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Published: July 20th 2014
Karaweik Palace floating restaurant taken from the park.
If you want to take in a Myanmar cultural show with dinner included, I would strongly recommend the Karaweik Palace
floating restaurant on Kandawgyi Lake. (Kandawgyi means 'great royal lake'). I have been there several times and the cultural performance there is worth seeing. It lasts for about an hour and half with traditional dances from the different ethnic groups of the country. Both the dinner and performance are included in the admission fee payable at the entrance . The fee was US$12 a couple of years ago, but has probably gone up by now to about $20 per person, which I think is still worth the price. The dinner is buffet style, and includes Burmese, Thai and Western cuisine.
Karaweik Palace itself is a photographer's delight. Built in the form of the 'Hintha'
mythical bird which is widely depicted in Burmese art. If you are staying in a hotel downtown, you can easily get a cab, and it should take only about 15 minutes maximum. The fare will probably be around 5,000 kyats.
The restaurant is located inside Kandawgyi Park which by itself is a big nature park with a children's playground, mini-zoo, lots of shady
Kandawgyi Lake taken from the park. If you look hard enough you can see the Shwedagon pagoda through the trees of the small island in the middle of the lake.
trees and picnic spots. If you want to walk through the park tell the cab driver to let you off at the main entrance. The grounds are well lit at night. I think the cultural show starts at 7 pm, but try to go early, so as to catch the sunset and a great view of the Shwedagon pagoda from the lake. It's about a ten minute walk from the park's main entrance to the restaurant. If you don't want to walk, the taxi can stop right at the entrance of the restaurant.
Two years ago, the admission fee was payable in both Myanmar kyats or US dollars. However, I was a local at that time (still consider myself one). They will probably quote you in USD if you are a foreigner.
After the show you may have to walk to the main entrance to get a cab on the street. It is completely safe and should take less than 10 minutes. Again, if you don't want to walk, arrange for a hotel taxi to pick you up at the restaurant. I did that one time and used the same cab which we took earlier to
Part of the Karaweik Palace. Note that I am wearing a traditional "pasoe."
get there. You might want to ask the girls at the restaurant's entrance as to what time the cultural show finishes. When we were there it was over by 9:45/10 pm.
TIP: Try to get a photo or two taken with some of the restaurant staff who are dressed in colorful costumes of the various minority groups. I had fun asking them which ethnic races they belonged to. They told me Chin, Mon, Kayan, Kachin, etc., but I knew by their accents that they were all from the Yangon area, but we had fun anyway because they knew that I knew too!
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