Moe Yun Gyi wetlands resort, Myanmar-Critical review

Visting Moe Yun Gyi and staying there wasn’t in my original Myanmar plan. I had originally planned to take an overnight bus to Bagan, spend a night there and return. But later realized that this plan may not be viable, as buses tend to get delayed significantly and it will be too much travel for too little sightseeing. Thus I dropped Bagan, thinking I will make a separate trip to explore Mandalay, Bagan and Inle, I decided to focus on Yangon n nearby areas on this trip.
With changed plan I decided to spend one night in Bago (had originally planned a day trip from Yangon) and while scouting for other nearby destinations worth visiting, Moe Yun Gyi came to my attention. Moe Yun Gyi seemed like a reserve forest and a lake, with a resort in it. It was some 37 kms from Bago- not having anything better to do, I decided to go to Moe Yun Gyi and spend a night in the resort, hoping that it will be a good break amidst the nature, away from all the Pagodas and Buddha temples.

Above: My boat house at Moe Yun Gyi resort
Below- View from my small balcony
After spending a night at Moe Yun Gyi wetland resort, I am a bit disappointed. This post shares my findings and experience at Moe Yun Gyi.

A lot of things could have been better at Moe Yun Gyi wetland resort- below are what I observed
#1. No power back-up. Moe Yun Gyi resort doesn’t have a working generator (they have a generator- I saw one, but either it is not working or they didn’t have diesel to run it). Power goes off too frequently in this part of Myanmar- particularly if it rains- and resort has no backup power. Can’t have hot water for coffee, can’t run AC, no lights nothing. If power goes off only for an hour or two in a day, I can understand and manage, but if power goes off for 12-18 hours a day, Resort should plan a backup power. I had a really frustrating and sweaty experience- closing the windows and waiting for AC to cool, getting up to open windows once power goes off and repeat the cycle. Didn’t like it. I had tough time staying in the room from noon till late evening. Thankfully there was no power cut at night (or I didn't notice while asleep)
When power goes off we have to open windows for cool air, a small table lamp is provided for light and mosquito net is provided as well. Those who want to experience rustic life without power can enjoy their stay at Moe Yun Gyi but others will suffocate.

#2. No WiFi: No internet facility in the campus. Without much activities to do, you will get bored. But without WiFi, killing time becomes more difficult. Mobile networks with 3G is available. Buy a sim with good data quantity if you’re staying at  moe Yun Gyi wetland resort.

#3. Poor maintenance:
AC is at least 5-10 years old, takes forever to cool the room (provided power lasts that long).

Exteriors could do some paint, a bit of better maintenance for landscaping would be great. The flooring is wooden- I found many ants on the floor. Given the proximity to water (muddy water) and waterborne insects, taking care of one’s hygiene is important. I wanted some tissue papers but they didn’t have stock. Water is sold at 500 MMK as against 300 elsewhere.
Room 5 for example, had a calling bell, fire extinguisher and a lamp above the door- mine had none. Small things but good maintenance always impresses customers. Not to complain but just stating my observations.
Kettle had a very short cable which wasn't long enough to reach the socket.

#4. Only 1 veg item: Of all the 100+ items on their menu, only 1 veg item was found- Veg tempura. A few more vegetarian items would have been very helpful for vegan guests
#5 No activities to do: Only activity at Moeyungyi resort is a boat ride on the water, which costs 20 USD. I found it expensive and worthless (there isn’t anything particular to see in the water) so didn’t opt for it.

Brochure lists campfire, sunrise/sunset, bird watching etc but due to cloudy weather and rain, there was no campfire, sunrise and sunset during my stay. W.r.t birds, I could only see several small size birds- like that of a sparrow size. Couldn’t see any bigger birds. Of course, birds don’t line themselves up for us to see them- we need patience, time, good camera/binocular etc so I can’t blame the resort, but keep your expectations low. Some cycles for hire, peddle or row boats/kayaks would have been great. Below- birds you're supposed to see at Moeyungyi wetland
#6 Wrong listing on google maps: there’re two entries- Moe Yun Gyi resort and “Moe Yun Gyi wetland resort” on google maps. I followed the former, had to walk a km extra after getting down from the bus. Follow "Moe Yun Gyi wetland resort” to reach the actual resort.

The rooms:
The cheapest category is the boat houses- small boat shaped accommodation- there’re 10 of them, about 40 USD a night. This is where I stayed- gets a bed, bathroom, AC, kettle, lamp, one small camping style stool (no other chairs), a mini balcony resembling a boat’s front deck and some lamps. There was a mini fridge but empty. No iron, no safe locker, no dryer, no fan, no telephone, no wifi.



There were some other room categories- a bigger room with balcony and a family room- couldn’t take a look inside.


The campus has a few shops and sitting areas, a function hall, many viewing towers. Landscaping is decent, the wooden elevated walking paths are nice. Many people visit the wetland for short term and return. I could see many small islands- wasn’t sure how to reach there-may be via boat or on foot when water levels are low. There is no swimming pool or any area marked safe for swimming.

Restaurant closes by 7 PM- I think overnight resort will have skeleton staff, as most customers are day visitors. Some dredging work was going on using excavators- I am guessing they are making provision to add more cottages
The good things:
  • Water everywhere- the resort is slightly different experience as you’ll be staying close to/over water
  • Good place to relax in the middle of nature- away from city, calm and scenic location with water, paddy fields, trees etc. Not having Wifi has its own benefits
  • Boat theme room was a good idea.
  • Staff were friendly- they would stand-up as I near the reception area anticipating I might need something- even though there was some language problem, they do their best to assist.

Some simple things MoeYonGui management can do:
  1. Make the generator operational/get new one
  2. If the ACs can’t be replaced, at least provide a FAN in the room
  3. Some cycles for rent, possibly some peddle boats/kayaks will allow guests to indulge in more activities.
  4. Introduce 2-3 more vegetarian items in the menu- may be veg noodles, veg spring rolls, rice+ veg curry etc
  5. WiFi is taken for granted these days-Pls consider providing one
  6. A more frequent maintenance will keep the resort attractive

Overall, I feel it is NOT worth spending a night here at Moe Yun Gyi resort- unless you’ve lots of time/nothing else to do or very much keen to stay close to water or try your luck bird watching or these drawbacks listed above doesn’t bother you. You can do a day trip/half day trip from Bago to MoeYunGyi- takes an hour (1000 MMK) to reach by bus- spend a few hours and return back. You can stay more comfortably in Bago/Yangon. At one point I contemplated cutting short my stay and return to Yangon, so that I could save half a day for something else-but that meant spending more money on another night and there wasn’t too many things to see/do in Yangon either, so I decided to stay put at the resort as per plan.
Above: Boats
Below- an under construction boat house
Above: An island marooned by water n access cut off
Below: One of the many observation decks

Above: Restaurant roof
Below: One last selfie before returning
With nothing much to do, I befriended all the 3 cats in the resort

Above- resort entrance from main road- about 1 km+ walk
Below: few final photos

2 comments:

  1. In the lap of the nature and with the touch of the nature in decoration has made it very attractive, i like such places...hopefully will visit one day.
    Very nice review with these beautiful captures.

    ReplyDelete

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