Backpacking across Burma in 1995, the sight of thousands of temples scattered over the valley of Ancient Bagan inspired Brett Melzer’s dream of soaring with a balloon above that unforgettable landscape. In 1997, he quit his job in Kuala Lumpur and moved to Yangon to explore business opportunities in the tourism sector. There he met and married Khin Omar Win, his future business partner. The couple established the first commercial hot air balloon passenger service in South East Asia in Bagan.

Over the past 12 years, Balloons Over Bagan has grown from a single small balloon, 8 crew operation, to a seven-balloons employing 80 local staff and 10 foreign pilots and technicians, flying about 8000 people per year, and contributing to the local community with funds for education, health and aged care. Further expansion is planned in the immediate future

The company has diversified into Boutique luxury hotels launching The Malikha Lodge in Putao, the country’s first Conde Nast Hot list property. A second luxury wilderness accommodation, the Gangte Goenpa Lodge is scheduled to open in May 2013 in the remote Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan. The lodge will be build on the company’s philosophy of luxury and authentic adventure experiences.