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April 25, 2007

The Wild, Wild East

Myanmar's only upscale retreat opens near Asia's largest tiger reserve.

Adventure luxe is coming to the backwaters of Burma. Also known as Myanmar — at least to the ruling military junta — Burma remains one of the world’s most difficult regions to travel to. Some argue you shouldn’t go there at all. But that hasn’t stopped Brett Melzer, who this fall opens Malikha Lodge, the country’s first five-star wilderness retreat, in the foothills of the Himalayas. Ten spacious bungalows spread across 16 acres of landscaped gardens, the lodge was built by Aman Resorts designers, Denniston; the Swiss chef studied under several Michelin-starred restaurants; and the spa director used to count Nicole Kidman and Cate Blanchett among his customers. Set in the country’s remote northern clutches, between India and China, the region is home to wild elephants, Asia’s largest tiger reserve, and a litany of endangered wildlife (clouded leopard, blue sheep and red panda, anyone?). Tailored activities include cruising the Malikha River (where villagers still pan for gold), rafting the Nam Lang River, and elephant trekking. And once you’re back at your bungalow, you can relax in your 400-gallon teak hot tub (pictured).

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read more: 02. Sleep | boutique | romantic | secluded | safari | 09. Active

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