It is becoming more and more important to take steps to travel responsibly as we become increasingly conscious about our footprint throughout the world. There are definitely measures that can be taken to ensure that when you travel, you minimise the impact that trip will have on the environment. From buying and shopping locally whenever possible, visiting and donating to ethically run wildlife refuges, to purchasing CO₂ credits to offset your flight. Here is a list of ways to make a memorable holiday to Myanmar a responsible one.
Researching is a key aspect of travelling responsibly. A bit of time spent investigating will result in meaningful experiences you wouldnʼt otherwise have.
By visiting places such as the Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp, you can support locally run conservation and social initiatives. Here, retired elephants are cared for in the forest, and proceeds go towards giving back to the local communities and to reforestation. Because of the nature of this experience, visitor numbers are limited, which makes it important to plan a bit in advance.
When planning, you should factor in waiting time for applying for the Myanmar visa. It is necessary to consider certain details, for example, your passport must be valid for at least 6 months upon arrival in Myanmar. It is also compulsory to have a booked flight out of the country at the end of your trip. For the visa, it is also necessary to have at least one overnight stay already booked. Knowing what the requirements are for the requirements for the Myanmar visa are in advance is a simple step towards planning your trip responsibly.
Responsible spending: Do it locally
It is also important to make sure you are staying in locally owned hotels, eating at locally owned restaurants and hire transportation from locally owned companies. Because of the interest in tourism suddenly rising, many cities have implemented social programmes that offer training and job creation for local citizens.
If you do want a tour package, then there are several responsible tour operators that can be found with some research.
Buying souvenirs from local artists or citizens making crafts is a responsible way to shop while on holiday, and still have something meaningful to take home. Remember though, haggling might be a fun experience, but it is important to pay a fair price, and not just the cheapest price.
Try to bike and walk
Experiencing the more rural economies is a great way to put money into local areas. Since these areas are less busy, travelling by bike is a great way to get around quickly and have a more up-close experience in each location.
If cycling is not your thing, or just impossible, simply strolling around a village or hiking in more rural areas can offer a more unique experience than just being with a large group. In smaller numbers, you are much more approachable and therefore able to have more meaningful interactions with the community.
Obviously, reducing the amount of time you spend in a car will greatly reduce your impact on the environment as you travel.
Myanmar visa application
When applying for a visa to Myanmar, travellers can make a more conscious choice by compensating the CO₂ emissions of the flight to and from Myanmar by supporting projects that reduce CO₂ emissions elsewhere. Simply by clicking on the carbon offset button, depending on the distance of the flight, an amount will be charged to help in offsetting emissions brought about by the flight. This is, of course, a choice and is not mandatory when applying for the visa.