From Guest Bloggers

The talent behind the scenes

From our dear friend Tabitha, who is supportive of  our (every) project through and through. 🙂

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Dreamland Guesthouse is only the latest addition to this funky oasis of art and music in Mandalay. A collaboration between a talented contemporary artist and an inspirational local family has resulted in a lively establishment full of colour, melody, community and a palpable sense of freedom.

Cool ladies at work!

Cool ladies at work!

Dreamland serves not only as an affordable art and music school for the local community, but as a hub for social progress. They regularly host free workshops, lectures and exhibitions, limited not only to artsy themes like photography, drama and the like, but extending to human rights, and radio broadcast journalism training. They are doing their part to help Myanmar find its feet in a new era of relatively free (if questionably so at times) media. This is immediately apparent in the huge sculptures, once censored and hidden, that now dominate the façade around Dreamland, boldly proclaiming freedom of expression for the people of Myanmar.

But the best part about this story for me, is the amazingly capable family running the show here. Mom is an incredible artist in her own right whose paintings line the walls, while Dad is champion of eclectic business projects. Their multi-lingual five daughters and son, ranging in age from 14 to 24, have pretty much put the guesthouse together with their bare hands. Not to mention, they are all incredibly gifted in art, music and even literature.

From restoring old furniture, to literally building the rest from scrap wood, making all the bedding including the mattresses, and painting every inch of wooden panel, floor, wall and ceiling in their own designs, these kids have shown some impressive talent and know-how. There has been some serious DIY work done here, and all with a nod to sustainability as most of their materials have been recycled. My measly few sentences do no justice to the amount of work and heart that this entire family has contributed to this latest project. But you can feel it in the air.

Needless to say, our personal test drive of one of their dorm rooms gets 5 stars. Excellent comfort, cleanliness, spaciousness and privacy.  Bonus stars for the creativity bursting out in all directions!

 


 

Tab

Tabitha Hrynick

Tabitha is proud to be an honorary Mandalite having called the city her home for the past two years. She can be often be found reading, practicing yoga, searching for delicious new places to dine, and haunting the halls of Dreamland dabbling in music and art, and making good memories with the wonderful family there.

Welcome Home

We ask  friends and guests to write something for our blog. And here we present the very first from Teo, a long time family friend and a true traveler.

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I have spent the past two years living in dusty but vibrant Mandalay, watching it slowly develop and transform into a city that is not only receptive to foreigners but more importantly, can host them and provide the necessary comforts that they might need.

Enter Dreamland Guest House. Owned and run by an adorable local family who live within, this place is easily summarized within its name. It is a dream for travelers who intend to spend some days in and around Mandalay. It doubles as an art and music school which only adds further atmosphere and energy to a very charismatic building.

It is immediately apparent that a lot of thought, love and dedication have gone into this project. So much of the building work and furnishings have been made by recycled materials and every family member has contributed in some way. There is gorgeous art work over every wall and the spacious layout is very appealing. I have had many sleepless nights in many forgettable hostels around the world, but Dreamland’s facilities make you want to climb into bed early. The dorm beds and rooms are among the most appealing I have encountered and it was with real pleasure that my partner and I were asked to test drive the facilities. Outcome: we asked if we could move in on a full-time basis the next day! Upstairs, there are private rooms offering twin and double beds with toilets/showers inside or out. The colorful stone corridor leading you to them is very inviting and makes you feel happy and alive. Perhaps my favorite feature is the circular exit/entrance to/from the roof. It is delightfully covered in painted artwork and leads to a view across the city.

Dreamland will fill the gap that has been missing for travelers who want to enjoy the accommodation in Myanmar. It offers not only the nicest surroundings but also at the cheapest prices. I can’t help but spend my free time here as it feels both stimulating and relaxing all at once. This place is a must see for all travelers. In short, you would be crazy to book a bed anywhere else! Come and dream the nights away at Dreamland Guest House. The chances are, I’ll be there doing the very same thing!

 

 

 


 

 

teoandtabby

Teo van Well – U.K (Scotland)

I double as a sport and health teacher here in Mandalay having relocated two years ago. My partner, Tabitha, and I have fallen in love with the people of Myanmar and we hope to have further years ahead of us here. I have travelled fairly extensively around Asia and hope to continue my travels in the future, seeing as much of our world as I can. Meeting new people, experiencing new cultures and learning more about myself and others are the factors I find stimulating about my lifestyle choice. May the adventures continue…..