Dawei tourism expected to rise during Thingyan festival

Visitors seen at Maung Magan Beach, a popular destination in Dawei. (Photo – EMG)

More local tourists than in previous years are expected to visit Dawei in Tanintharyi Region to celebrate the upcoming New Year Thingyan Water Festival.

Dawei, the capital of the southeastern region, is gaining popularity over other Myanmar destinations among vacationers and pilgrims, according to tour companies.

The city is known for its nine Shin pagodas and Maung Magan Beach. Another attraction of the port city is its proximity to Htee Khee border checkpoint, which is located 100 miles east. Visitors can travel across the border to Kanchanaburi, Thailand via this checkpoint where they can obtain temporary visas.

"More tourists are interested in the Dawei tour year after year," said Ni Ni from GL Tour. "We launched the tour last year. It is a six-day/five-night tour, including a visit to Kanchanaburi. The rate is Ks 350,000 per person. We have been kept busy with this tour since the start of pilgrimage season (in October)."

Dawei had the highest number of tourist arrivals in a decade during last year’s Thingyan Water Festival, and some tourists had difficulty finding accommodation in the city and at Maung Magan Beach.

Few tourists visited Dawei in the past due to poor road conditions, but more tourists are now interested now that improvements have been undertaken.

"Most of the tourists who are bored with the tours to upper Myanmar have started choosing the Dawei tour," said a representative of Nan Oo Hlaing Tour, which has been offering tour services to Dawei for over a decade and has a variety of packages.

"The difference between the tours to upper Myanmar and the one to Dawei is lack of accommodation and water (in Dawei). I believe this can be improved in the future."