Welcome to Htay Kho, ethnic Kayaw community
Enthusiastic, warm and welcoming people….
A vibrant, living culture woven with faith, art and crafts…
Challenging, breathtaking mountain trekking…
These community based, cultural tours offer you fascinating, fun insights into local life and culture in Htay Kho, an ethnic Kayaw community, located in Hpruso township, Kayah, Myanmar.
Program 1: The Art of Local Life in Htay Kho
This program, lead by a local village guide, provides great insights into beliefs, arts, crafts and the local way of life in Hta Kho village.
All visitors are requested to inform the community based tourism club in advance, to ensure that a local village guide is available.
The drive from Loikaw to Htay Kho takes 2.5 hours. It is very scenic. Visitors are recommended to arrive in Htay Kho by 10.00 a.m.
On arrival, visitors are met and welcomed to the village by a representative of Hta Kho’s Community Based Tourism (CBT) club.
First, the local village guide will introduce guests to Htay Kho’s church, which is the spiritual heart of the community. Next, we will visit a small, cottage museum. This was established spontaneously by the people of Htay Kho to preserve and showcase traditional musical instruments, hunting equipment and household objects.
Nearby, we can learn about the fascinating culture of carving a wooden coffin for ones’ parents: ensuring that elderly parents feel peace of mind that their children can manage after their passing.
Next, our guide will accompany us to meet village artisans and musicians, and learn about their arts, crafts and daily life. Local ladies are skilled weavers, who make stunning, colourful costumes. We can observe weaving and try on a Kayaw shirt and jewellery.
We can enjoy a traditional, home cooked Kayaw lunch, prepared by members of the Htay Kho Community Based Tourism Club.
Visitors who would like to spend more time in Htay Kho can also enjoy a hands-on, crafts workshop. Local artisans will teach us how to make a special, intricately woven Kayaw braid. These gifts are traditionally given to a sweetheart as a sign of love and affection. You can also try on the colourful, handmade, Kayaw costume.
Program 2: Mountain of Faith (October to March)
All visitors must inform the community based tourism club in advance, to ensure that a local village guide team is available.
Visitors are recommended to arrive in Htay Kho by 07.30 a.m.
This challenging, beautiful trek, lead by a team of local village guides, takes us to the soaring peak of ‘Khaw Sa Maw ’ mountain, which is considered to be sacred by local villagers. The climb to the mountain peak takes approximately 4 hours. The downhill walk, back to Htay Kho takes 2 to 2.5 hours (total apr. 6 hours).
On the route, our enthusiastic village guides make regular, short stops to explain the importance of Khaw Sa Maw mountain for traditional hunting rituals, and spiritual life. The scenery is a mixture of mountain rice farmland, and pristine, emerald forest. Trekkers are rewarded with many, excellent viewpoints and scenic ridges. We enjoy a delicious, traditional, Kayaw picnic lunch on route.
Note: You need a reasonable level of fitness to complete this trek. You need strong shoes, a hat, sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
Please travel gently in Htay Kho
Htay Kho village is not a tourist village. The people are farmers, who still live a very traditional life, quite removed from the rest of the world. They offer simple tourism service in order to share their unique culture with visitors, and to earn useful additional income.
At the moment, the people of Htay Kho are new to tourism. Services may be slow, and not perfect. Please be patient and encouraging to the local people. This will help them to gain experience and gradually improve their skills welcoming visitors.
Please listen to your local guide, and follow their advice about how to travel respectfully in the village. As a rule, visitors should keep shoulders covered and avoid short or revealing clothing.
Also, please try to make friends with people before taking photos. We recommend to ask questions and show interest in your hosts and their way of life. Villagers may ask you about your family, work, or home country. Your guides will help you to translate.