Tourist arrivals on the upswing at Pho Kyar Elephant Camp

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The number of tourists visiting Pho Kyar Elephant Camp during the peak season between October and February is expected to increase by as much as 50 percent, camp officials say.

Pho Kyar Elephant Camp is located in Yedashe Township, Bago Region. It is situated in the foothills of the Bago Yoma mountain range, lying within the Saing Ya tropical reserve, 10 miles west of Thargaya near Yoma crossing road.

Thargaya, the main gateway to the camp, is on the Yangon-Mandalay motorway, 204 miles north of Yangon.

While the number of tourists visiting Pho Kyar in previous fiscal years has remained roughly the same, the reason for this year’s expected boost in visits is an increase in the number of local tourists making one-day trips and foreign tourists who prefer overnight stays.

“Most of the local visitors prefer a one-day trip. The foreign visitors are from Spain, Germany, French, the U.S and Switzerland. Among them, tourists from Germany and France most often visit the camp,” said camp manager Myat Min.

“The scenery and elephant riding around the jungle are very attractive for visitors. If more engaging programs can be introduced, it will attract more visitors. For example, riding boats along Thain Creek,” said one tourist.

The Pho Kyar Elephant Camp was commissioned into service in 2002 and launched two years later. On April 1, 2005, the government signed a rental agreement with the Asia Green Company to promote Myanmar’s eco-tourism industry.

At Pho Kyar, visitors can ride elephants in a forested mountain range, watch elephant shows and study various aspects of elephants’ contribution to the local economy, including a logging demonstration. Tourists can also trek in the local forest, where bird watching is popular, and enjoy the teak forests, the rich diversity of plant and butterfly species, and the ways of life of elephant keepers [mahouts] and local people.

A visit to Pho Kyar Elephant Camp is recommended year round, but the best time for bird watching is from October to May.

Source: ELEVEN Myanmar

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