Myanmar to open archeological sites to visitors during water festival

YANGON, March 22 (Xinhua) -- Myanmar's well-known archeological sites will be opened to visitors during the country's water festival next month, Director of the Archaeology and National Museum department U Aung Aung Kyaw said on Wednesday.

The archaeological zones are Bagan, Pinya and Inwa sites in Mandalay Region, Mrauk U in Rakhine State, Pyu archaeological zones (Beikthano, Hanlin and Sri Ksetra) and Bago Region, however the museums in such places will close during the festival on April 13-17.

"We will open these sites to visitors who want to visit during the water festival. The total number of visitors declined because there were COVID-19 restrictions for visitors during past years but more visitors are coming this year," the official said.

He added that security plans for visitors are arranged by respective government departments in these sites. The Myanmar International TV reported on Wednesday that over 400,000 foreign tourists visited archaeological sites in 2017-2018 in Myanmar before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the Southeast Asian country, total international arrivals surged by about 214 percent in January year-on-year, official data showed. Myanmar welcomed 233,487 foreign visitors last year.

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