"when we left...on 6th December at least seven dolphins, including calves, came to 'say good-bye' frolicking in the water

by our boat as the sun set over the western hills - lovely!' P.B.

The development  of the destinations is part of a community-conservation project funded by the UK's Darwin Initiative. It is a partnership between the Myanmar non-profit organisations 'Grow Back for Posterity' and Myanmar Bird and Nature Society and the UK's Harrison Institute. The project has also received valuable support from the University of Mandalay.

Welcome to 'Destination Ayeyarwady', Myanmar 
 
The fishermen and fisherwomen of two traditonal fishing villages (Hsithe and Myitkangyi) invite you 
to come and visit them on the Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) River, Myanmar (Burma).
 
Your visit will support:
1: the conservation of the critically endangered Irrawaddy River dolphin
2: the culture and livelihoods of communities who have traditionally fished 'cooperatively' with these dolphins.

The two new destinations are on the east bank of the Ayeyarwady River between Mandalay and Kyaukmyaung (see map in Information). They were awarded Best Community-based Tourism project (Myanmar) at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (2019) and 'Best Community Involvement in Tourism' for Myanmar (2017). They also featured in the Darwin Initiative May, 2018 newsletter.

They offer a range of exciting, interesting and unusual activities, including:

1: boat trips with fishermen/fisherwomen (great for photography)

2: learning to cast a fishing net (fun, interactive, and suitable for men and women)

3: village tours (a great way to see the real Myanmar)

4: a visitor centre (learn about the culture and wildlife of the river)

5: a shop (buy village handicrafts from the people that make them).

Visitor Centre

 

The Hsithe Visitor centre, with its lovely position on the river bank and its beautiful garden, continues to welcome and delight all who come to Hsithe village.

Ecolodge & Environmental Learning Centre

 

The latest development at Hsithe is a new building (which opened in November, 2018), made of recycled wood, that serves both as accommodation for visitors and as a centre for practical education in environmental awareness ...more.

Many travel companies are now offering tours to the villages, including:
GeoDiscover Travel - Hsithe village and Myitkangyi village
Azure Sky Travels  - bespoke tours
Asian Trails Myanmar - bespoke tours
Gulliver Myanmar - bespoke tours
Tour Mandalay - Hsithe village, community-based conservation
Grand Lotus - bespoke tours
Destination Asia - bespoke tours
Sun Bird Tours bespoke tours
SST TravelCommunity Based Tourism to Ayarwaddy
Santhitsa Lamin - bespoke tours
Mighty Myanmar Travel - bespoke tours 
Omicron Travels and Tours - bespoke tours
ViatorHsithe village
Diethelm Travel - a day tour and a two-day tour
 
Tours are also available through Lonely Planet and tripadvisor
For interesting visitors' reports see Inside Burma and Tour Mandalay (the Tour Mandalay report was written while the destinations were still being developed)
Hsithe and Myitkangyi Villages - the story so far
 
On 2 November, 2016, the first official tourists, a French group of four, visited Hsithe village. As they arrived, they saw five dolphins playing in the water opposite the village. It seems the dolphins were also welcoming them. Since then, about 400 visitors have come to see and share experiences with these two wonderful communities. Currently, the Hsithe fishermen and women, working with the Harrison Institute are developing accommodation in a new purpose-built 'ecolodge' so that tourists can stay overnight in the village. They will also encourage visitors and projects interested in environmental awareness to use the centre and accommodation as a rural Environmental Learning Centre. 
Contact

 

Ma Hnin Witt Yee, Project Reservations Manager, Yangon on 09 250 640 728 or email hninhninmeister@gmail.com

Contact

 

Ma Hnin Witt Yee, Project Reservations Manager, Yangon on 09 250 640 728 or email hninhninmeister@gmail.com

Designed & published by Paul Bates, Harrison Institute. Revised February. 2019