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Responsible Tourism Initiatives in Myanmar

Hanuman is pleased to bring you a selection of responsible tourism initiatives in Myanmar. Visit an elephant camp in the old British hill station of Kalaw, dine in style at the good cause Shwe Sa Bwe Restaurant in Yangon, plant a tree around the temples of Bagan, sign up for the Flavours of Myanmar Cooking Class or track tigers in the remote Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve. All these responsible tourism experiences are possible and more. Just contact the Hanuman team for more details.

Hot-Air Balloon over Bagan   Look to the Future with a Fortune Teller   Washing Buddha’s Face   The legendary Moustache Brothers
Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp, Kalaw

Green Hill Valley farm offers the opportunity for a hands-on elephant experience as you get involved in caring for these majestic creatures. An immersive experience, this offers a fascinating insight into the life of an elephant and the chance to learn more about the work of a mahout or elephant keeper. As well as preserving and protecting elephants, the project also includes some responsible trekking.

House Building on Inle Lake

This is a unique experience on popular Inle Lake, as it offers the opportunity to help one of the struggling local families to improve their home. After a morning spent as a construction assistant in the charming village of Ming Tauk or one of the nearby local villages, the afternoon is spent meeting teachers and pupils in the relaxed atmosphere of the village school.

Shwe Sa Bwe Restaurant, Yangon

Similar in concept to the successful Friends and Romdeng Restaurants in Phnom Penh or Mak Phet in Vientiane, Shwe Sa Bwe is a unique training restaurant. Located in a splendid villa near to Inya Lake, Shwe Sa Bwe is a foundation set up to help diadvantaged young people acquire training and develpment in the catering and hospitality industry. The restaurant offers both inside and al fresco dining.

Tree Planting Around Bagan

Visitors can help the local agricultural economy of the area surrounding Bagan. One of the driest areas in Myanmar, planting trees is a vital way to help prevent soil erosion. Visit one of the outlying villages and plant a small sapling. Once the tree is planted, and long after you have returned home, Hanuman will ensure that the sapling is watered and nurtured until it reaches full maturity.

Mary Chapman School for the Deaf, Yangon

The Mary Chapman School for the deaf is located in Yangon’s Dagon township. It’s home to around 360 deaf students who learn speech reading, finger spelling and sign language. Tour the facilities, meet the teachers and engage with the students in the class. Donations are welcomed and greatly appreciated, including meals, furniture, stationary, school uniforms, soaps or even a sponsorship for a child.

Hukaung Valley Tiger Reserve, Northern Myanmar

Venture to the remote far north of Myanmar where the mighty Himalayan Mountains descend into Southeast Asia. Covering an incredible 6748 square miles, this tiger sanctuary is larger than all of India's tiger reserves combined. Access remains a challenge due to its geographic isolation and government permits, but this may begin to change as the country continues on the road to reform.

AFXB Craft Shop, Yangon

AFXB is a French NGO that offers training and development to poor HIV positive women in the art of handicrafts and textiles, including woodwork and metalwork. The NGO aims to fight poverty and AIDS by strengthening the social and economic capacities of families and communities at a grass root level. Their work is on display in this shop and any money spent here goes directly to support the charity's work.

Rural Development Society Shop, Kalaw

This small craft shop in hilly Kalaw sells textiles, clothing and handmade paper crafts to support disadvantaged ethnic minorities in this region. Proceeds are channeled into development projects in surrounding Shan and Pa-O villages. It is located on the west side of the lively local market and is open every day.

Hninsigone Home for the Aged, Yangon

Drop into the Hninsigone Home for the Aged, where there are around 175 elderly people in residence. This care centre is privately operated by support from local individuals as well as communities. As well as chatting to the residents, it is possible to help both them and the staff, to ease the burdens of the day.

Flavours of Myanmar Cooking Class, Bagan

Run by local travel company Good News Travels, this is a half-day cooking class that offers a popular way to mix up a temple-hopping itinerary. Starting at 8am with a visit to the lively market in New Bagan, the dishes are prepared in an al-fresco kitchen in town. Additional food is packed and prepared for the monks at the local monastery.

Hanuman is proud to be a member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Hanuman is also a member of the
Cambodian Association of Travel Agents (CATA) and the Cambodian Community-based Ecotourism Network (CCBEN).
Hanuman's Temple Safari is featured on page 32 of ‘The Guide to Responsible Tourism in Cambodia, Laos & Vietnam'.
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