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Balloons Over Bagan

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Balloons Over Bagan

It was a chance meeting in July 1997 in Yangon which brought Brett Melzer and Khin Omar Win together. Born in Yangon and raised in the UK, Omar with a degree in Development Studies and Geography at the University of Wales, had returned to her homeland to follow her passion in travel and development. Brett, an Australian citizen, had graduated from the London School of Economics and had just arrived in Myanmar to seek opportunities in tourism.

During the infancy of Myanmar’s tourism industry, they established together the first commercial hot air balloon operation in South East Asia – Balloons over Bagan. Over the past 14 years Balloons over Bagan has grown from a single small balloon operation with 8 crew, to a 10 balloon operation employing over 100 local staff and 16 foreign pilots and technicians. Further expansion is planned in the immediate future.

Following the growth of Balloons over Bagan, Brett and Omar pioneered the first white water rafting expeditions on the headwaters of the Ayeryarwady River, which was the precursor to developing a luxury wilderness lodge – the award winning Malikha Lodge, which became, the country’s first Conde Nast Hot list property.

Following on from this, since 2009, Omar and Brett have overseen the company’s own Myanmar project management team in the construction of their second hotel project Gangtey Goenpa Lodge in Bhutan, which opened in November 2013. Award winning Gangtey (Goenpa) Lodge Bhutan, winner of Travel and Leisure’s Design Award 2014 and in Conde Nast’s Hot List of Best New Hotels for 2014.
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