Burma 15 day tour

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Date
Price
Basis
26 Oct 2019
£ 3295
including domestic flights only
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 26 Oct 2019 departure
Vouchers
Accepted

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Burma 15 day tour

Environment

We are committed to help and engage with local wildlife initiatives in all the destinations that we feature. On our tour guests will travel from Mandalay out into the rural countryside to the village of Hsithe on the Irrawaddy River, an area essential to the rare Irrawaddy dolphin. Here we work with a local community based tourism initiative where guests will spend time with the villagers learning various local industries. All income from the visit stays within the community including 20% to the dolphin conservation fund.

When travelling on this tour we will also spend a day at the Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp, an incredible initiative that provides a non-riding experience based around education and animal welfare. Surrounded by the stunning, forested scenery of Kalaw, will meet, feed, wash and interact with the seven resident elephants - who are cared for by the mahouts (elephant caretakers) and the resident vet. These elephants have been rescued from the logging industry - having been "retired" by the government - and are now living out their senior years in the peaceful sanctuary of Green Hill Valley.

The camp is family-owned and aims not only to provide a refuge for ex-working elephants, but also to provide support to local villages, preserve the natural environment and develop working opportunities for people within the region. This approach, and their passion for ensuring the elephant's welfare makes The Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp one of our favourite wildlife organisations in Burma.

We carefully vet all our suppliers to ensure their practices are in line with our own environmental standards. In Burma we have partnered with an organisation that has been operating for over 20 years to handle all our ground arrangements. They support a multitude of local charities, enterprises and organisations that contribute to environmental and cultural causes through their own foundation, enabling us to maximise the benefits that tourism has on environment, local population and their economy. Moreover, they have been Travelife certified since 2015; the very first destination management company to achieve the award in Burma, proving themselves as pioneers of sustainability in the country. Travelife is the travel industry's leading international sustainability certification. It covers all aspects of the tourism supply chain from environmental issues, biodiversity and human rights to labour relations and is in full compliance with UN-supported Global Sustainable Tourism Council Criteria.

Community

We aim to support local businesses, communities and social enterprises as much as possible in the tours that we run and our Hands On Burma tour is no different. In Bagan we take clients for lunch at Sanon Restaurant, a local social enterprise and training restaurant that is part of the TREE Alliance group offering free training and educational services to underprivileged and disadvantaged youths.

When visiting Inle Lake, guests will spend a full day with a local community of the Inthar people. Here we try out the traditional techniques of fishing with local fishermen, visit local ‘floating farms’ where guests will learn about organic farming methods an also pick some fresh local produce and visit a Inthar home where (with fish and vegetables in hand) we will join the hosts for an interactive cooking class in their kitchen.
Also in Loikaw guests will spend two full days immersed within the local community taking part and experiencing a range of activities with the villagers. This part of the trip is fully organised by a local community based tourism initiative with 100% of costs going directly back into the local community for regional development.

As with other tours we aim to support local craft makers and artisans in the countries that we visit, promoting the traditional and cultural heritage of the destinations. On our Hands On Burma tour we include a variety of ‘hands on’ activities these for our clients. In Mandalay we visit a marionette making workshop where you can try your hand at making a puppet under the tutelage of a local master. In Twante and Bagan we will discover the secrets behind the pottery making and famous lacquerware workshops produce of Burma, helping create a unique, handmade souvenirs under the guidance of the in-house artisans. In Loikaw another workshop is planned to understand the process of dye weaving where you will not only get the chance to discuss the process and daily life with the women that work there, but also have the opportunity to get your hands coloured as well.
And for a culinary aspect, clients will visit one of Burma’s most renowned vineyards for a tour and wine tasting, take part in making traditional sausages in Loikaw and enjoy a hands on cooking class with the Inthar community at Inle Lake.

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