Myanmar is rich in nature and diversity of species. It is endowed with one of the largest forest covers in the region. More than half of the country is still covered with forests. The land area of Myanmar has a variety of natural resources, plants and animals. There are over 7000 plants, about 1100 bird species, 300 mammals and 350 reptiles. The richness of biodiversity makes Myanmar ideal for ecotourism. Myanmar has a rapidly expending protected area system. Wildlife sanctuaries are lands preserved and protected from human activity that may disturb the wildlife. There are more than 20 wildlife sanctuaries. The natural forests of Myanmar provide substantial opportunities for ecotourism development.
There are 15 ecotourism places opened by the MyanmarÂ Forest Department where international visitors are welcomed. They are-
in Naungmung Township of Kachin State (the Northern part of Myanmar). It has 1,472 square miles in area. Visitors can conserve natural forests and wildlife in the northern part of Myanmar. And visitors can also Promote the present status to an ecotourism industry of high standard on Kakaborazi, the highest mountain in Myanmar with 29,698 feet in the height and other significantly beautiful scenry. Visitors can have to opportunity to climbe snow-capped mountains including (Hkakaborazi Snow mountain).
Myaing Hay Wun(Elephant camp) : in Taikkyi Township of Yangon Division. It has 10 arces. It is about 2 hours dirving from Yangon to get there.You can study of fishes and aquatic creatures in La-har-ma-nge fishpond and recreation by fishing. Visitors can have a look of pyinkadoe plantation situated near Sinte and listening to the sound of birds, hiking and mountaineering in the forest and observing training of domestic elephants. You can enjoy the elephants riding around the camp and can study of the capture of wild elephants.
Indawgyi Lake Wildlife Sanctuary : in Mohnyin Township of Kachin State and the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia. It occupie 299.32 square miles in area. Leopard, golden cat, the malaya sun bear, gaur, banteng or wild cow, serow, goral, sport-billed pelican, vulture, other water birds, 120 species of forest birds Myanmar peacock and Soft-shell turtle are present.
Nat Ma Taung National Park: Kanpet-let, Mindut and Matupi Townships of Chin State. It has 279 square miles in area. The main route to get there is Yangon to Bagan-Nyaung-Oo, 320 miles by flight, Bagan-Nyaung-Oo to Chauk, 18 miles by car, Chauk via Seikpyu to Hsaw, 68 miles by car and Hsaw to Kan-pet-let, 12 miles by car or Hsaw to Mindut, 42 miles by car. There are 5 species of rare birds which can be found only in Myanmar, other native and migratory birds their habitats and rare species of Myanmar Orchids. Also mammals such as tiger, bear, wild boar, leopard, goar, serow, gibbon, etc. and 159 bird species, reptiles and butterfly are present.
Meinmahla Kyun : in Bogalay Township of Ayeyawaddy Division. It has 52.79 square miles in area. Otter, sambar, hog deer, wild boar, crab-eating kra, wild dog, turtles and tortoises, estuarine crocodiles, fish, prawn, crab and 34 bird species are known to occur in the area and Ayeyawaddy Dolphin is said to occur occasionally in the area.
Zoological Gardens: Located in Yangon. It occupies 69.25 acres.
Alungdaw Kathapa: Situated 95 km to the northwest of Monywa is this renowned place of interest called Alaungdaw Kathapa. A journey to this involves some 27 km of a tough trekking and elephant ride besides the trips by road and water. It is recommended especially for those keen on adventurous walks in a jungle. Kathapa is in fact the name of an Arhat whose remains, it is believed, are kept in this place. However, what you can see there is but the representation of the reclining Arhat.
Hlawaga Park: Hlawga Wildlife Park lies just 45 minutes drive from Yangon. It is inhabited by more than 70 species of herbivorous animals and 90 species of birds. Easily accessible, Hlawga Wildlife Park is an ideal place of interest for bird-watchers!
Popa Mountain Park: It is an extinct volcano over 1,500 metres in height. Lying smack in the centre of the Dry Belt, Popa Mountain Park covered with recently-grown forests is like an oasis in the desert-like Central Myanmar. Accessible conveniently by road. Remarkably, there are many semi-tame monkeys in Popa Mountain Park that – though far from being dangerous – sometimes snatch food from the hands of visitors and run away.
Shwesettaw Sanctuary: This sanctuary is located in Minbu forest division, on the western edge of the Myanmar dry zone, between Mann and Mone streams. Accessible by road and is about two hours’ drive from Minbu. It covers a total area of about 553 km2. Many species of animals including Eld’s deer, gaur, banteng, serow, sambhur, hog deer, wild boar, leopard, bear, wild dogs, various kinds of birds, and some species of primates are reported to be inhabiting in this sanctuary.
Inlay Lake: in Naung Shwe, Pinlaung and Peh Kon Townships of Southern Shan State. Elevation over 2900 feet. It has 642.32 square miles in area. Oryza granulate, Dalbergia spinosa, Hypericum prunizolium, Coladium spp., Desmodium oblongum, Enhydra zluctuans, Panicum sarmentosum grow on the natural floating islets. Salix tetrasperma, Ficus spp. Crataexa nurvala, Mitragyna parvizolia, Salmalia malabarica syn., Bombax malabaricum are found in shallow water or on the shores.
Sein-Ye Forest Camp: ocated at a distance of about 200km from Yangon. It lies in the midst of the Sein ye teak forests, a part of Bago Yoma, and offers experience in witness the logging methods and the utilization of elephants. Men of Kayin people in the area make their incomes by working as oozes, living with and training the elephants to work in the forests.
Chatthin Sanctuary: in Kanbula Township of Sagaing Division. It has 103.55 square miles in area. Macaca species, barking deer, wild boar, wild dog, leopard, cat species, bats and Guano species, amphibian species and 158 species of birds and approvimately 1530 numbers of Thamin reside in the park. Altogether 69 species of medicinal plants and herbs have recorded in the latest inventory survey.
Botanical Gardens: in Pyin Oo Lwin Town of Mandalay Division. It has 344.81 acres in area. Inland indigenous birds (resident forest birds), reptiles, small mammal species and insects are present. There are forest trees (big species) : about 344 species. Total number of trees : about 5000.Indigenous orchids : 42 species, 25 species of roses and 6 species of Crinum amoenum (land lily).
Moneyingyi Wetland: in Bago and Waw Townships of Bago Division. It has 40 squares miles in area. More than twenty species of aquatic grass and herb (Emergent macrophytes) including kaing grass and water are present in the sanctuary and Notsaba(Oxyza officinalis) grow particularly in shallow aera of the sanctuary. Especially Kaing grasslands are the most suitable breeding ground for water birds.