Bagan Revisited as an Intern – Sequel 1

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Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort

 

In order to spend my 2016’s summer break more meaningfully, I chose to come back to my home country (Myanmar,) specifically Bagan to intern for the first time in my life.After my graduation, I want to work in Hospitality & Tourism industry. Therefore, my internship is about hospitality management training at Bagan Thiripyitsaya Sanctuary Resort that is located in Bagan, Mandalay Division, Myanmar. From here, I would like to appreciate Juniata College for its generosity in funding me the training fee.

Bagan, used to be called the kingdom of Pagan (founded in 849 AD,) is famous for tourism in terms of religion, architecture, rural setting, and culture. Unfortunately, it has yet to be listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site due to its poor conservation. Every year, it is reported that there are almost 300,000 tourists, both internationally and domestically visit there. It is predicted that there would be half a million of tourists visit Bagan once it is named as the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Bagan has many attractions. One of them is the thousands of Buddhist temples and stupas that are situated spottily around the city. There is a Burmese saying that in Bagan, there is always one pagoda in whichever direction you point to. Because of the city’s ancient and rural setting, you would feel a sense of tranquility and peacefulness while in Bagan. It is like an isolated world. Whatever is happening around the world doesn’t bother Bagan people at all. Besides that, Bagan is also known for its friendly and helpful people.

 

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Temples scattered around Bagan City

 

The owner of Thiripyitsaya Resort that I am interning at is a Japanese investor who acquired the Resort in 1996 from the Myanmar Government. The Resort has about 110

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River view at Thiripyitsay

rooms for guests. The occupancy of rooms is full during the high season, which starts from October and ends in April. As the economy of Bagan relies solely on tourism, not many tourists would come to visit Bagan during the low season. Thus, the hotel’s regular occupancy during low season is about 20 to 30 rooms. The Resort is located in Old Bagan and by the Ayeyarwaddy River, which has offered guests an opportunity to view the sunset. Because of its stunning decoration, the Resort is claimed to have the best scenery among other hotels in Bagan. I  would call it “a place created for dreams” because there is a feeling as if I am living in the heaven while I am here. The Resort has five kinds of guestrooms. They are Standard, Deluxe Classic, Deluxe River View, Deluxe Garden View, and River View Suites. Here is the resort’s website: http://www.thiripyitsaya-resort.com/en/    The decorations and architecture of buildings at Thiripyitsaya are peculiarly unique and rich in Burmese and Japanese cultures. Around the hotel are plenty of trees, plants, and seasonal flowers. Here is a view of sunset you can see at Thiripyitsaya:

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Sunset view at Thiripyitsaya

My internship lasts for one month. It consists of training in Housekeeping, Food & Beverage, Front Office, Souvenirs Shop, Finance, Security, Gardening, and Sales & Marketing. The internship began on June 13, 2016. On the first week, I was trained in the Housekeeping Department. At Thiripyitsaya, Housekeeping Dept. is divided into Room Service, Laundry Service, and Public Area Service.

At Housekeeping Dept., first, I was sent to the Room Service segment and assigned to set up beds and rooms for the new check-ins. From setting up beds, I learned new terminologies, such as Duvet Covers, Turn-Down Service, linens, and so on. A Duvet Cover is used to insert the blanket, and to cover the bed after the bed sheet is overlaid on the mattress. Nowadays, it is popular to use Duvet Covers because they are normally less expensive and time-consuming than using three-layer covers. The other duty of Housekeepers is to look around the neighborhood to ensure that there is no dirt nearby. Room service is a very labor-intensive job. From this training experience, I learned about the art of setting up beds and also the exhaustion behind it. From here, I would like to give my salutation to the hotels’ housekeepers from all over the world.

Room Service is linked directly with the Laundry Service because housekeepers have to get the linens, covers, pillowcases, etc., from the Laundry Dept. to set up rooms for check-ins. Likewise, housekeepers also transfer the used linens, covers, and so on back to the Laundry Dept. for rewashing and preparing for the next cycle. As you can see, teamwork is very critical in this case. Abide by the mission statement of Thiripyitsaya Resort, “building one team, one culture to achieve the vision of becoming the ‘First Choice’ in Bagan,” teamwork and cooperation are put into first priority as one department is linked directly or indirectly to the other. Because of the staffs’ cooperation and the resort’s good management, every step at Thiripyitsaya (from the reservation> check-in>room service>in house & external dining, etc.) is processed smoothly.

After learning about the in-and-out of room service, I was introduced to the Laundry Service segment. There, staffs used washing and drying13493655_1071373706270762_929585368_o.jpg machines to do laundry related to hotel operation. While treating guest’s clothes, staffs used hand wash method. Washing machines include different buttons that classify different materials to be washed separately. Each button is linked to a certain detergent because different detergents function differently. For example, L-1 means to wash bed sheets. Therefore, the detergent used in washing bed sheet is different from that is used in washing 13492809_1071373669604099_1365387573_nL-2, which is for white towels.  These links not only prevent staffs from getting confused of the mixture of chemicals, but also save time in matching certain laundry with certain detergent. While the hotel is in low season, a bin of detergent can last for a month. One other machine that I found interesting at the Laundry Service building is the massive ironer that was used to iron the linens (bed sheets + covers.) This machine was really high-performing in terms of quantities. However, in order to get the linens flatter, staffs would need to use the manual iron to flatten the uneven areas.

As the conclusion from the Housekeeping Dept., I was tied to the supervisor from Public Area Service to observe the duties and functions of this segment. At Thiripyitsaya, Public Area Service is mainly in charge of cleaning the floors, trash bins, and restrooms that are located in public areas. Gardeners take care of the gardens and walk-a-ways. Public Area Service helps to clean and remove trashes in the swimming pool. However, engineers take care of the water conditions in the swimming pool. Each task is divided separately and clearly because it is clear for both the staffs and the supervisors. Once a problem happens, it can be traced down to certain person of certain department to solve the problem. Furthermore, in order to let the guests to be able to easily identify staffs’ corresponding department, Thiripyitsaya also makes staff uniforms of different colors and designs that represents the respective department. For example, the uniform of Housekeeping Dept. is white top and greyish pants. By having staff uniforms, staffs are having their own identity, and are giving the guests a consistent presentation of the department that they belong to.

My week at Housekeeping Dept. was enjoyable even thought it was tiring during the whole process. I made many friends at the department. And we had a lot of laughters while we were carrying out the assigned tasks.

 

 

 

 

**** All pictures posted on this blog were taken by me.

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