Paul Greig Smith
MYANMAR NEW: Wa Ale Island Resort & Eco-Tourism
Myanmar has a handful of new resorts opening in the coming months. One to spotlight is Wa Ale Island Resort - a privately owned eco-tourism project on the island of Wa Ale in the Lampi Marine National Park. This intimate island retreat sits in a beautiful protected cove with luxury tented villas overlooking a pristine beach and majestic rock formations.
The resort has been designed and built to have minimal impact on the environment, being constructed from locally reclaimed materials and practising alternative sources of energy for power. No large/heavy machinery was used, or trees chopped down, in building the property. Half of the property's energy is generated from solar panels, while all of the resort’s water comes from natural springs and is completely filtered, enabling guests to drink directly from the taps in their villas.
The resort works closely with the community of the surrounding islands, employing many local people on a permanent basis.
A percentage of Wa Ale’s profits is designated for various conservation efforts including sea turtle and coral protection, as well as charitable donations to education and medical programs for the local villages. Specifically, 20% of its net annual profits go directly to the Lampi Foundation (lampifoundation.com), which was founded to help fund social welfare and conservation projects in the area.
Wa Ale Island’s Turtle Beach (where most of the resort is located) is a protected nesting area where sea turtles lay their eggs year round, and the resort has developed a conservation program and hatchery on the island (since its initial conception the resort has saved over 4,000 sea turtles by guarding nests against poaching).