Welcome to Hta Nee La Leh, ethnic Kayah community
Witness the ancient, animist beliefs of the Kayah people….
Meet traditional artisans and ‘bamboo guitar’ musicians in their homes …
Enjoy tasty Kayah barbecue at home or by the scenic Seven Lakes…
Community based, cultural tours offer visitors fascinating, fun insights into local life and culture in Hta Nee La Leh, which is an ethnic Kayah (Karenni) community, located in Demoso township, Kayah state, Myanmar.
All visitors must book via Hta Nee La Leh Community Based Tourism Club, and use the services of a ‘local community guide’
The program begins with a quick welcome at the Hta Nee La Leh community center. Guests are met by members of Hta Nee La Leh’s community tourism club. They are given a friendly introduction to the community, and important cultural do’s and don’ts.
The first stop is a visit to the ‘Kayhtoebo’ hall and shrines, where animist traditions are practiced. A highlight are huge totem poles, which tower into the sky. Guests learn why these sites are so important for Kayah people, and about festivals and events, which are held here during the year. Guests also visit the village hunting shrine, to learn about the tradition of ritual hunting.
Other activities which are available for visitors to Hta Nee La Leh are:
1. Visit the Lotus Pond. This is a sacred and scenic site. Here, visitors listen to the local legend of Tsudanu, a Kayah prince and princess who overcome many trials and obstacles before finally ascending to heaven as mythical Kinaree birds. Visitors can also visit the Water Totem, where villagers honour the water source. Price: already included in guide fee.
2. Visit the homes of local artists and musicians: Visitors can visit two or three homes to meet local people preserving traditional Kayah arts, crafts and culture. Homes which welcome visitors include musicians who play traditional bamboo guitars, experts in Kayah dress, and artisans who make distinctive Kayah lacquer leg rings.
Visitors can try on a Kayah costume, if they wish (this takes approximately 45 minutes).
Note: please inform the Hta Nee La Leh CBT Group in advance how many homes you would like to visit. Kindly note that artisans wait at home for guests to arrive. Visitors who book artisan house visits are making an appointment, and must pay for the number of house visits which they booked.
3. Take an oxcart ride. Visitors can take a 30 minute oxcart ride to the Seven Lakes, or around the village.
Note: Oxcart riding is a fun experience. However, please note that the village roads are bumpy and seating in the oxcarts is not soft! Food options in Hta Nee La Leh
1. Eat traditional Kayah barbecue, on the banks of the Seven Lakes. This is a popular activity. The best time to eat is lunchtime or before sunset. To eat Kayah barbecue by the lake .
2. Enjoy lunch or dinner at home. It is also possible to enjoy homemade lunch or dinner in a local home.