Khiri Myanmar Helps Villagers and Young Learners in Ngapali and Maung Shwe Lay
A few weeks ago, the Khiri Travel Myanmar staff came back from a four-day trip to Ngapali and Maung Shwe Lay on the west coast of Myanmar. They departed on Friday afternoon from Yangon, very excited and with lots of snacks on the overnight bus.
The road was occasionally bumpy — just enough to wake us up after we’d fallen asleep. Not to worry, it was a very attractive journey, not least the trip over the mountains for a very pleasing final hour into Thandwe.
“It took us 16 hours to get to Ngapali Beach and Sandoway Resort, where we were welcomed with a nice breakfast on the beach. This was just a stop on the journey that led us over a crossing of St. Andrew’s Bay by boat to Maung Shwe Lay. This is where we overnighted in tents and in a homestay with one of the local families,” says Director of Operations, JP.
To give you some context, Maung Shwe Lay is a traditional fishing village with about 2,500 inhabitants. The villagers have to travel a long way to sell their fish. Many rely on middlemen, so the price they get isn’t very good. Schools are small or far away. The community could do with some help.
While there, the afternoon was devoted to teambuilding games with LEGO. (The ‘bricks’ were donated to the local library the next day.) The Khiri group also spent a couple of hours with the young people of the village to collect rubbish and dispose of it properly.
That Khiri Travel Myanmar came to visit Maung Shwe Lay and wanted to help clean up the village was very much appreciated by the village people. They got a nice thank you and a delicious local meal after. “We believe that the beach clean up is something the villagers will continue doing by themselves after we’ve gone.”
On the Sunday the staff was taken by ox carts along the beach to the local monastery to participate in a donation ceremony. They had taken lots of books and magazines with them. These were donated to the village library. The Maung Shwe Lay library is a Khiri Reach project, which means that a portion of the money spent on tours to Maung Shwe Lay is used to support the library.
The afternoon was set aside for hotel inspections, amongst which was the Yoma Cherry Lodge. This accommodation is located on a separate beach near a fishing village. The Khiri team particularly loved that part of Ngapali. In Lintha village it was easy to explore local life among friendly villagers. The hotel also supports a local school through the Andrew Clark Trust. At that school the children receive free English lessons and learn to work in hospitality. The hotel also funds university costs for some students in the region. Please have a look at their website for more information.
After various hotel inspections on the Sunday afternoon (and a delicious seafood dinner), our Khiri team returned back to Yangon on Monday.
The trip to Maung Shwe Lay and surrounding area was both inspirational and practically useful. The trip helped Khiri Myanmar’s destination knowledge. More importantly according to JP, “we could see that our visit gave hope and access to knowledge for young people in the area who are seeking a better future.”
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