By Swe Oo Wai
(Translated by Than Tun Aung)
Global countries are encountering the declines of tourism industries respectively during the Covid-19 pandemic period. Although Myanmar faces impacts of the pandemic in tourism sector, efforts are being made to create new tourist attractions so as to improve tourism services in the post-Covid-19 period. Myanmar possesses various kinds of natural environment and natural resources as well as ancient cultural heritages in all areas. Based on natural scenes given as gifts by the nature, new tourist destinations are created across the nation. In this regard, preparations are being made to shape Khuepra Hill (Shwe mountain range) in Kayah State as an ecotourism site.
Strenuous efforts are being made to upgrade the area of Khuepra Hill (Shwe mountain range) as a tourist destination near Khuepra Village of Khuepra Village-tract in Dimawhso Township from Loikaw District of Kayah State. To do so, members of the Kayah State Tourism Committee and the Destination Management Organization made field trips together to Khuepra Hill (Shwe mountain range) area on 9 January 2021. Moreover, officials from Kayah State government also paid visits to the aforesaid area for observation.
Actually, Khuepra Hill (Shwe mountain range) area is a virgin land with non-deteriorated natural environment including wildlife such as birds and animals, which are attractive to the visitors. Khuepra Hill is at an altitude of more than 5,800 feet. As such, it is the best site in Dimawhso Township of Loikaw District to enjoy the most beautiful scenes.
Khuepra Hill (Shwe mountain range) and Khuepra Village are in a distance of about a two-hour drive by motorcycle or car from Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State. It is seemed that the driving time is very long to the hill and village, but preparations are being made to pave asphalt on the road. The route between Loikaw and Khuepra Village is 35 miles long. So, if the facility has been fulfilled, the road will be better than now.
Various sizes of hillocks and thriving trees and flowery plants on Khuepra Hill (Shwe mountain range) will help visitors be fresh their minds as soon as they arrive there. Visitors will have the chances to enjoy trekking routes and hilly roads while observing rare species of flowery plants and trees.
Moreover, those visitors will have opportunities to closely observe local ethnics, agricultural tasks in various areas, lifestyle of local ethnic people, traditional foods and customs and traditional festivals as well as their daily lives in Khuepra Village and nearby areas. The travellers can grasp the chances to overcome challenges on simple lives of local ethnic people from the hilly area while viewing round the habitations of birds and wildlife from around Khuepra Hill.
It is expected to emerge a new destination for local and foreign travellers to visit the area from Khuepra Hill (Shwe mountain range) of Dimawhso Township of Kayah State to Thandaunggyi Township of Kayin State. In fact, Dimawhso Township is home to Kayah, Shan, Bamar, Kayin, Rakhine, Chin and Mon ethnics. Dimawhso Township is located at 2,982 feet higher than the sea level, and it is on the 177.46 square miles of land. As rural development projects are being implemented in Dimawhso Township, Hsintaung, Nganyoe, Dawtanngu, Dawtadah and Dawpoesi villages are enjoying fruitful results of the project.
At a time when the new tourist destination has been created, travellers can pay visits to the project villages. Such project is being implemented in 22 villages of Kayah State from 2015-16 financial year to 2019-2020 financial year. Such development project will be implemented in further years.
In fact, Kayah State takes a position in the eastern part of Myanmar, sharing border with Shan State in the north, Thailand in the east and Kayin State in the south. As such, it is expected to extend the new tourist destination from Khuepra Hill (Shw mountain range) to Thandaunggyi of Kayah State and the areas adjacent to Shan State.
Currently, some parts of the inter-village road linking Khuepra Village and Lobakhu Village in Dimawhso Township are being facilitated as an asphalt road. In the future, the whole road would be upgraded to the asphalt one. Such road passes nine villages. Upon completion, the road will link Dimawhso and Loikaw townships. Consequently, local people from Khuepra Hill (Shwe mountain range) area will make trips to Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State, in all seasons. Moreover, such facility will help travellers have smooth transportation.
There are many significant tourist attractive areas in Kayah State. These are Taungkwe Pagoda, Lawpita waterfall, seven series of lakes, Htipwint lake, Kyet Cave and Ngwetaung dam. These destinations are regular travel sites for visitors. As such, Khuepra Hill (Shwe mountain range) is being shaped as a new destination for the travellers.
Everybody can enjoy significant and chilling scenes of the region. They have chance to pass the routes in the jungles and on the hills and observe agricultural tasks of ethnic people from the hilly areas, location of villages and daily lifestyle of ethnic people.
As the modern tourism service creates chances for the travellers to take a relaxation while enjoying natural environment, Khuepra Hill (Shwe mountain range) area in Dimawhso Township of Kayah State will become a new destination to attract travellers in the post-Covid-19 period.