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Sustainable tourism in Shan State

Shan State is one of the most visited regions in Myanmar. Bordering Thailand, China and Laos, the state is one of the largest of the country, representing a quarter of Myanmar’s surface.

The Inle Lake is probably the most touristic place of this region. A majority of tourists also like to visit Kalaw for it’s hiking possibilities.

There are other points of interest in Shan State, which may be a little bit more difficult to access as a foreign visitor. But if you are fond of adventure tourism and treks in the mountains, it’s worth looking into the destinations.

If you are looking for eco-friendly accommodation, a restaurant or sustainable tourism activities, you can find them on Holiable and refine your search depending on the green characteristics that are important to you.

Eco-friendly lodging in Shan State

Sustainable tourist accommodations advice

  • Make sure you book an accommodation owned by locals
  • Check the sustainable principles of the residence you are staying at and make sure you respect them during your stay
  • Read reviews of sustainable travellers that went there before you, find them here
  • All accommodation owners will register your passport upon check-in, make sure you get it back

Food and Drink

  • Myanmar has much diversity in its cuisine, taste it all
  • Always prefer eating in locally owned restaurants to benefit the local community
  • Make sure you are aware of the price of what you ordered before you order it; it will avoid any problems once you ask for the bill


  • Inle Lake is a lovely region and is particularly animated during the Paya Phaung Dauw Oo festival. End of September.
  • Respect the do’s and don’ts:
    • Myanmar is a conservative country. Anyone should cover his or her knees and shoulders, especially in Pagodas and Temples. To avoid being surprised, buy a Longyi in the local market and have it handy at all times
    • Always ask the authorisation to take a picture of someone and never pay for the image, or you will encourage begging
    • It is quite common to be stopped in the street by teenagers for a photo. You’re allowed to say no, but always say it with a smile.
    • Never point the finger to show something as in most Asian countries.