Myanmar holiday, discover the gems

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Departure information

This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Myanmar holiday, discover the gems

Environment

We encourage all our clients to take carbon reduction seriously and endorse Friends of Conservation’s 'Carbon Reduction Map' system, whereby you can easily calculate how much you should contribute for your flight.

Recognising the many benefits that travel brings, Friends of Conservation offer travellers the opportunity to mitigate some of the environmental impacts of flying by supporting community and conservation initiatives. These include alternative energy and forestry programmes in Kenya and projects in Asia, South Africa and South and Central America that focus on habitat acquisition, conservation and renewable energy activities.

One of the best ways to see the iconic U Bein’s Bridge at Amarapura near Mandalay is by boat – not only are you away from the crowds but not walking on this ancient structure is helping to preserve it.

The same goes for Bagan and Inle Lake – by opting to see these areas by hot air balloon you are helping to preserve the temples by not climbing on them and also by reducing the noise levels at the lake.

Most tours travel around Inle Lake by noisy long tail boats, so there is something rather magical about being above all of this. We also encourage bicycle rides around the lake to explore the local villages.

In Bagan bicycles are a good way to get round and see the temples by reducing need for a vehicle; you can also hire local electronic bikes to get around which is a lovely way to explore on your own time.

During the trip you will also enjoy dinner at Shwe Sa Bwe. A local training restaurant in Yangon helping disadvantaged youths from around the country to develop skills and forge careers in the hospitality industry.

Community

Myanmar is a country that is slowly opening up to tourism and sustainable tourism practices and therefore initiatives that are culturally, environmentally and socially sound are still in their infancy.

For over 15 years we have been working with a family-owned partner in Myanmar who demonstrates care for the environment, preservation of their culture and commitment to the community as well as providing employment opportunities for many local people throughout the country.

Some countries still have sanctions against former government officials and entities and as such we prefer to use non-government owned accommodation and local drivers and guides. We recommend eating in local restaurants as well as purchasing locally-made souvenirs from small shops and street vendors so you can ensure that money goes directly into the hands of the local people.

As Myanmar is now firmly on the tourist map we encourage responsible travel to areas that are less visited, to give travellers a greater understanding of the country and to help support communities that would otherwise not benefit from tourism. Whilst the main areas of interest are popular for good reason, we suggest different ways to experience them such as by seeing the temples of Bagan by hot air balloon flight or touring by bicycle.

The Inle Princess focusses on utilising the skills of local craftsmen and all of the room furnishings have been made by local artisans. Guests of the hotel can visit the workshops which are located at the back of the resort.

Much of the infrastructure in Myanmar is either government owned or is owned by companies or individuals linked to the government. By staying in non-government accommodation, eating in smaller restaurants, employing local drivers and guides as well as buying locally-made souvenirs and other things from small shops and street vendors you can ensure that money goes directly to the local people. Some countries still have sanctions against the Myanmar government so we prefer to work with privately owned hotels and businesses.

After the devastating effects of Cyclone Nargis in May 2008, we wanted to raise funds to help a community affected by one of the worst natural disasters of all time. Our local agent in Burma helped us to identify a small primary school in Paya Ngoto village which had been virtually destroyed and was in desperate need of a donor to help rebuild the school and move the 55 students out of temporary bamboo classrooms back into the main schoolhouse.

After months of fundraising and the hard work of a local contractor and workforce, the school was completed and the children moved back into their brighter, larger and better equipped schoolhouse. This is a project that we are immensely proud of and we would like to encourage all of our clients to visit and we encourage visits in small, controlled numbers.

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