Founders Ian Hayes and Thandar Oo met at the Bagan market in early 2016. Ian was starting up his nonprofit Myanmar SEEDS after completing a masters degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management in the U.S. Thandar was working on community-based tourism projects for JICA, the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.

Together we started Three Treasures Responsible Tourism in Bagan in early 2016. Our mission promotes sustainable tourism and improved local livelihoods in Myanmar. Soon after, we founded “Hoya House” as our operations base and training center. This small local compound with demonstration gardens is situated in the forcibly-relocated community of New Bagan.  The goal of the center is to promote organic gardening practices and better nutrition in the local community.

Tourism as a tool for change

As we sought out the most secret and fascinating locations around Bagan for our guests, we were slowly accepted into the community. We developed close ties with temple caretakers, local farmers, artisans, and other social and environmentally-conscious people in the area. In this way, we share the best of Bagan’s culture and traditions with our guests.

In order to spread the benefits of tourism directly with local communities, we began to collaborate with these communities to create authentic experiences for visitors that also respect and engage with local culture. Over time, our local friends have come to understand our work and participate more closely in our projects and tour activities. We now have many local artisans, monks, farmers, and others involved in our tours and projects. We encourage our guests to slow down and see more in greater detail. 

Our social enterprise offers a range of tourism activities and experiences in Bagan that are unique in Myanmar, such as meditation, cooking, crafting, farm tours, and photography tours and workshops. 

We work together with residents, farmers and craftsmen in local villages in the Bagan area to collaboratively. This allows us to develop unique and responsible tourism experiences and activities for visitors that support community dignity, values, and development goals. As a result, this builds the capacity of locals to participate in the tourism economy as interest in Myanmar grows.

Please join us on our journey.