Fair flashpacker offering
No. 57, 38th St, between Merchant St and Strand Rd, Yangon T: T: (01) 253 454, 384 183
May Fair Inn is a quiet place to stay just off the busy streets of downtown Yangon (Rangoon). This tile-covered, family-operated inn gives you your basics plus air-con for a decent price.
Family portraits and big puffy sofas sit under energy-saving lights like they were lifted straight from your own grandmother’s house and placed in the lobby, evoking a nostalgic feel. The owner lives in the spacious and tranquil two-storey inn, and the middle age couple running the desk have smiles that you would find at a bed and breakfast.
Rooms are basic and nothing special, but they are clean. Air-con and fan are offered, while furnishings consist of a table and plastic chair. Hotwater bathrooms have a shower and Western toilet with a sink surrounded by — you guessed it — more clean tiles.
The big catch staying at the May Fair Inn is that you HAVE to pay in US dollars. Rooms are US$20 dollars for a single, a double goes for US$30 and a triple is US$35.
The downsides to the rooms are that most of them have a view of the next building’s wall. Those with a sensitive nose may detect a faint musty smell, but while we were there the tiles were being cleaned so this may not be a problem. If you have a chance to select a room, go for 202, which is a double, as it seemed to be one of the better choices with an actual street view and the best air circulation.
Bookings can be made via email, although be warned that we have heard that there are sometimes translation mix-ups. We’ve also heard that the friendly staff have done their very best to correct such issues. Check-out time is at 12:00 and free WiFi is available in the lobby, although we have not tested the speed. Breakfast is not included.
Merchant Street is crammed with street food stalls, beer stations, tea shops and drink stands, so the lack of breakfast shouldn’t be seen as a problem. Many walkable sights are located nearby, including Sule Pagoda, the harbour, Union Bar and Grill, 50th Street Bar and Grill and all the downtown market life that is a highlight to explore for most people.
If a taxi doesn’t know how to find the place, you can be dropped off at 38th and Merchant street, then walk south on 38th for about 20 metres. Just follow the light from those shiny tiles on the outside of the building.
By Christopher Smith
Last updated on 17th December, 2013.
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