Number of local and foreign visitors to Kayah decreases now than past

24 March 2020

Kayah State, one of Myanmar tourist attraction sites, has seen a decrease in the number of the arrivals of local and foreign visitors compared to those in the previous years. Kayah is famous for its ethno linguists groups like Padaung (Kayen), and Kayah people. The foreign visitors were not allowed visiting Kayah 50 years ago. Now Kayah State has allowed the visitors in order to promote the arrivals of local and foreign visitors through the community based tourism initiatives. The locals are very happy to share their experiences and knowledge in various fields with foreign tourists.

According to 2018 Kayah State investment opportunity, domestic travelers increased by 97% while the foreign visitors rose by 41 %. But this year, the interest of the locals to visit Kayah State dropped due to the transport difficulties and off road inconvenience.

Ma Naw Maw Phoo, the Owner of the Traditional Store shared her experience in the decreasing number of the visitors this year. “This year, decreases visitors have decreased in number compared to those of the previous years, especially domestic visitors. The economy doesn’t go well as we depend on the tourists. The transport difficulties and other unfavourable situations result in the economy slump in our state.Foreign visitors usually love to learn the traditions of Padaung, which are usually recognized as those wearing brass rings on their necks. And they love to buy the handicrafts skillfully designed by the bamboos and bronze. The main souvenirs we sell are the handicrafts, clothing, and weavings.”


In Kayah State, pan pet village, Loikaw city and Loikaw dam generating hydropower in Kayah, Dimawhso market, weaving centre are famous and packed with visitors.

One of the responsible persons of Htee Sel Khar Waterfall, a Buddhist monk said, “Htee Sel Khar Waterfall has become famous over the past few years because of its beauties and peaceful sightseeing. Each year there are 1,100 local and foreign visitors. But locals are much fond of the waterfall. During the Thingyan festival, no place is found to park the car. Since it is a quite enjoyable place for visitors and it is good to take a rest, families and youths really love to come here. But this year there has been a decrease in the number of visitors. I would like to encourage the locals to visit the waterfall as the Kayah State tries to develop the tourism sector.’’

State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi remarked that ethnic traditional quality products could be exported to foreign markets, and ethnics tried harder to promote ethnic cultures and tourism at the previous Myanmar Ethnic Culture Festival. Kayah is also one of the famous tourism sites and it is really important to promote the cultures and traditions.

Pomo and Soe Yadana