Planning Your Trip
ABOUT SAMKHA LAKE REGION
While most travelers are familiar with Inle Lake, lesser known is the Samka Lake (also known as Sakar Lake) region. Straddling the border of Shan State and Kayah State, this remote lake area is still authentic, and for now, mostly untouched by large-scale tourism as it requires a little more effort to get to. As part of our program, we’ll take you on an experiential journey of service and purpose through an immersive six days in Phayartaung Village.
GETTING THERE AND AWAY
Phayartaung is a small and very rural market and fishing village that holds one of the region’s famous 5 day markets. It is home to a very special monastic school where many children from surrounding villages come to learn. Our meeting point as a group will be at Yangon International Airport. The flight from Yangon International Airport to Heho Airport is approximately one hour. We’ll be transferred by minivan from Heho Airport to the Inle Sanctuary Resort. Round-trip airfares between Yangon and Heho are included in the price of the retreat, and we’ll be booking the flights for you. You will have to get to Yangon on your own. If you need any assistance booking your flight from your destination to Yangon, we’ll be happy to help.
E-Visa for tourists is available for most passports with a validity of 28 days. Passport holders of ASEAN countries do not require a visa to enter Myanmar on a short-term basis. You are responsible for determining your own visa requirements. Myanmar authorities also require all passports to have at least 4 empty pages left and a validity of at least 6 months from the date of arrival.
For anyone seeking peace and natural beauty, Inle Sanctuary, Phayartaung offers one of the most breathtaking locations in Myanmar. The six spacious, luxury stilt houses, built on a pier jutting out into the middle of Inle’s three lakes, have unrivalled views of the water and surrounding hills. Inle Sanctuary is a sustainable ecolodge located by Sakar (or Samka) Lake, an unexplored lake south of Inle Lake. The ecolodge is 100% solar powered, sources all food locally, and supports development in Phayartaung village.
Each of the lodges has been built to the highest standards using traditional and locally sourced materials such as hardwood and bamboo. Guests can look out over the lake through large picture windows or from loungers on the outside deck. With the lotus filled lake beneath your feet, it is the perfect place to enjoy the scenery at any time of the day. The sunrises and sunsets are stunning and at night the deck is the perfect place to view the stars.
SEVA SEED PROJECT
Seva Seed is a women-led social initiative run by a volunteer community of empowered women & men in Singapore. Seva Seed’s goal is to create environmental and social change through revitalising menstrual practices in a healthy and environmentally sustainable way. Seva Seed hopes to empower young women of all ages from around the world with the skills to sew their own reusable cloth pads as well as provide menstrual health education to create an open dialogue about the topic in underprivileged countries.
This retreat is held in support of Seva Seed. Ten percent of the proceeds of the retreat will go towards Seva Seed, and participants will be involved in teaching girls how to sew their own re-usable pads. Each retreat participant will receive training in how to sew the pads. Our activities leading up to the village sewing workshop will be focused on getting you in tune with being both a giver and receiver, and to support you in your karma yoga journey.
To learn more about Seva Seed, visit their website: SevaSeed.org
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
The group meeting point is at Yangon International Airport at 6:30am on the first day of the retreat. You will need to fly to Yangon the day before the retreat starts and meet us at the DOMESTIC terminal in the morning. There are many international flights, multiple times a day. The group will then fly to Heho together and transfer by minivan to Phayartaung.
If you are coming from another part of Myanmar, you will have to purchase your own flight ticket and we will adjust the price of the retreat accordingly. We suggest organizing your flight so that you can travel the remainder of the way from Heho to Phayartaung by minivan. Alternatively, there are also public bus routes that connect Phayartaung to other parts of Myanmar. Please inquire with us so we can help you with your trip planning.
Spaces are limited on the retreat and we would like to offer these limited spaces to students who can participate entirely in the retreat. If you can participate only for a portion of the dates, you can check in with us a week before the retreat starts. If there are still spots available, we may consider your partial participation. However, in general we do not encourage this as we prefer the whole group to start and end together.
There are only 5 available bungalows for twin sharing on the retreat. We would like to reserve these spots for fully participating students. If there are spots still available as we get closer to the retreat start date, we may consider non-participating guests. Please inquire directly with us.
Yes we get a lot of beginners, and occasionally people who have never done yoga before. The general level on the retreat is always mixed, ranging from novices to advanced practitioners and teachers. The group sizes are small (no larger than 15 people) and our teachers are highly trained to manage the range of experience of all the participants
Yes, we can cater to all kinds of dietary requirements and allergies. If you have a severe peanut allergy or celiac disease however, we cannot guarantee that there won’t be some small level of cross-contamination.
There is no babysitter at the resort and unless you come with someone else who can take care of your children, we do not recommend attending. Furthermore, we cannot offer additional bungalows to non-participating guests, which means that your family must stay in one bungalow and additional charges may apply for extra beds. Please also consider that other participants may be looking for a quiet and introspective experience and that your children will be your responsibility in our efforts to maintain this environment.
Yes, you can stay extra nights at the resort before or after the retreat. The booking must be made directly with the resort. Let them know that you are joining the retreat so that they can do their best to book you into the same room that you will be staying in during the retreat (depending on room availability).
We do not offer retreats outside of the dates that are specified on our website. Occasionally we may be able to do a custom retreat, but this will require a minimum of 10 participants. Please inquire directly via e-mail.
Yes, off course it is! We welcome everyone of all levels of experience and fitness. Please inquire directly by e-mail. We can advise you as to which retreats may be better suited to your needs.