Friday, August 24, 2012

Tourists to Myanmar's ancient city on the rise

Almost 18,000 tourists have visited Bago, an ancient city about 50 miles from Yangon, from January to July, latest statistics show.

This number is more than half of last year's 27,601 visitors and is expected to increase further by end-2012.

Bago is the former capital of the Hanthawaddy dynasty and an important seaport during that period. Most tourists go there on day tours.

U Kyaw Aye, head of Shwemawdaw Pagoda’s board of trustees, said most of the tourists travel in groups rather than as individuals and majority of them are Thais.

He also said Shwemawdaw Pagoda has received more donations from Thais than from any other tourists. Tourists have donated around US$2,000 and over 270,000 baht (around $8,600) to the pagoda over the past seven months.

Shwemawdaw Pagoda, Mahar Pagoda, Kyaik Pun Pagoda and the Kanbawzathardi Palace are popular tourist destinations in the Bago zone, where authorities have set up booths to collect a $10 entrance fee.-Asia News Network (August 23, 2012)

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