to take part, though. We welcome amateurs. And there will be 10 Thingyan songs that the participants have to sing and compete,” he said.

Translation by Khine Thazin Han

Source : Myanmar Times