Tin Mg Oo/Myanmar Business Today
Home to Khakaborazi, the country’s highest mountain, Kachin State offers a lot of tourist attractions, from scenic views and landmarks to cultural festivals. Among the highlights are a homemade beverage called Khaungyay, the Manaw Festival, traditional dance and customs, wild flowers and Sadone Waterfall.
You can find out more about the state simply by Googling, and with a budget of K300,000, you can see Kachin in person.
The state is blessed with great tourism potential, but much of that potential has so far remained untapped. Local tour companies hope for better transportation, which they believe will improve tourism not only for the state but for Myanmar as a whole.
“We all know that tourism benefits all sectors in a sustainable way,” said Seng Hkum, managing director of local tour company Green Xingra. “There are a lot of opportunities for tourism development in Kachin State, and transportation plays a critical role in tourism development. People in Myanmar know Kachin State and want to visit. The problem is that it is too costly. The fastest transportation mode is travelling by plane. But a one-way ticket costs over K100,000, which is equivalent to an overseas trip. We want to urge the local and Union governments to work for better transportation.”
The state is where the country’s longest river, the Irrawaddy, originates, with ice capped mountains in the background. It also has Indawgyi Lake, home to migratory birds as well as rare species and biodiversity. One-way plane tickets to the state cost K150,000 for most of the year and K130,000 in the rainy season.
“Migratory birds often migrate to Kachin State from Siberia and Japan in the winter. You can do research in addition to enjoying the scenic views of Myitsone Region and traditional cultures,” said Seng Hkum. “Moreover, Kachin State has a rich variety of cultures and ethnicities. It even has Tibetans. There are a lot of investment opportunities for hotels and restaurants.”
Permanent Secretary for Investments and Foreign Economic Relations U Aung Naing Oo has said that Kachin State has good potential for ecotourism. There are 30 tourism companies registered in the state, but only a dozen of them are actually operating. A lot of opportunities, therefore, remain untapped.
During open and holiday season, the ice capped mountain areas often receive hundreds of visitors. The state now has jade mines and gold mines, but these have their limits and one day they will be gone. Tourism, in contrast, offers opportunities for sustainable development, economically and environmentally.
“Travel trends among young people have changed,” said Green Xingra’s chief. “They choose to visit wildlife areas and go on adventure trips such as trekking. Climbing Phonkanrazi, at 12,000 feet the lowest of the mountain ranges, will take eight days to climb up and back. If you can travel more, you can trek the Phonrinrazi mount, 13,800 feet high, which will take nine days. And there are higher ones.”
Despite an abundance of attractions, Kachin State has suffered setbacks including a lack of better transportation and high costs of accommodation and transport. Successfully addressing these issues will open up a world of opportunities not only for locals but also for visitors wanting to experience the state’s many wonders.
FROM : MYANMAR BUSINES TODAY