Trekking routes are to be mapped out and constructed as well as regional guide training are to be provided in Pyin Oo Lwin township, Mandalay Region, where locals and foreigners frequent.
The program – a joint effort between the Directorate of the Hotels and Tourism and entrepreneurs who run hotels in the Pyin Oo Lwin area – aims to improve the tourism industry there.
Ko Wai Lu, a hotel entrepreneur who runs Mya Nan Daw Hotel in Pyin Oo Lwin, said that the purpose of creating trekking routes in the Pyin Oo Lwin region is to open up job opportunities for locals.
“We have earmarked three routes but these have not been approved yet. We are still analysing what routes to be constructed. We will choose the routes that are for one-day trips.
“We aim for locals to get jobs as well as for the city to be developed. The routes are being chosen so that each will give travelers and trekkers a different experience and taste. One trekking route will include a waterfall scene, another would be through a jungle path, and yet another route will provide experience in the ethnic people’s lifestyle. It will be interesting because trekkers can enjoy the scenery along the trip and then they can also travel by car and rendezvous at a point where they can go trekking again,” Ko Wai Lu told The Myanmar Times.
The routes that have been chosen initially include the Yay Pyan Mountain route, which includes a seven-stepped waterfall and has become popular after The Myanmar Times ran a story about it.
Also included in the initial planning is trekking along the Pan Oo Taung village, where there are many Shan ethnic people.
On the Pyin Oo Lwin-Hsipaw trekking route are rendezvous points for both trekkers and tourists who go by car and by foot, according to Pyin Oo Lwin’s hotel zone entrepreneurs.
Local villagers will be given priority when choosing candidates for regional guide training but they have to have a basic level in the English language.
Also, those that contribute enthusiastically to the region’s development will be given preference.
Daw Nan Mon Kham, who owns the Royal Park View hotel in Pyin Oo Lwin, told The Myanmar Times “Although we are doing all this for the township’s development and opening up jobs for local residents, we don’t want the region’s tradition and spirit to be watered down by foreign tourists. That’s why we are educating the locals who live along earmarked routes to have a deep understanding of the local tradition and how to use local products effectively before these routes are constructed.”
Daw Nan Mon Kham said that trekking routes have to be mapped out to highlight tourists spots that will boost the tourism industry in Pyin Oo Lwin.
She said that more foreign travelers are going from Mandalay to Hsipaw directly but the number of tourists who visit Pyin Oo Lwin is decreasing although it has many beautiful places to visit.