This trip can be tailormade throughout the year and can be adapted to suit your interests, budget and requirements as necessary
Responsible tourism: Rangoon to Inle Lake tour of Burma
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.
In addition to reducing levels of atmospheric carbon, these programmes also provide a number of social, economic, educational and environmental benefits for local communities. There are four bands with suggested amounts per band based on the distance travelled from the UK for return flights, for a return flight to Burma a donation of £15 per person is suggested. The suggested amounts are in line with DEFRAís current guidelines for the cost per tonne of carbon and are based on the approximate levels of CO2 emitted on an average flight. We are very grateful to TICOS, the Travel Industry Carbon Offsetting Service, for kindly providing this information.
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. Most tours travel around Inle Lake by noisy long tail boats, so there is something rather magical about being alone on the canals in a wooden canoe at sunset, with only the sound of the rower deftly steering his way through the floating villages against a deep orange sky.
For the last 15 years in Burma we have been working with an excellent, local, family-owned agent 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.
Much of the infrastructure in Burma 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.
During your time in Inle Lake you may wish to stay at Golden Island Cottages. These wonderfully atmospheric bungalows are built in a traditional style on stilts over the lake. Golden Island Cottages is a cooperative project, run and staffed by the local Pa O people. Revenue from the property is utilised for development within the community.
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, particularly as so many generously donated and supported our fundraising efforts.