10 April 2019
The water festival is the biggest festival in Myanmar and this is the festival everyone is eager to celebrate with many plans and this is also a festival where the family and friends come together for the celebration. But there is also another group of people who would like to travel around the country during this water festival. For some reasons, there are people who have been waiting for water festival to travel to the destinations they have been dreaming of going as this is the chance for them in a year for travelling. There are many travel and tour agencies where one can easily book the spot for travel destination and enjoy his time away from the crowd.
By the Myanmar calendar, the first month is 'Tagu' (April). It is the time of the Water Festival-we call it "Thingyan' which means 'change'. The people of Myanmar usher in their 'New Year' around the middle of April with the showers of blessing in the form of water, which is thrown over friends and even strangers on the streets. Even foreigners and all other believers can participate in the festival together like the same family of Myanmar during three of four days. Everybody can see the enjoyable sights and sounds as others do so, or perform religious meritorious acts or just enjoy rest and recreation in festive atmosphere all around. There is also pageantry with decorated pandals (Mandats), floats, music, songs and dances; celebration of 'Thingyan' in a cultured way is being promoted by the State and People of the Union of Myanmar.
El Dorado Travel and Tour is one of the tour agencies in the country which offers tour service to the tourists both in nationwide and abroad. For the domestic it offers regular tour to the areas such as Bagan, Chin state and Taunggyi and for the international destination, it provides service to the countries such as Thailand and Vietnam. El Dorado has scheduled the tour on 12th of April for domestic tour and it will take 4 to 5 days to complete the tour. According to the report from EL Dorado, the most visited places in Myanmar during Water Festival are Bagan, Chin state and Shan State, where the tourists travel to climb Mt. Victoria and visit Inlay Lake and see the pagodas in Bagan.
Speaking to MI Radio on the condition of the tourists for this year, U Myo Min Thet, the Director of El Dorado Travel and Tour said, “This year we’ve quite a few tourists who have booked for the package, we‘ve heard that there are some people who plan to go for other option to travel to the places which we don’t offer. But another thing is that the people here don’t have habit of reserving package, so what happens is that when the tour is about to start, they will buy the package in a hurry, this is very common that the packages are usually sold in the last minute. There are also some people who are in dilemma whether to travel or not but they will book the ticket and then travel, only few travel with proper plan.”
Most of the people would like to travel on their holidays and it is in the month of October when the people start to travel and it goes on till May because it is from October to May that the students and workers get holidays for traveling. Some of the most convenient holidays are Thadingyut, Christmas, New Year and Water Festival, and during these times the people like to travel the most. And these are the public holidays when getting a reservation for travel package and getting room in the hotel are quite hard especially in some of famous travel destinations.
Myanmar Area Travels & Tours is also another tour agency which offers travel and tour service mostly to the foreign tourists to Myanmar. Ma May Mee, the Owner of Myanmar Areas Travels and Tours said, “There is no fixed package in our offer although we offer service for all over Myanmar as the way we give service is also slightly different than others. We are more into giving service to the private customers such as private, culture, company group, honeymoon, adventure, family, trekking, hiking, bike, bird watching, beach and island.”
“Mostly we have tour to Kawhtaung, Ngapali which is visited the most, Chaungthar and Ngwesaung and Bagan and Shan state are also some of regular travel destinations for the tourists. There is no fixed price for any of the package because it depends on the choice that the customers made. For example, if you want to go to Ngapali, the price depends on the transportation that the customers prefer to use whether it is by flight or bus and the price also differs on the service that the customers want to experience. For a tour to Ngapali, the price for the travel package varies from hundred and fifty thousand Kyats to more than a million Kyats, it all depends on the customers’ choice.”
According to the source from Myanmar Area Travels and Tours, there is increase number of local tourists though there is a slight decrease of foreign tourists in this year. Some of the most visited travel destination for the local tourists is the beach where both young and old would like to spend their holidays and Ngapali and Taunggyi are some of the most visited destinations for the local tourists. When it was asked to Ma May Mee, the owner of Myanmar Area Travels and Tours why the people would like to travel during this biggest festival in Myanmar which is Water Festival, she said, “Well, in my opinion what makes the people travel during this water festival is, mostly the employees who work at their office most of the time and the people who work in retail shops are the people who do not have free time except in this water festival. So definitely it is very much convenient for them to travel during water festival holidays without any distraction because traveling on holidays is a better option for the employees than taking leave and travel. And other reason may be because the people who have been working in Yangon for years and somehow they get bored here as they don’t have time to explore by traveling, so water festival is the best option for them for travel.”