Myanmar: Where to Stay: Overview
Choosing your accommodations is an excellent example of how some due diligence is demanded from travelers. Do your research (or ask your travel agent) about hotels that have ties to the government. For example, two of the country’s most well-known hotel chains (Aureum Palace and Myanmar Treasure Resort) are owned by controversial billionaire Tay Za, considered by some a classic bad-guy and military crony and by others as a savvy businessman whose enterprises have created hundreds of jobs. The truth probably lies somewhere in between and shows again that nothing is simple in Myanmar and that the more you know, the more you can choose to support businesses that actually support the locals.
It’s also important to understand that with the recent influx of tourists, the country’s top properties are now often booked months in advance. Especially spots on the Road to Mandalay should be reserved well in advance.
The best hotels and tour operators (including Governor’s Residence, Road to Mandalay) will be involved with social projects, like schools, monasteries, orphanages and mobile clinics, so ask what you can bring. Children’s books, crayons, notepads etc. are always welcome, especially in rural areas where some teachers have to purchase their own supplies for their students.— Simone Girner 04/09/2012