Min Thiha Kyaw is one of our Myanmar travel guides and has been leading our active adventure holidays in the Southeast Asian country for several years now. Ranging from Myanmar trekking, cycling, kayaking and cultural activities, he loves the variety that the World Expeditions trips include. Read on to learn a little more about Min Thiha Kyaw and his role as a Myanmar travel guide.
Can you please tell a bit about yourself?
My name is Min Thiha Kyaw from Myanmar. I grew up in the town of Pyin Oo Lwin (known as Maymyo) in the Shan Highlands near Mandalay. Six years ago I moved to Yangon as this is easier for my job as a tour leader for World Expeditions. My parents live in Mandalay and every year for about two months, I go back to Mandalay. Together with my daughter and my wife we spend time with my parents. Most of my free time I spend reading books and playing with my daughter or watching a movie with my wife.
Why did you decide to become a trekking & cycling guide in Myanmar?
I love nature. As a country boy I always preferred to be somewhere not very crowded and quite peaceful. My wish is to share about the traditions and cultures of our Myanmar peoples. These are best to be seen in the remote areas and this is where I like to take my clients. Both trekking and cycling give me that chance. Because of these reasons, I became a trekking and cycling guide for World Expeditions.
What are your responsibilities on a trip?
My main responsibility is to make a happy holiday for my clients. I do this by creating an easier and better trip for them. I also aim to get the two different societies (Myanmar and foreign) closer together and help them learn about (and from) each other.
My main responsibility is to make a happy holiday for my clients.
What do you like best about being a Myanmar trekking guide?
Every trip I have been on as a Myanmar travel guide has brought me different memories and it’s so hard to choose one specific aspect of my job. Every day comes with different challenges, different ways of travel (cycling, trekking, kayaking, etc) and different places. The people and variety give me so much fun and I can’t express that feeling, because it’s very special and I feel lucky with my job.
What is your favourite place in Myanmar?
There are so many different ways to experience the places in Myanmar, cycling around the temples in Bagan for example is one of my favourites. Also kayaking at Kawkathaung in Hpa Ann and trekking in Kyauk Me belong to my favourites.
How can travellers best support the local communities in Myanmar?
This depends on the way travellers wanted to support the people of Burma. The best contribution I think is giving something to local schools (eg. books, pens, pencils, English story books, etc). Other options are for example to go replanting trees or go and donate a well at the central area in Myanmar. All of this is possible on a Myanmar trekking trip with World Expeditions.
What is your number 1 advice for people who are considering to take an active holiday in Myanmar?
Don’t forget to bring your sandals (it makes your life that much easier when visiting temples). Also, my advice as a Myanmar travel guide will be for everyone to buy Burmese longyi, which you will really need wherever you go. Finally, learn at least one word and say it to everyone you meet on your trip in Myanmar: ‘Mingalabar’.
More about Myanmar