Monthly Archives: August 2017

Yangon city railway upgrade in October

Two locomotives on railway lines near a rural railway station.  Photo: Phoe Khwar

The upgrading project for the Yangon circular train will be implemented on 1 October at a cost of over US$300 million, according to the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
The upgrade will increase comfort and safety and is scheduled to be completed in 2022, said an official from Myanmar Railway, which operates under the Ministry of Transport and Communications.
U Thurain Win, Managing Director of Myanmar Railway, said it is possible the project could be completed before 2022, but the finishing date was chosen in case there are difficulties.
The total cost for the project will be $301.29 million, with $94.76 million from Myanmar and $206.53 million in loans from a Japan fund.
The Myanmar Railway will use the national fund of $94.76 million for work upgrading stations, repairing railway, over-passes bridges and fences for platforms. The loans from Japan will be used to buy new diesels, train coaches and alarms for 25 car-crossing locations along the railway.
While upgrading the railway, people will not be faced with difficulties, officials said. Routes will run normally, with the work done mainly in the afternoon when there are fewer travellers, said U Tun Aung Lin, general manager of Myanmar Railway (lower Myanmar).
Upgrading for the east part 1 through Danyingone station to Paywet Sate Kone station, a distance of 7.25 miles, will be done from 1 October to 31 January 2018. For the east part 2 from Paywet Sate Kone station to Yangon (Pazundaung), a distance of 8.5 miles, the work will be done from 1 February 2018 to 31 May 2018.
For the west part 1 of Danyingone-Insein (3.75 miles) the work will be from 1 October to 31 December 2018. For the west part 2 of Insein-Kyimyindine (5.5 miles), the work will be performed from 1 January 2018 to 31 March 2019. For west part 3 of Kyimyindine-Yangon (2.75 miles) the work will be done from 1 April 2019 to 31 May 2019.
It currently takes about three hours for a passenger to ride the full circuit of the circular train, but this will be reduced by about one hour after the upgrade, officials said.
The upgrade will increase efficiency, and the new coaches will replace aging, dirty coaches.
“We want the trains to be on time. As for good loaders and vendors, they need to throw their trash away systematically”, said a train passenger.
There are 2.5 million passengers who commute daily in the Yangon Region, with most of the people depending on cars. But about 90,000 per day use the train.
The Myanmar Railway said they will try to increase train passengers from 90,000 to 263,000 by 2022. The current speed of the train is 15 kilometers per hour. In 2022, the speed of the train is expected to be 26 kilometers per hour for normal travel and 60 kilometers per hour for fast travel, said the Myanmar Railway.
The railway is 46 kilometers long, with 38 stations and 25 train coaches run in daily routes.

Ko Moe

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

All Chindwin River ferries to resume service

Ferries mooring on the Chindwin River in Sagaing Region. Photo: Win Oo (Zayar Tine)







Water transport along the Chindwin River in Sagaing Region will resume today after suspending operations for nine days due to flooding. “Water vessels, including cargo vessels and passenger vessels, will resume service going from Hkamti, Homalin and Nant Taw townships in the upper part of the Chindwin River to Monywa starting from 24 August. Upstream transportation from Monywa to other upper regions will resume 25 August,” said an officials from Monywa town private vessels plying committee. Approximately 544 cargo vessels and 124 high-speed passenger vessels regularly ply the Chindwin River.

 Win Oo (ZayarTine)  

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Two water taxis delivered to Nan Thidar Port in Yangon

Water Taxi

Yangon Water Bus seen at Nan Thida Jetty.  Photo: Thant Zin win


Two water taxis which will serve Yangon River routes arrived at Ahlone International Port Teminal-1 on 15 August and are docked at Pansodan (Nan Thidar port), according to a report in the Myawady Daily.
The Australian-import water buses will official launch from Yangon Water Bus jetty, said Daw Tint Tint Lwin, the chairperson of Tint Tint Myanmar Company.
The vessels will run between Hlaingthaya, Insein and Botahtaung, initially, with stops near Insein bridge, Bayintnaung bridge, FMI housing estate, Hlaing Station street, Kyimyindaing (Zaygyi bridge, Latha (Lanthit bridge), Pansodan (Nan Thida) and Botahtaung (Pontoon bridge No.4). The water taxi fare is Ks500 for longer distances and Ks300 for short trips.

Thant Zin Win

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

MNA plans to fly more international routes


Photo: Myanmar National Airlines

Myanmar National Airline (MNA) is preparing to expand its international network and currently prepping to fly to Chengdu, China, said U Than Tun, Chief Executive Officer of MNA. MNA flies to 26 domestic destinations, and international routes including Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Gaya.
“Our airline is trying to keep up with international airlines flying between international airports of Myanmar since we are the oldest airline in the country,” said U Than Tun. “MNA has the most extensive route network within our country.”

By Ko Moe

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Authorities race to save more mural paintings in Bagan before heavy rains

Pilgrims visit the famous Sulamani pagoda in Bagan on August 6. Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times

Experts are rushing to restore more mural paintings in over 50 pagodas which were damaged by earthquake a year ago before heavy rains start next month, an officer from the archeology department in Bagan told The Myanmar Times.

There were many mural paintings in 152 pagodas in Bagan that were damaged by the earthquake but the experts are focusing on the mural paintings in 52 pagodas that have suffered the worst damage, according to U Kyi Lin, staff officer of archaeology department in Bagan.

