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IRTA 2020 Gold Winner, Best Homestay
Saw John Aung Thong, a second-generation Karen settler from Burma, decided to turn the home his father built into a homestay to sustain its maintenance and to create awareness about the cultural heritage and traditional lifestyle of the Karen community. This is a genuine homestay with the family living on the ground floor and the guest rooms on the upper floor. The homestay is managed by the family and they connect the guests to local bird-watching and nature guides.
As Saw John Aung Thong explains “I have decorated my homestay with handicraft products of wood, bamboo and cane made in the traditional Karen style. I also use heirlooms I have inherited from my parents such as a clay pot to store drinking water the traditional way, wooden pestle and mortars, and also built and use a traditional firewood stove also, for aesthetic purposes and practicality. I have also used many posters of flora and fauna found in the Andaman islands to share wildlife and environmental awareness.”