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Mystical Mandalay on Myanmar National Airlines (Y) and SilkAir (J)

Mystical Mandalay on Myanmar National Airlines (Y) and SilkAir (J)


Old Jan 11, 18, 10:03 am
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Dinner at Mogok Daw Shan Noodle. Its Shan noodles is amazing, as well as the very tasty dumplings.

Kuanyin Temple near our hotel.

Mandalay Clock Tower

Visit to the bustling Zay Cho Market

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Old Jan 11, 18, 11:52 am
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I guess I'll chime in again, with thanks for the great temple, market, food and other shots.
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Old Jan 12, 18, 10:01 am
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Nuns heading out for alms.

Local transportation in Mandalay.

Another monastary,

Visit to the Jade Market.

Really delicious and authentic local Myanmar cuisine at Aye Myit Tar!

Western food at Central Park restaurant. Really good too!

On the final day, we visited the World's first and only Jade Pagoda while on the way to the airport. The whole pagoda was built out of jade!

nequine and bitterproffit like this.
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Old Jan 13, 18, 1:25 am
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The airport was about another 20min drive from the Jade Pagoda, which itself was almost 45min from the city. That is how far the airport is from the city. A security check was required before entering the check-in hall.

Boarding pass issued with invite to a cafe for JCL pax. There is no colour differentiation for Business and Economy Class passengers on MI's boarding passes. Due to some customs issues on some export tax receipts (Notice: Get an export certificate from the shop for all stones/jade purchases, no matter how cheap they are, even for USD$5, or risk customs not allowing you to bring them out of Myanmer. There was no notice on this in souvenir shops or online for that matter...)

FIDS. International flights are displayed in yellow.

Departure hall was rather basic with a few shops.

Our A320 operating the flight to Yangon and Singapore. The flight operates a triangular routing of SIN-MDL-RGN-SIN on a single flight number.

31 December 2017
MI 522
Mandalay (MDL) - Yangon (RGN)
Business Class
Flight Time: 50M

Boarding has already commenced and we were one of the last few to board.

My seat at the last row of the 12-seater Business Class cabin. A pillow and thick blanket were already placed on the seat. The seat is a standard recliner with adjustable headrest, mechanical recline, leg and foot rests.

Welcome drinks of water or juices were offered. I had an apple juice. Newspapers and magazines were also offered.

A quick visit to the lavatory before departure. The Business Class lavatory was stocked with basic amenities such as toothbrushes, mouth wash and hand lotion.

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Old Jan 13, 18, 9:22 am
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Pillow and blanket.

Inflight magazines SilkWinds, KrisShop and SilkAir Studio. Starting Jan'18, SilkAir Studio has got its own IFE guide.

Doors closed and safety video played. Flight time was approximately 50min.


It was only a short taxi to the runway where we departed from the intersection of the more than 4km Rwy17.


In Business Class, i-Pads and earphones (similar to SQ economy ones) were provided allow access to SilkAir Studio. Decided to watch Kingsman.

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Old Jan 13, 18, 9:50 am
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On this short sector, only beverages would be served in both Business and Economy (pre-packed orange juice were distributed in economy). This is in contrast to Myanmar National Airlines where a snack box and beverage run was provided, even in economy. Guess this was due to no catering uplift in Myanmar for the entire 3 sectors of the flight. Our beverage order was taken before departure and promptly served after takeoff.

In Business Class, snacks were available upon request. Crew informed that the snack choices were potato chips, pretzels or nuts. We requested for both chips and pretzels. Service by the crew in Business Class, though not as polished as SQ, was still very friendly, attentive and warm in a casual sort of way.

Cruising above Myanmar. Not sure of our cruising altitude or position as no flight info is available on MI's IFE system.

Hot towels were distributed as we started our descend into Yangon.



Landing on Rwy21 slightly ahead of schedule. "Mingalabar, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Yangon...."


Taxied and parked at the gate. Transit passengers heading to Singapore are required to disembark with all hand luggage and collect a transit card from the ground staff. With our early arrival, we would have almost an hour's transit stop in Yangon.

Disembarking. A couple of unoccupied seats on this sector.

Will be back on this aircraft in less than an hour's time.

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Old Jan 13, 18, 10:15 am
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Thanks for the excellent pics and report.

I spent the summer trying to decide between Cambodia and Myanmar (MDL and BGN). I chose Cambodia.

Myanmar next time.


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Old Jan 14, 18, 12:04 am
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And now for my final flight of 2017, the continuing RGN-SIN sector on the MDL-RGN-SIN flight.

After disembarkation, a transit cards and a brief security screening was conducted for transit passengers. Seemed like most of the passengers were in transit (who would want to fly 3hrs up to Mandalay and then 1hr down to Yangon when there are multiple daily flights direct from SIN to RGN, unless you are an AV Geek).

Into the terminal, which actually felt a bit like Changi as it was developed by the Changi group I think.

As there was an hour's transit stop, we tried our luck and enquired with the ground staff if we could go to the lounge as we were starving from no proper food served on the last sector. Ground staff told us to try and guided us towards the direction of the lounge, and reminded that boarding would commence in 30min. We headed to the Mingalar Sky Lounge, which seemed to be used by all airlines, and the staff welcomed us in after taking photocopies of our boarding passes and transit cards.

