1. Myanmar
  2. Mandalay Region
  3. Bagan
  4. Day Trips

Bagan Community Experience Day Tour with a Local Guide

Product ID: 76028
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Travel to the village of Kyunkalay, an undeveloped town beyond Bagan you won’t find mentioned in any guidebooks. Learn how locals are working with ActionAid Myanmar and using responsible tourism to improve local infrastructure and living conditions.
About this activity
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Duration: 6 hours
Starting time 8:00 AM
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  • Visit a rural community and learn about local community development plans from village leaders
  • Enjoy lunch in a local family’s home and find out what it’s like to live in this part of Myanmar
  • Learn about thanaka, a traditional paste that’s used as a beauty treatment, and visit a market dedicated to it
  • Ride a boat across the Ayeyarwady River, the largest river in Myanmar
Full description
From the meeting point, you’ll drive about 45 minutes to reach Pakkoku. Here, you’ll spend roughly an hour at the biggest thanakha market in Myanmar, and a local wet market. Thanakha is a cosmetic paste made from ground bark and is an ancient beauty treatment in Myanmar, said to treat wrinkles, sun damage, and acne, and is even believed to help with fevers and headaches.
From the markets, you’ll head to a local tea shop and sample some tea and local street foods. Try some treats and get a literal taste for local life here. Then drive another 45 minutes to reach a small village, called Kyunkalay. This is a tiny place you won’t find in any guidebooks or on Wikipedia. It's entirely undeveloped with no electricity, no school for the local children, and not even a monastery. The main form of transportation is by oxen cart and bicycle.
ActionAid Myanmar is an organization working to bring human rights and social justice to neglected communities. They don't believe in handouts, but instead help communities to find their own sustainable solutions. Urban Adventures has formed a partnership with them to help introduce tourism to the community of Kyunkalay in a way that is responsible, sustainable, and won’t negatively impact on their culture and heritage. You’ll get to walk around the village and learn about important tasks locals do, such as harvesting beans and vegetables, or growing flowers. You will then join a local family for lunch in their home, where you’ll be able to learn more about what life is like in this part of Myanmar.

Finish off the tour with a ride on an ox-driven cart to reach the nearest jetty, where you’ll cross the Ayeyarwady River, the largest and most important waterway in Myanmar. You'll reach Nyaung U Jetty on the other side, and from here your guide will help you arrange local transportation back to your hotel, or into the city to explore more on your own.
  • Transportation
  • Lunch
  • Local guide
  • Boat trip
  • Community development fund contribution
What’s Not Included
  • Entrance fees items purchased by the clients
  • Tips for the local guide or anyone else

Prepare for the activity

Meeting point

In front of New Wave Guest House, Wet Kyi Inn, Naung Oo, Bagan

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Important information
Know before you go
• As Myanmar is a conservative country and you are visiting local communities, please dress respectfully, ensuring your shoulders and knees are covered
•USD 4 per person is donated to the community development fund in the village you visit

From US$ 63 per person

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Urban Adventures Asia & Russia

Product ID: 76028