[photopress:shwe_Dagon.jpg,full,alignright]Myanmar, that which many of us still think of as Burma, has a new connection with China. The China Southern Airlines Monday opened an air route from Guangzhou to Yangon (used to be Rangoon) and this brings the the total number of air links between China and Myanmar to three.
Using the 120-seat Airbus A-319, the China Southern Airlines will have regular flights three days a week – Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.
Air China has been offering flight services for the route Beijing-Kunming-Yangon for almost fifty years. The airline now uses Boeing-737 aircraft for three flights a week on every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.
The other airline is China Eastern Airlines flying between Myanmar’s Mandalay and China’s Yunnan provincial capital of Kunming. It has four flights a week: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
Foreign tourist arrivals in Myanmar were up to 654,602 in the fiscal year 2006-07 which ended in March, of whom 276,613 entered through Yangon. But 372,226 came through border checkpoints and they should not, perhaps, be classified as true tourists.
Myanmar has a long way to go before it attracts a serious tourist component. There is still widespread concern among travelers of the dangers of touring outside of Yangon and Mandalay.
(Did you know that Rudyard Kipling’s poem On the Road to Mandalay gets its geography wrong?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin’-fishes play,
An’ the dawn comes up like thunder
Outer China ‘crost the Bay!
No it doesn’t. It rises from the other side. (Our illustration is the Shwe Dagon pagoda.)
Source: China View