Grungy, overpriced but popular
6 Strand Rd, Mawlamyine T: (057) 21450, (098) 701180 F: (057) 21450
From the outside, funky looking Breeze, Mawlamyine’s first guesthouse, flatters to deceive; it's an appealingly restored old wood and brick colonial-period villa on the waterfront, with plenty of character.
The very friendly old owner has plenty of character too, with tons of local knowledge. The central location is convenient as well. Inside however is grungy -- with a capital G -- and rooms are seriously overpriced. What passes for a reception area seems permanently full of backpackers waiting for rooms, waiting to change rooms or sitting around trying to decide how to get to Hpa-An or whether they can afford the Bilu Island day trip. We presume this is not because it's actually better than the Aurora or Pann Su Wai, but rather it has a higher profile in guidebooks.
Some travellers may not have bothered to look elsewhere while older ones may be trying to re-live early 1990s Khao San Road squalor, but either way it’s nearly full every day during the high season. So much the better -- if you stay elsewhere you can still avail yourself of their good value organised tours.
The guesthouse is rambling, with a varied selection of room options. While the two large wooden family rooms at the front with private bathrooms are pretty good, they go for an absurd $40. (We negotiated a room in The Strand for not much more than that.) Other options include tiny fan rooms barely big enough to swing a cockroach in or a double fan with no bathroom. Air-con rooms with bathroom start at $25 though the one we were shown didn’t have any windows. (To be fair they were full so there are probably better ones.) Aurora has better rooms at similar rates and Pann Su Wai has considerably better ones for a few dollars more.
By Mark Ord
Last updated on 18th March, 2016.