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Myanmar : Delight for travellers

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This is Burma and it is unlike any land you know about – wrote by Rudyard Kipling. Today after over a century after he wrote this quote, Myanmar retains the power to surprise and delight the travellers. Myanmar was known as Burma prior to 1989; the name was changed during the Military rule. In the year 2015, Myanmar got its first Democratic governor in more than half a sanctuary.

Myanmar consists of over 100 ethnic groups bordering India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. Yangon (Formerly known as Rangoon) is the country’s largest city and home to bustling markets, numerous parks, lakes and the gilded Shwedagon Pagoda which contains Buddhist relics and dates to the 6th century.

Myanmar today

Once the democratic government took charge of the country, the country has seen international investors interested to do business in Myanmar. Myanmar has also seen social and economic changes since the new government took over. Modern travel conveniences such as mobile phone coverage with internet access, domestic flights connecting tourist places, modern hotels are now getting common. The new Myanmar is very much a work in progress country.

Old World Charm of Myanmar

Myanmar consists of multiple ethnic groups and even today Myanmar does remain a rural nation of traditional values. Local men will be seen wearing a Longyi – like a sarong and chewing betel nut and spitting the red juice on the ground, women are seen with faces covered with thanakha (a natural sunblock) and cheroot-smoking ladies. Drinking tea is very common and tea houses serving traditional savouries and tea are seen all over the place.

Myanmar – is rich with over 2,600 years of Buddhist civilization and posses many golden treasures across the country. Myanmar offers different travel option for different travellers from a rich cultural and historical experience with golden temples and pagodas in Yangon and Mandalay to vestiges of Bagan or a spectacular sunrise & sunset in Bagan or Mandalay.

Temples of Myanmar are distinct in design and patterns and temples or relics combine with spectacular surrounding scenery will leave an unforgettable impression of the rich and spiritual life leads by the locals.

Inle Lake offers extraordinary leisure along with a rich insight of local life and floating villages, floating gardens and markets. The Inle Lake also connects to some of the famous trekking routes or one can Drift down the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River in an old steamer or luxury cruiser or visit a beach on the blissful Bay of Bengal. Trek through pine forests to minority villages scattered across the Shan Hills offer a true glimpse of the local life of the Myanmar villages.

Thankfully, the pace of change is not overwhelming and has left the simple pleasures of travel in Myanmar intact. Best of all, you’ll encounter locals who are gentle, humorous, inquisitive and passionate. Now is the time to make that connection.

Jay Kantawala from WIYO Travel visited Myanmar in May / June 18 and felt that people are by far the best part of Burma; he was welcomed with smiles and kindness everywhere he visited. Now is the best time to travel to Myanmar as the new democratic government is working hard to improve the country’s image and uplift tourism. Myanmar today remains one of the world’s mysterious and untouched destinations.

Travel

Nepal-The Roof of the World

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Nepal-wefornews-min

Nepal is a landlocked country in South Asia and mainly located in the Himalayas and has a diverse geography including fertile plains, highest point on earth – Mount Everest and that’s why backpackers gave a nickname to Nepal as, “The Roof of the World”. Nepal is a trekker’s paradise and offers a combination of charming hill villages to jungle wildlife to beautiful temples.

Nepal attracts various types of traveller’s from backpacker to Luxury travel. The country is still recovering from the Twin Earthquakes which shattered the Himalayan Kingdom in the year 2015. After a sharp decline in visitors post-earthquake, the numbers are slowly recovering and now it is a great time to go to the mighty mountains.

Kathmandu – Capital city of Nepal also serves as the gateway to the country. Kathmandu is an interesting city to visit, however, tourists will face the crazy traffic of Nepal and poor road conditions. Monuments located at the Durbar Square in Kathmandu were severely damaged or completely ruined during the earthquakes of 2015.

Chitwan National Park is one of the World Heritage listed reserves that protects over 932 sq. km of forests, marshlands and grasslands. The park is considered to be one of the best parks for viewing wildlife in Asia. One-horned rhinos, deer, monkeys and over 500 species of birds are regularly spotted. If you are lucky, you may spot a leopard, wild elephant or sloth bear and if your luck prevails, you may also spot the majestic royal Bengal tiger.

