SEA Games: Myanmar welcomes its friends

SEA Games: Myanmar welcomes its friends

Htan Zaw Zaw stood at the entrance of the Wunna Theikdi Stadium two hours before the opening ceremony of the 27th South-east Asia (SEA) Games on Wednesday evening.

The 56-year-old security officer surveyed the thousands of faces that had already flooded into the stadium's compound, and smiled to himself.

Zaw Zaw was only 12 when Myanmar - then known as Burma - last hosted the SEA Games in 1969.

But he fondly remembers it.

"There are many more people this time," he told The New Paper, in halting English.

"I am very happy to see so many of our friends from Thailand, Laos, Singapore, everywhere, come to my country."

Indeed, Myanmar has pulled out all the stops to dazzle the estimated 12,000 visitors to Naypyidaw for the Games.

Drive down one of the city's new "hotel zones" and you will see vast, sprawling, hotel compounds which have been built just for the biennial.

IMPRESSIVE

The compounds are so big that most require a short ride on a buggy to get from the lobby to one's room.

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