Chinese checking out Bagan

BAGAN, Myanmar, 9 April 2019: A Chinese company conducted a survey of Bagan in March to evaluate if a heritage theatre project would appeal to tourists and turn a profit for its developers.

Myanmar Times reported at the weekend that the survey focused on potential sites in the Bagan heritage zone and had the blessing of the Department of Archaeology and National Museum in Bagan.

The study team representing the Yunnan Culture Industry Investment Holding Company visited the ancient town famous for its pagodas in late March.

However, details are sketchy. The company omitted to give a rough timeframe for constructing the project if it gets the green light and offered no hints on the level of investment, or who would be the project’s local partners.

According to Myanmar Times the Chinese company is proposing a theatre featuring cultural dances with a traditional dinner. The complex would also have a handicraft section and exhibition space for resident artists.

A permanent exhibition on minority ethnic groups in the region would also be part of the complex.

“They came here to make a preliminary study as well as understand our rules, regulations, procedures,” Bagan Department of Archaeology and National Museum director U Aung Aung Kyaw explained.  “In Bagan there is nothing to do at night, so from a tourism point of view, there might be a need for such a theatre. There are both good and bad points about the idea.”

According to Myanmar Times the Chinese company has a similar project in Siem Reap, the hometown of Angkor Wat.