We’re doomed. After our sixteen-hour train ride from Yangon to Mandalay, we learned that the train from Mandalay to Bagan had left. It was the second day of Myanmar’s Thingyan Water Festival and almost all forms of transportation were suspended. We needed to find a home for the night near the train station and found Hotel Rama to be our refuge for our unexpected layover in Mandalay.
Mandalay should be on the last leg of our Myanmar trip, but due to difficulties of transportation, we heeded to the need of staying one night to catch the earliest train to Bagan. We walked out of the train station feeling defeated. We’re running out of options and our booked accommodation in Bagan was waiting for us. We combed the streets to check out a decent place for the night.
Around two blocks away, we found a nice hotel tucked in the middle of downtown Mandalay. The clear glass building wall revealed a see-through lift, cool, eh? We entered the lobby and were instantly greeted by the gracious staff. We checked out the rates and realized that it was within our budget.
The staff assisted us in the checking in process while we sipped the complimentary drinks. And the cold towels were given that soothed our tired souls. We were assigned to a Superior Room (check rates) and in no time, we were handed the keys to our abode for the night, I couldn’t wait to hop on the amazing lift, amazing in Myanmar’s standards, I must say.
Hotel Rama is a relatively new hotel located in the heart of Mandalay. Opening its doors to tourists and business people in 2013, it provides comfort amidst the hustles and bustles of the city. The hotel gives their guests utmost service which includes; laundry service, tour arrangements, currency exchange, airport pick-up and drop-off (with extra charge), ticketing service (bus, boat, air ticket, etc.), daily housekeeping, baby-sitting services, and more.
Our Superior Room had all the basic amenities for the comfortable stay. Our room was equipped with a queen-sized bed, LCD T.V. with local and international channels, manually-controlled air-conditioning, sofa settee, dressing table and writing desk, wardrobe closet, in-room safety vault, mini-bar, complimentary drinking water, and coffee and tea-making facilities.
The en suite toilet and bath had hot and cold shower and all the basic amenities plus a hair dryer.
We did some rounds of catching up with our sleep. The comfy bed and fluffy pillows provided the ultimate comfort we needed after the butt-numbing sixteen-hour train ride from Yangon to Mandalay. Our bodies were aching like it succumbed to a manual labor of some sort. We forgot that there were water festivities going around the city.
It was a nice refuge, but we needed to explore the city so we delayed our dreamland excursions and went out to join the Burmese in their most celebrated festival of the year. And it was a blast. Mandalay’s version of Thingyan Festival was my favorite amongst all the three major cities we’ve been to during the whole festivities (Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan).
Burmese people were so nice that a family let us hitch on their pick-up that went around the water-pumping stations to get washed away with the powerful extinguishing hoses.
Afterwards, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up and enjoy the view from the rooftop. The pagodas were all gleaming in the night lights. The city was all pumped up with celebrations going on at every corner. As we were lounging on the rooftop, we reflected upon our tedious city-hopping and layovers around the country during the festival. I think it was me who uttered that all those unplanned events that happened in our Myanmar trip proved to be a blessing to meet new friends and to experience Burmese culture in the most unexpected ways.
At this point, I was starting to love Myanmar and the Burmese that no matter what the next day’s challenges were I would just have to surrender and take it as a blessing.
I dozed off at once as I laid my tired bod on the bed. It was a very tiring day and our abode provided the comfort we needed.
We woke up earlier than usual because we were heading to the train station. The complimentary buffet breakfast was filling and just what we needed before we endure another train ride going to Bagan.
And in a flash, we checked out and dashed to the train station for our, yet, another train adventure in Myanmar. It may be in haste, but our stay at Hotel Rama was great. It may be an abrupt decision to stay but we surely loved the service that they offered. The staff were all so great. Hotel Rama offers great service and comfortable stay that won’t burn your wallets.
Hotel Rama – Mandalay, Myanmar (book online)
No 54, 28th Street (between 73rd and 74th Streets),
Chan Aye Thar Zan Township, Mandalay, Myanmar
Contact Number: (+95) 2.645.306.7227