Most tourists visiting the Baga-NyaungU area have been browsing through shops selling the Pathein Htee, or Myanmar traditional umbrella, in NyaungU Township of Mandalay Region.
There are 220 villages in the 91 village-tracts of NyaungU Township. Most of the villagers living in the area subsist on agriculture and farming. Some of the villagers make farming implements, paintings, and sculpture to earn a livelihood.
“Most of the tourists are visiting the Bagan NyaungU, which is an ancient city of tourist interest with several temples and pagodas. Whenever they visit NyaungU, travellers buy locally produced souvenirs. Often, tourists visit shops where they can see and purchase Pathein umbrellas. Pathein umbrellas are manufactured in Pathein Township and sold in NyaungU, where there is a good market for them,” said Ko Naing Lin, who owns a Pathein umbrella shop in NyaungU.
“My brother in Pathein sends the umbrellas to me and I sell them in NyaungU Township,” said Ko Naing Lin.
These days, Pathein umbrellas are selling well in the town of NyaungU because of an increase in tourist arrivals in Bagan region. Pathein umbrellas are also being ordered by hotels. Most of the hotels and restaurants in the NyaungU Township use Pathein umbrellas as decor. Some tourists also like to get photos taken with the Pathein umbrellas.
One Pathein umbrella is currently selling for K3,000 to K70,000 per unit, depending on the design and size. Pathein umbrellas mostly sell well between March and October.
Compared with last year, the number of tourists visiting the Bagan Archaeological Zone has increased this year. Tourists visiting the Bagan Archaeological Zone have to shell out an entry fee of K25,000 per person.
—Kyaw Kyaw (Mahlaing) (Translated by Hay Mar)