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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrOne of the most popular landmark in Yangon is the Karaweik Hall, which is also known as the Karaweik Palace.
If one looks at Karaweik Palace from a distance, the place resembles a huge, golden barge which floats on the Kandawgyi Lake - dazzling and glittering in the rays of the sun.
During the night, or rather to say after the dark, the Karaweik Hall is brightly lit up, along with the refection of the golden Shwedagon stupa which floats on the placid waters of the Kandawgyi Lake.
Architecture and HistoryThe Karaweik Hall is a concrete structure, which looks like two enormous, golden birds with a roof built in the shape of a Pyatthat . The prow of this floating palatial building, which looks like a ship, is built in the likeness of a Karaweik, which is a bird found in Burmese mythology. There are two golden balls that hangs from the beaks of these two Karaweik birds, while the back of the palatial structure, formed by the tails of these Karaweik birds, is colored in red and golden hues, with a depiction of a Nat spirit on top of their converged tails.
The design of the Karaweik Hall is based on the look of the Pyi Gyi Mon Royal Barge, which was used by the Burmese kings in ancient times; the Karaweik Hall was built in 1974.
A working model of the Pyi Gyi Mon Royal Barge can still be seen today at the Phaung Daw U Pagoda in the Inle Lake .
What to SeeInside the Karaweik Hall, there are conference rooms, reception halls, theaters, and buffet restaurants of different tastes. The foods served in the Karaweik Palace restaurants are possibly one of the best cuisines that one can find in Yangon. One can find extensive buffets of both Burmese, Chinese, and also Western gastronomical delicacies in the restaurants of the Karaweik Hall.
One can enjoy a variety of traditional Burmese entertainments which lasts anywhere between 2½ to 3 hours while dining in Karaweik.
These entertainments consists of the elephant dance, Burmese puppet dance and traditional Burmese dance where danseurs wear traditional Burmese costumes to entertain the guests.
There is also a place for the exhibition of traditional Burmese handicrafts, Burmese arts and traditional Burmese jewelry and costumes inside the Karaweik Hall.
About Kandawgyi LakeThe Karaweik Hall is situated on the southeastern corner of the Kandawgyi Lake, which is a very large water body located in downtown Yangon.
There are several outdoor restaurants and a boardwalk on the south of the Kandawgyi Lake. Entry to this place costs approximately 2,000 MMK.
Several places from the south end of the Kandawgyi Lake offers a splendid view of the Shwedagon Pagoda, especially when it is lit up by spotlights after dark.
An annual, traditional Burmese boat race, which is held in Kandawgyi Lake during the month of November, draws a huge gathering of local and even foreign crowds to the Kandawgyi Lake.
Opening Hours and FeesThe entrance fees to the Karaweik Hall is around $ 0.50 USD or 300 MMK.
The Kandawgyi Lake remains open to the public until 10 PM. However, the traditional Burmese entertainments inside the Karaweik Hall starts around 6.30 PM and ends by 9.30 PM at night.
One can also pay around $ 20 USD per person, if one wants to buy a ticket for a buffet (which also includes a few drinks) along with the traditional Burmese entertainment, which is the best option and the most widely accepted choice for most of the foreign visitors who visits Karaweik Hall.
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Author: SubhasishMitra. Last updated: Jan 21, 2015