2019 in review – Khiri Travel Myanmar highlights
2019 was an exciting year for tourism in Myanmar as Bagan was included as a UNESCO heritage site. As one of the country’s major highlights, the ancient city had a rocky start to being added to the list. After their initial nomination, Myanmar worked with the World Heritage Committee to ensure that the renovations at many of the temples would not compromise the architectural, cultural, and historic integrity of the sites. Furthermore, the Myanmar government has pledged to manage Bagan’s tourist and commercial development in a responsible manner. As Myanmar’s second heritage site, Bagan continues to call the attention of more travelers. Along with the government’s commitment, Khiri Travel will continue working with our local partners to preserve the site’s we visit.
In Yangon, Shwedagon Pagoda is looking brand new after the completion of its gold leaf gilding. Walls were also built to prevent land erosion on the nearby mountain. Guests can now view the Pagoda unencumbered free of the construction and bamboo stilts.
Making life easier for travelers, the government gave further support to tourism granting visa on arrival for passport holders of Australia, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland.
Keen to innovate, and taking into account our visitor’s needs, Khiri Travel Myanmar has launched two new programs: three lakes trekking & evening food tours in Yangon. The first excursion is a four days trek off-the-beaten path in areas that traverse through mountains, bamboo forests, and various temples. While guests pass through the scenic Pa O villages, we stay at rustic lodges and local homestays. Though many people have heard of Inle lake, the other two lakes, Pekon and Samkar, are equally as beautiful.
The second program is for travelers wanting to try local food and flavors from the other regions in Myanmar. We will take you to restaurants that only locals know in Yangon. Some of our favorite dishes served at various tea houses include Mala Hin, vegetables stir-fried in spicy bean paste, and Kachin fish, steamed in northern herbs. While taking in the all city’s sights, Rosewood Yangon is a terrific place to stay and has opened its doors in a restored colonial-heritage building from 1927: we recommend dining at the NOVA Brasserie and enjoying their local catch-of-the-day at their seafood bar.
Two of our existing tours have become popular among our visitors: Hop on & Hop off, an exciting adventure that alternates between cycling and cruising by boat to explore Inle Lake. The second, Bagan temples & food by night, explores temples at a time when very few tourists are around. Our guests get to tastes some typical snacks usually served at night during temple festivals.
Furthermore, our sustainability projects continue to grow with the help of our guests: five new water wells were donated. Bringing the total up to thirty-five wells, these waterworks provide clean water throughout the year to the driest areas in Myanmar. It allows indigenous villagers to continue farming and raising livestock on farms that they have lived on for many generations.
In addition, we also sponsored English classes at a Nunnery so they can interact with tourists confidently and stay connected in a modernizing Myanmar. Our local team was also hard at work reducing waste in our office as well as collecting garbage in Bagan and Yangon. We ended the year strong by planting trees at a monastery to offset our carbon emissions.
During 2019, the country and Khiri Travel Myanmar have implemented positive measures to continue accommodating more visitors and share our passion for discovery. Come explore this exotic and beautiful country with us.