In December of 2008 Brian Hartenstein and family left America for an adventurous life overseas to live and work throughout Asia, raising three daughters with a sense of wonder and awe at the possibility of the world. It is now 2016 and the adventure continues back home in Oregon. This blog remains as a time capsule to that period. Thank you so much to all our friends around the world. Please stay in touch. We miss you all!
Sunday, February 5, 2012
White House Hotel / Guesthouse, Yangon Burma
The White House Hotel/Guesthouse in Yangon is a backpacker treasure. Tucked inside the Indian/Muslim Quarter down toward the water on 32nd street, the White House offers tiny closet-sized rooms (no kidding, open the door there's the bed, barely big enough for a suitcase) for $17 U.S. a night (actually, that's a total rip-off, isn't it?) Call a couple of days ahead (Hint: have your hotel desk make the call for you), if you just show up at the door, you'll most likely get turned away.
Lonely Planet does a nice write up on the White House, but the real publicity came a few years back when the Discovery Channel came here for a little piece. It's probably due to the stairs. Yes, the White House has about a zillion stairs leading up to it's rooftop kitchen.
But the view going up is awesome! And although the interior is a little mesmerizing, the good natured English speaking owners at the desk offer great tips, informative maps, and help make arrangements for future stays. (Though my recommendation is, just visit one of the tour agencies in the Sakura Tower for train/bus tickets and hotel reservations, then head up to the 20th floor to the Sky Bistro for a look over the city).
Another note, few rooms actually come with a private bathroom. Sit down toilets are available down the hall, with limited privacy. Showers are across the small hallway and wake up early because hot water runs out around 7 a.m.
Finally, the coolest thing about the White House is the awesome Buffet Breakfast, which they say is the 'Best in the World,' but hardly. If you're lucky, they might bring out some avocado salad (the avocados in Burma are genetically altered, superhuman softball size, you will stand shocked at their size, totally delish!)but other than that, it's toast over hot coals and some stale coffee. Eat your bananas! You'll find plenty here. If your traveling in pairs it's good for what ails ya! The stairs, that is. It's not that hard getting up in the morning.