Pokhara offers spectacular scenery, adventure activities and is the getaway for treks to the Annapurna range. The Lakeside of Pokhara is a chilled out version of Kathmandu’s busy Thamel area. From the Lakeside as well from a lot of hotels one can enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the snow-capped mountains. Pokhara boasts a booming adventure sports industry and is one of the best paragliding venues on the globes.

Annapurna region has been considered one of the best treks in Nepal and known for the world’s classic walks. The walk follows the marsyangdi valley to the north of the main Himalayan range and crosses a 5416 m pass to descend into the upper Kali Gandaki valley. The walk offers spectacular views of the numerous 7000 meters plus Annapurna peaks and boasts some of the great trekking lodges of Nepal.

Breakfast at Everest base camp – This is a new private concept for affluent traveller’s where one can do a short excursion from Kathmandu and enjoy the breakfast near the Mt. Everest base camp with the fascinating Everest in the backdrop.

Travel Tips for Traveller’s to Nepal:

– Avoid drinking tap water, use bottled water

– Where possible avoid intercity road journeys and use local flights. The roads in Nepal are narrow and have traffic; a 200 km journey may take 7-8 hrs.

– Local flights are substantially dependent on weather conditions and there may be delays, so plan accordingly

– If you are doing any trek, do ensure that you have necessary permits to trek in the region

– Indian National enjoy special rates at hotels and for trekking permit at most trekking routes, NRI’s or Foreign nationals will have to pay the regular foreigner rate for the permits

– Be sure to ensure the Nepalese currency prior to leaving, one cannot exchange Nepali currency outside of Nepal

– Indian Nationals can use denominations of Rs 100 or lower very easily. Higher denominations are legally not accepted.

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Business

ICPA seeks ‘one rank one pay’ for AI pilots

According to ICPA, from October 2017, the Air India management had started paying a section of wide-body pilots an ad-hoc amount at par with the new proposal which is yet to be approved by the ministry.

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Air India

New Delhi, Oct 17 ; The Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association (ICPA) on Tuesday sought ‘one rank one pay’ for all the pilots of the national passenger carrier Air India.

In a letter to Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu, ICPA urged the ministry to address the pilots’ pay parity issue which is the legacy of Air India-Indian Airlines merger that took place more than a decade ago.

According to ICPA, from October 2017, the Air India management had started paying a section of wide-body pilots an ad-hoc amount at par with the new proposal which is yet to be approved by the ministry.

The letter alleges that half of the flying allowance paid to wide-body pilots is still being paid in fixed US dollar exchange rate of Rs 45.50, while the present US dollar exchange rate has reached an all time high of Rs 74.

As per the letter, while majority of Air India pilots are paid international layover subsistence allowance on actual international night stops ($200), a section of wide body pilots continue to receive a fixed monthly international layover allowance irrespective of number of international night stops undertaken.

“We fail to understand as to why the top management has turned a blind eye to this issue which is bleeding the national carrier of high value foreign exchange,” the October 16 letter said.

“In spite of being in the know of the US dollars being paid to these pilots at an exchange rate of INR 45.50, the Director (Operations) has taken no initiative to correct the wrong for reasons best known to him,” it said.

IANS

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Cities

Pink Line’s Trilokpuri-Shiv Vihar section to open

Anand Vihar (Blue Line), Karkardooma (Blue Line) and Welcome (Red Line) will be the three interchange stations on the stretch.

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Delhi Metro's Pink Line

New Delhi, Oct 15 : Delhi Metro’s Pink Line section connecting Shiv Vihar and Trilokpuri in east Delhi is likely to open soon.

“The Commissioner for Metro Rail Safety will inspect the 17.86 km-long Shiv Vihar-Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake Metro section” on Saturday, the Delhi Metro Rail Corp (DMRC) said on Monday.

The section has 15 stations, all elevated: Trilokpuri Sanjay Lake, East Vinod Nagar (Mayur Vihar-II), West Vinod Nagar (Mandawali), I.P. Extension, Anand Vihar ISBT, Karkardooma, Karkardooma Court, Krishna Nagar, East Azad Nagar, Welcome, Jaffrabad, Maujpur (Babarpur), Gokulpuri, Johri Enclave and Shiv Vihar.

Anand Vihar (Blue Line), Karkardooma (Blue Line) and Welcome (Red Line) will be the three interchange stations on the stretch.

Once fully operational, the 59-km line (Majlis Park-Shiv Vihar) will be the longest on the network. After the opening of this particular section, Delhi Metro network will become 314 km-long.

IANS

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