The only way to travel
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect on my first trip to Yangon in Myanmar but I certainly didn’t anticipate feeling special and unique throughout the trip. That feeling started from the moment I walked out of my front door to a limousine that would take me from my home not far from Don Mueang International Airport to Suvarnabhumi Airport. The driver was impeccably dressed even though the sun had yet to rise and apart from a few polite words, left me alone to ponder my upcoming journey.
The Shwedagon Pagoda is a must-see for every visitor to Yangon.
A smooth one-hour flight later, my fellow travellers and I arrived later that morning in Yangon where we were welcomed by a female official from World Rewards Solutions from Thailand, our hosts from this trip, who introduces herself as our butler.
The Shwedagon Pagoda is a must-see for every visitor to Yangon.
Our first stop was Le Planteur, a high-end traditional French restaurant and one of the most luxurious places to dine on European cuisine in Yangon. Set in a heritage house built in 1902, it overlooks a beautiful garden on the banks of Inya Lake. Lunch over, we were taken to stretch our legs with a trip to view Yangon's stunning heritage buildings with their colonial architecture and observe life around the city.
Pigeons hover around the telephone wires in front of a pink colonial building in downtown Yangon.
Our walking tour started on Strand Road then turned right at the Myanmar Port Authority where we came face to face with the three octagonal towers that make up the Accountant General Building, one of the city's most photographed heritage edifices, which is partially occupied by Yangon Divisional Court and Department of Pensions. We continued along the road to the Yangon Heritage Trust, which is used to promote and protect Yangon’s past and also to create a plan for Yangon to be one of the most livable cities in Southeast Asia.
The Accountant General Building with its three octagonal towers and the Myanmar Port Authority make for a good photo.
At the intersection of Mahabandoola and Pansodan roads, we stopped to photograph a large flock of pigeons sitting on and flying around the telephone wires in front of a colonial building painted a pretty pale pink. Further along the street, local residents are having a late lunch at the several food stalls but still full from lunch, we continued along the road to admire Immanuel Baptist Church built in 1885, Yangon City Hall built in 1927 and a fine example of Burmese colonial architecture, and the Ayeyarwady Bank, which formerly served as the Rowe & Co Department Store. Here too is the Sule Pagoda, a Burmese stupa right at the heart of downtown Yangon.
The Burmese-style Sule Pagoda in the heart of downtown Yangon
Across the street from the City Hall is Mahabandula Park, home to the Independent Monument and also dozens of food stalls alone the fence. On the east side of the park is the former High Court, one of the most iconic buildings in Yangon. Dressed in jeans, I felt decidedly out of place alongside the local men who were all wearing the traditional longyi.
Myanmar people tuck into street food.
Our tour into the history of Yangon ended, we moved to The Strand, one of the most iconic 5-star hotels in Asia and our home for the night. It is here that World Reward Solutions chose to celebrate its first anniversary with a sit-down dinner and launch its new service Silver Voyage.
The Yangon Heritage Trust is now used to promote and protect Yangon’s past and also to create a plan for Yangon to be one of the most livable cities in Southeast Asia.
World Reward Solutions is an innovative solutions platform that promises corporate organisations personalised rewards and loyalty programmes. It offers three signature services, all of them so prestigious that the firm is already recognised as one of the best loyalty programme providers in Thailand. The first signature service is “Infinity Rewards” offering digital redemption, privilege concierge, gift vouchers and SMS verification for each rewards programme to be tailored and customized.
The Ayeyarwady Bank was the former Rowe & Co Department Store building.
The second service is the new “Silver Voyage” offering point-to-point VIP transfers in Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong as well as its alliance network in other major cities in the world, and a personalised butler service, where customers are assisted seamlessly from the time they step out from their door to the airport check-in counter. The last signature service is “Airport Assist” and, with today’s crowded airports and long queues, turns a test of endurance into a seamless VIP indulgence.
Built in 1927, Yangon City Hall is a fine example of Burmese colonial architecture.
“World Reward Solutions consists of two brands: World Reward, which is a digital platform we use to create reward programmes for our corporate customers and Silver Voyage, which allows our customers to experience seamless travel with a butler and limousine,” says Jakkapan “Keng” Rattanapet, managing director of World Reward Solutions, who has more than 15 years of experience working with top concierge companies in Thailand, Singapore and the UK.
Le Planteur offers a breathtaking view of a beautiful garden by Inya Lake.
“Our customers are mainly involved in private banking, insurance, luxury cars, and real estate, and of course all have the money for our CRM or customer relation management programme. Our challenge is to come up with innovative rewards to engage them.”
Immanuel Baptist Church was built in 1885.
Jakkapan describes the trips created by World Reward Solutions as a “money can’t buy” experience and notes that he has arranged a private dinner for 50 customers with a menu designed by a Michelin chef at a part of trip to Angkor Wat as well as afternoon tea with a member of Bhutan’s royal family member.
The Police Commissioner’s Building is one of the most imposing structures in Yangon.
Our second day is Yangon is highlighted by a visit to the stunningly beautiful Shwedagon Pagoda and a tour of Bogyoke Aung San Market, which was formerly known as Scott's Market, where we stock up on thanaka, the powder derived from the wood, bark and roots of the Limonia acidissima tree, which is used all over Myanmar.
World Reward Solutions' Jakkapan Rattanapet caters to the well-helled with a lifestyle management experience called "money can't buy".
GO ON, SPOIL YOURSELVES
A limousine pick to/from the airport is a part of the Silver Voyage programme.
Find out about the "money can't buy" experience at World Reward Solutions (02) 016 9998, (097) 235 2895, or visit www.worldrewardsolutions.com and https://www.facebook.com/worldrewardsolutions/