Meet the Three Treasures Team

Our founders, tour guides, and staff are passionate about sharing the best of Myanmar, its people and culture with our guests. Each member of our team brings a unique perspective, background, and skillset to enrich your tourism or learning experience.

Thandar Oo Co-Founder and Lead Guide

Thandar in Bagan
Thandar guiding in Bagan

Since founding the company and starting her journey as a social entrepreneur, she has continued to develop her relationships with local communities in Bagan. She is a licensed national tour guide, taking the lead in developing our community-based tourism projects, developing craft products, workshops with local artisans, and meditation retreats together with local monasteries.

Ian Hayes Co-Founder, General Manager & Photo Guide

Ian guiding in Bagan
Ian guiding in Bagan

Inspired by the principles of “Engaged Buddism” as developed by Thich Nhat Hanh, Ian came to Myanmar to apply responsible tourism as a tool for conservation and sustainable development at the community level. He holds a master’s degree in Sustainability and Environmental Management, specializing in sustainable development in the tropics.

Htike Oo: Mandalay Tour Guide and Photographer

Portrait at Shwenandaw Kyaung in Mandalay
Htike, your Mandalay photo guide, enjoys making portraits inside the wooden walls of Shwenandaw Kyaung in Mandalay.

Originally from Taunggyi in Shan State, Htike is now based in Mandalay. The son of a well-known Burmese photographer, he is a licensed national tour guide in Mandalay and an enthusiastic photographer. His knowledge of secret photo spots in Mandalay delight for our guests. He enjoys taking guest photos, especially portraits, and leads our Mandalay photo tours. And no matter how many times we visit U Bein Bridge with him, he always manages to show us new perspectives for our photos.

Htein Win: Yangon Tour Guide and Photographer

Htein Win on photography tour
Htein Win on a Myanmar photography tour

Yangon native Htein Win spent many years abroad before becoming a tour guide in Myanmar. Working on the high seas, he has traveled the world extensively with his camera. A keen landscape and night photographer, his technical knowledge is extensive, which he easily shares with our guests through his perfect English. Besides leading our photo tours in Yangon, he also delivers photography training courses to Myanmar-based nonprofits and companies through Myanmar SEEDS.

Support Staff

U Thein Shwe & Daw Hla Thi (Grandma & Grandpa)

This elderly couple are the caretakers of our little “home temple” in Bagan. As we returned again and again to this secluded temple compound and its expansive gardens, we learned about their struggles to maintain the grounds and support themselves in the heat and drought. Their hospitality knows no bounds as they welcomed us and our guests into their home despite their daily challenges. We began helping out with garden and temple maintenance during our first month of operations and soon after we “hired” the couple as part-time staff to compensate them for their hospitality and hard work. Through responsible tourism, your tour fees ensure that this couple and others in the community receive sufficient income, nutrition, and medical care throughout the year.

In Memory: U Thaung Lwin

Mr. Lwin was Bagan’s “master guide” and our mentor. He knew the Bagan area so well it is astounding, down to the tools and brickwork of each temple and monument as well as their cultural and historical significance. His charming colonial English and mannerisms brought to mind the character “Yoda” from the Star Wars films, as he guided visitors for across the Bagan plain for decades. Mr. Lwin passed away in 2018 following a long illness. We will continue to pursue his dream of sustainable and responsible tourism in Myanmar.

Myanmar SEEDS

Three Treasures in a social enterprise, the first such project launched in Bagan with support from Myanmar SEEDS, a Swiss non-profit association. By combining sustainable development with responsible tourism we are able to create jobs, improve livelihoods, and conserve the environment in Bagan.

We host our own tours, using only our own guides and staff. You will never be passed on to freelancers or third-party operators.