The lounge was spacious and nicely designed. It was also not crowded then.

View from the lounge.

There is a decent buffet spread, with a range of hot/cold food and finger food available.

Soon, boarding announcement was made in the lounge for the flight. Boarding has commenced earlier than scheduled. Made our way back to the gate, which was just down the escalator from the lounge.

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Old Jan 14, 18, 12:32 am
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31 December 2017
MI 522
Yangon (RGN) - Singapore (SIN)
Business Class
Flight Time: 2H55M

Re-boarding the aircraft and welcomed back by the same set of crew. It was definitely a long working day for them, operating 3 sectors.

Back to the same seat and welcome beverages and hot towels were offered. Again, I stuck to apple juice. Business Class was very full on this sector and I spotted only an empty seat.

View out the window.

There was a bit of wait for the last few passengers and after all boarded, safety video was played and doors closed.

Taxied to the runway

Departure from Rwy21 bound for Singapore.


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Old Jan 14, 18, 9:27 am
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Leaving the coast of Myanmar.

Earphones and i-Pads were handed out again for the inflight entertainment.

Seat in almost full recline.

Seat controls.

The lavatory stocked with some amenities.

The crew then came round to take our meal orders. On SilkAir Business Class, no menus were distributed. Instead, the crew will present the meal and drinks menu in a holder individually to each pax to view prior to taking the order. Downside, you don't get to keep the menu.

After meal and beverage orders were taken, our tray tables were set up with a linen in preparation for the meal service. Silent entertainment were also played on the overhead monitors.

The meal tray was hand-delivered from the galley, with the starter and dessert on it.

A single selection of red and white wines each was also offered.

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Old Jan 14, 18, 9:47 am
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A selection of warm breads were offered from the breadbasket, where I chose garlic bread and a soft roll.

The starter of Potato Salad was rather simple.

I also requested to try the champagne, which was promptly delivered. The champagne, Collet Brut NV, was shown and poured directly at my seat. It tasted decent, though I am not a champagne connoisseur to judge.

There were only 2 choices for the main course, Pasta with tuna or Malay-style cchicken with tumeric rice. We tried both dishes. Unlike SQ on the same route where main courses were served in pre-plated dishes, SilkAir had the main courses plated before serving.

The pasta tasted fine, with the penne still al-dente, but lacking a bit in the protein department with canned tuna used.

However, the Malay-style chicken with rice was delicious, with spicy and flavourful chicken accompanied with tasty tumeric rice.

Also tried the SilkAir Signature cocktail - Joy. It was a concoction of juices and red wine, and was rather refreshing.

Dessert was only a Pandan chiffon cake, which in my opinion, was rather 'cheap' as a Business Class meal dessert.


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Old Jan 15, 18, 7:47 am
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After the meal tray was cleared, the crew came round to offer pralines!

My friend ordered a Virgin Mary, which wa beautifully presented.

Continued with Kingsman, and had a sinfully wonderful hot chocolate to enjoy the movie with.

The sun is setting.

Another view of the messy seat in full recline.

A peek into Economy, which seemed pretty full.

Before our arrival, the crew came around and asked if we would like any more snacks or drinks. We ordered a plate of Snyder pretzels to share, and I had a glass of water as well.

Approaching Singapore and landing on Rwy02R.


Parked at Terminal 2 and disembarked. Last view of the seat.

Baggage delivery took some time even though we had priority tags. It seemed that the Yangon-originated baggage were delivered first (bot priority and non-priority) before the first Mandalay-originated bags appeared.

SilkAir has provided a pleasant short-haul experience. Even though it may not have all the bells and whistles of its elder sister SQ, the service was excellent and I dare say may be better than some of my SQ Business Class experiences as I actually prefered the more casual style of the SilkAir service.

Thanks for reading my final 2017 report!
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Old Nov 17, 18, 6:32 am
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Glad I've found this post - I'll be on UB002 and was search if I needed to de-plane or not. You've answered the question ... Thanks.
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Old Dec 23, 18, 7:44 pm
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Flew UB8082 HKG-RGN in J. Wonderful service
  • J includes free airport transfer both ways (https://www.flymna.com/experience-mna#mingalabar). I only flew one-way.
  • Victor and the Hong Kong reservation desk did a great job setting up and following up (by email and WhatsApp). It's recommended you reach out by email more than 3 business days prior.
  • The CNAC "VIP" lounge in HKG is crap as expected; barely beats mainland Chinese lounge, but it's too far away from the gate. Go for a Priority Pass lounge if you can.
  • Typical on-board service: welcome drink, towels (pre-packaged, warmed). Limited choices in the IFE, but that should really matter for a relatively short flight.
  • You can pre-select your meal online; I opted for the "seafood". I believe they offered some stir-fried noddles as the regular option.
  • Greeted by a Mingalabar rep at gate on arrival. She just pointed me to immigration; handled immigration on my own (without hassle).
  • Greeted by another rep at baggage claim. My bag did take a while to show up; apparently my green "business class" bag tag didn't matter.
  • After grabbing my bag, rep walked me out of terminal, and boarded complimentary shuttle to Yangon hotel. I think this part alone justifies flying J on MNA; no need to haggle, and no worry about getting dropped off at the wrong place.

Last edited by rtool; Dec 23, 18 at 8:00 pm
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