Giving Back: Community Based Tourism

Myanmar’s Kayah State Workshops

Join in and learn about the processes undertaken at a Kayah State workshop. Here guests can learn how to make traditional brass coils under the mentorship of Kayan ladies, who became famous owing to their elongated necks (adorning stacked brass coils). Out of economic necessity, many of these women migrated to Thailand to make money from tourists as human attractions. These alternative programs work with them in a relationship that gives back, aiming to build a different rapport. Originally from Myanmar, many of these ladies who have been exploited in the past, are slowly coming back as community based tourism initiatives such as these are being developed.

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Living Lands Community in Laos

Set out with your personal guide to the Living Lands Community Farm on an adventure that promises to immerse you in local village life and farming techniques, while benefiting the environment. The Living Land Project is a sustainable company set up in the outskirts of Luang Prabang where visitors learn about the importance of traditional farming methods and how the produce can help support local communities.

The rice farming experience is a particularly popular program, introducing visitors to the process of planting and harvesting rice in the water soaked paddies. Only employing locals and helping to train young members of the community, the project provides many great benefits for the wider community. This hugely successful community based tourism program takes place within an idyllic countryside setting framed by rising mountains and flourishing rice terraces.

Watch our video taken at the Living Lands Community Farm
(taken from the Destination Asia Video Suite)

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Active Support & Micro-funding in Hoa Binh

Head approximately 70 km west of Hanoi and you arrive at an ethnic minority community in Hoa Binh Province where microfunds (tour fees) are used to support community projects. By supporting this program, travelers can make a positive impact within this community though monetary funding and by getting their hands dirty. There is the opportunity to learn typical rural tasks such as tending to livestock, making shrimp baskets and harvesting rice. During the day we also enjoy lunch in the company of the head of the Women’s Union in the village, and visit nearby enterprises supporting local handicrafts such as broom-making. Those willing to try can join in and attempt to forge their own broom head. Before departing for Hanoi, there is time to learn about the health and education system in local schools, providing a more in-depth understanding of life in Hoa Binh.

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