This trip can be tailormade throughout the year and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Responsible tourism: Myanmar highlights holiday
We encourage all our clients to take carbon reduction seriously and endorse Friends of Conservationís '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 Beinís Bridge at Amarapura near Mandalay is by boat Ė not only are you away from the crowds but not walking on this ancient structure is helping to preserve it. We also encourage bicycle rides around Inle lake to explore the local villages.
In Bagan bicycles are a good way to explore and see some of the lesser visited temples, which also reduces the need for a vehicle. It is possible to hire electronic bikes to make cycling a little easier in the heat and to cover greater ground.
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. On this trip for example, you will visit the Jade market in Mandalay, cookery classes near Inle Lake and pottery workshops at Twante pottery village.
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 partner 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 encourage visits in small controlled numbers, particularly as so many generously donated and supported our fundraising efforts. A visit to this school is included in your itinerary.