Mandalay Airport

Mandalay has an international airport that can rival any of the major Asian airports. Glass and steel everywhere, restaurants, cafes, escalators and jetways. The only difference between Mandalay and other well known International airports is passengers! Mandalay has none. There are maybe a dozen other passengers in the entire airport. One café is open, all the restaurants are closed. But even more strange is the fact that none of the escalators is working. Nor are the luggage conveyor belts. Nor are the jetways. We have to walk down some stairs and across the tarmac to our plane. The reason, of course, is that this is one of the days when there is no electricity in Mandalay. The airport is vast and very modern. It puts Yangon airport to shame. And yet Yangon is the city that has all the international flights. It is almost impossible to find an international flight that goes to Mandalay, there are only internal flights. This impressive airport was built two years ago, but no one knows why. It is built in the middle of nowhere, a good hours drive from town. The old airport was much more convenient but the Junta announced it could no longer be used.
We have an hour to wait for our plane, and go to the only café that is open. It goes by the name of Swan Pizza, and their logo is remarkably similar, if not identical to, Pizza Hut. However they do not sell pizza. Even more incongruous is that they have large black plastic napkin dispensers on each table which have “ Las Vegas ” emblazoned in gold on all sides. Our sandwich is served on white plates that match the coffee cups. All of them have “J.C. Penny. Basic White” printed on the underside.

This entry was posted in Burma, Mandalay, Myanmar, travel, travel review, travel transportation, travelogue. Bookmark the permalink.

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