Responsible tourism: Myanmar holiday, 21 day itinerary
As a part of this tour we visit an elephant conservation centre where the proceeds of our entrance fees go towards maintaining these retired elephants. The community project that we visit has created a haven for the elephants by providing a natural habitat for them, as well as helping the local community in a bid to erase poverty in their area. This tour also visits several breathtaking natural sites and ruined temples and it is very important to us that these locations are not ruined by too many travellers not respecting the area. Our responsible travel policy sets out our expectations of travellers when visiting these sites, including not taking any rocks or stones as souvenirs and taking only photos. Additionally, tour leaders will advise our travellers of the local etiquette and what is expected in the way of behaviour and dress. We endeavour to respect the cultures of the countries where we travel and not to provide offense. We advise our travellers to ask permission before taking photos of local people and to treat locals as you would expect to be treated by visitors to your own country. This tour also includes a mix of public and private transport reducing the carbon footprint. A train journey through the Shan mountains and another over the Goitek Viaduct provide scenic landscapes whilst reducing the effect on the environment.
We visit several local villages and communities that give us an insight into traditional culture in Myanmar. From Hsipaw for example, we explore the local Shan villages. Here an expert guide will explain about traditional Shan life including home industries like bamboo weaving . We also discover the Palaung community who live according to old traditions. They rarely have contact with the Western world so this is a great insight into an authentic way of life. This tour through Myanmar combines an intoxicating mix of off the beaten track gems such as destinations like Kyaykme and Pyin Oo Lwin as well as major highlights such as the Kyaikto Pagoda.
We also employ the services of local guides which has the dual benefit of providing valuable insight into the culture for our travellers, as well as providing a source of income for local people. It is our aim that tourism be beneficial to local communities, not exploitative, so we pay fairly and demand decent working conditions from any local enterprise with whom we choose to partner.