“We first worked on the mural paintings that fall from the walls of pagodas and we already finished emergency maintenance,” he said, adding they are now working on the contiguous walls that are about to collapse.

Experts are now repairing the mural paintings in No.1580 Law-ka-htaik-pan pagoda, No.1512 Shwe-bon-thar pagoda and No.145 pagoda using chemical methods. The work was scheduled to be completed on August 13.

“We classified some mural paintings as red level, which means that we won’t able to repair these because they have not finished restoring the building,” he said.

U Zaw Win Cho, secretary of Bagan Heritage Trust said they hope to finish repairs in more important pagodas before the rain comes.

He singled out the Su-lar-ma-ni pagodas, which have remained much valuable historical heritages, as among those that needs to be repaired soon.

“We want to finish repairing the important interior of the ancient pagoda buildings before heavy rains come in Bagan. September and October are the months when the heaviest rains fall in Bagan,” U Zaw Win Cho, secretary of Bagan Heritage Trust told The Myanmar Times.

The Bagan archeology department said it has already completed the repair of 224 pagodas out of the 389 pagodas, which have minor damages with the support of original donors out of 389 pagodas that damages.the agency said it intends to restore about 30 pagodas by the end of this month.

The repair to the damages mural paintings in the 11th century in Bagan era is based on guidance and training of the experts from the UNESCO and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Culture Property,

U Kyi Lin said.

Source : Myanmar Times

Ski resort to rise soon in Khakaborazi

A ski resort will be constructed at the Khakaborazi, the highest iceberg in Kachin State and its construction could be started within the year, according to the ministry of hotel and tourism.

Khakaborazi is located in Naungmung township in Kachin state, the northern state of Myanmar. It’s height of 5881 metres makes it probably the highest mountain in South East Asia.

The resort would be built by a foreign direct investment company.

“The plan to make the ski resort in Khakaborazi Mountain has been there for a long time now. We are negotiating with an investor from Australia for the project,” U Ohn Maung, union minister of hotel and tourism told The Myanmar Times.

Vistors can climb the mountain to at least 4,000 feet, they can go on a water rafting trip, he added

According to the ministry of hotel and tourism, they made the policy to implement eco-tourism in 2017-18 fiscal year to boost the country’s tourism products.

“The international tourists are bored to visit crowded cities and the beaten tracks. They would like to do trekking and mountain biking. They are also still very much interested in visiting historical sites and learning traditional cultures. Eco-tourism sites could be more attracted to Japan and European markets,” U Ohn Maung said.

Recently there was a new eco-resort that opened in Bago Yoma.

“We received three developers who negotiated with ministry to implement similar projects,” he said.

The ministries of hotel and tourism, natural resources and environmental conservation and International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development have recently released the Myanmar Eco-tourism Policy and Management Strategy. The agencies are still drawing up eco-lodge guidelines.

The Ministry of Natural Resource and Environmental Conservation have identified 40 eco-tourism sites in about 49 acres of forest reserved in the different parts of the country.

“Developers can implement the eco-resort wherever they want in these 40 eco-tourism sites if they will be granted permission by the ministry,” said U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin, the ministry’s deputy director general.

U Kyaw Kyaw Lwin said the ministry is continuously conducting surveys and studies to pinpoint more possible ecotourism sites.

“We will cooperate with related departments, private sector, local people and ministry of hotel and tourism in developing eco-tourism sites, said U Ohn Win, union minister of natural resource and environmental conservation.

“These eco-tourism sites can support the government’s efforts to protect biological diversity and natural areas. It can also improve income of the local residents and provide more job opportunities,” he said.

Source : Myanmar Times

Calves delight visitors to Winga Baw Elephant Camp

Mahouts seen cleaning elephants at the Winga Baw Elephant Camp near Yangon-Mandalay Highway. Photo: Thwe Thwe Tun

A series of elephant calf births at Bago’s Winga Baw Elephant Conservation Camp near the 39-mile post on the Yangon-Mandalay Highway have attracted a greater number of visitors recently, according to a report in the City News Daily yesterday.
The camp used to be part of the state-run Myanma Timber Enterprise and elephants were used to haul heavy logs out of the jungle. The current government suspended timber extraction at the camp and converted it into a resort.
Only eight elephants lived at the camp when it started. There are now 14 elephants.
Visitors to the camp learn about the animals and interact with them, riding and feeding them.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar

Tourists entering via Tachilek border gate on the rise


Tourist are seen in Tachileik.  Photo: MOHT


More than 1,900 tourists visited Myanmar through the Tachilek border gate from 1st July to 3rd August this fiscal.
There are many natural beautiful scenes, eco-tourism sites and archeological sites in Myanmar. Besides, there is now community-based tourism (CBT) by which tourist can observed he lifestyle of ethnic people. Therefore, the tourists are also visiting border areas these days.
Around 445 tourists made day return visits via Tachilek border gate while 970 tourists conducted overnight trips and 582 tourists visited with visa.
The tourists who made day return visits went to Tar Lot market, Bayintnaung stature, Mahar Muni pagoda, Shwedagon pagoda, the national ethnic village, Arr Khar market in Tachilek town.
The tourists who conducted the overnight trips went to the famous pagodas at Mong Phyat town and Keng Tung town. About 8,599 tourists visited Myanmar through Tachilek border gate from 1st April to 3rd August, 2017. Among them, 2831 tourists made day return trips whereas 3,417 conducted the overnight trips and 2350 tourists visited with the holding of visa via the international airport.

Source : Global New Light of Myanmar