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Irrawaddy River

Along the banks of Myanmar

INDONESIA

Senin, 05 Mei 2014 17:36 WIB

Author

Zaw Htet DVB

Irrawaddy River

Myanmar, beaches, Irrawaddy, jobs, DVB

This is Yankinthar beach – a mile-long strip of sand in the Irrawaddy Delta. 


And it attracts thousands of visitors from the region over the summer months. 


In the past a village used to lie here, but it was demolished because of water erosion. 


Now, tarpaulin huts and colourful umbrellas stand in its place.


Children play on rubber rings in the water, people from Rangoon drink beer in the shade and families eat picnics on plastic chairs.  


The farmers from the old village are now running shops and restaurants here.


The beach was given to them as compensation for losing their village. 

 

During the hot season, when the water levels are low they can earn more money than they did from farming.


Over the past two months 30,000 visitors have come to the beach, only one food seller, Mya Mya says.


“We earn a lot when the beach is here. And we sell more during the Thyingyan water festival. We get around US$10 a day.


Khin Win Yi sells dried fish at the beach. She says everyone is enjoying a steady income here. 


“When the beach is here it is good for poor people to sell things. Before was very difficult.”


Ko Pi Si owns a fish stall. He says each year he sees more and more people coming to the beach. 


“We can sell 20-30 viss (33- 49 kg) at the weekend. There are about 7 thousand people here a day. There are more people here this year than last. There are lots of shops for people to buy things.”


The mile-long beach is only 1 ½ hours from Yangon.


Visitors are now choosing this beach over other popular beaches nearby. The only visitor from Yangon explain.


“I am happy that the beach is close to us. We don't go to Chaung Thar beach now. This is close and convenient. We are planning to come again next month.”


The government has set up a tender system for people who want to run shops and bungalows. 


The money earned from this season will be used to rebuild the local City Hall.  


And what’s left over goes towards the annual Thingyan water festival, which kicks off in a few weeks time. Aye Swe, senior custodian of Yankinthar beach.


“Last year, tens of thousands of people visited during the water festival. We hope the same number of people to come this year." 


The beach has become a big attraction for visitors wanting to get out of the stifling Yangon summer heat.  


Visitors enjoy the floating restaurants,  there are stalls selling clothes and hats and an abundance of fried food. 


But in a few months time the rainy season will begin and the beach will once again be submerged in the Irrawaddy. 


The restaurant owners and shop sellers rely on the summer income.  Once the rains start they will go back to the paddy fields – and rely on fishing until the river levels drop again. 


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