Hsithe is a small village with a very impressive history and heritage. Located in the Mandalay region, it takes roughly two hours by car and 30 minutes by boat to reach and relies on the revenue produced by fishing as its main source of income. Aiming to preserve the centuries-old relationship between locals and the Ayeyarwady River, Destination Asia Myanmar is helping to develop community based tourism (CBT) with contributions from visitors divided between the community, preservation of the interactive fishing and conservation of the Ayeyarwady dolphins.
The development of Hsithe Eco-Lodge has been a positive step in the nurturing of CBT in the region. Built mainly from recycled timber; the pillars, floorings and windows come from dismantled old houses. The two-story lodge has a roof made from woven bamboo mats and the upper floor is open with mattresses and mosquito nets provided for those staying overnight. The lodge can accommodate a total of 10 guests maximum.
Electricity is largely produced from solar power and plans are in action to use gray water from the kitchen to water the organic vegetable garden. Hsithe Eco-Lodge will operate as a hub to raise awareness on important ecological factors among the surrounding villages. Discarded fertilizer bags and rice bags are remade into shopping bags for sale. Surplus mango fruits that will rot and waste are made into mango jams and mango chutney which are also available at the centre. A youth training scheme helps younger members of the community train as guides who can then show the visitors around the village.
Read our previous post on Hsithe community: Working Closely with Ayeyarwady Community Conservation to Develop Eco-tourism