Destination Asia Myanmar is working closely with Ayeyarwady Community Conservation to develop a new eco-tourism destination on the mighty Ayeyarwady River.
The aim of the project is to protect the critically endangered Irrawaddy Dolphin while contributing towards its conservation and promote responsible tourism. It also sets a good example for those fishermen that still use illegal electro fishing devices and are responsible for the death of many dolphins.
Myitkangyi and Hsithe are idyllic, riverside villages situated on the east bank of the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River some 60 km north of Mandalay. Without electricity or running water, no roads and no cars in the village and accessibility only by boat, both locations are extremely remote.
The big community of poor fishermen and fisherwomen in Hsithe welcomed the idea to create a new tourist destination with a number of interesting additional livelihoods. Working all happily together, this project will help them to develop basic economic progress in the village, provide new livelihoods for the next generation, and preserve their rich culture, but at the same time reduce the number of controversial dolphin-watching tours which are harassing and stressful for the few remaining dolphins in the Ayeyarwady.
Several other livelihoods have been set up in the region through numerous workshops and trainings; such as craft making using local resources, walking tours through picturesque villages led by a trained village guide, or enjoying a delicious lunch cooked by a local family. A day return trip itinerary is available for guests who wish to experience some of these activities and more. Departing Mandalay at 8:00am, guests learn practices such as casting a traditional fishing net and explore the villages to see craftspeople at work.
100% of the money spent in the villages including fees stays in the village.