The Ministry of Hotels and Tourism has laid down a plan to increase arrival of tourist numbers in the 2015-16 fiscal year.
In open season in 2015, various destinations across the nation have been reopened for visits of tourists. The ministry set plans to attract more and more tourists at the nation’s great lakes — namely Indawgyi Lake in Mohnyin Township, Inlay Lake in Nyaungshwe Township and Moyungyi Lake in DaikU Township— where tourists can enjoy panoramic beauty and observe unique inhabitants, flora and fauna.
Up to now, the government has established nine national parks and 26 sanctuaries across the nation.
Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park is one of the sanctuaries. It was named after a shrine to Kathapa located within the park. The shrine has a reclining figure called Kathapa and it is believed that his remains are kept under the shrine.
The Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park located in Monywa Township, Sagaing Region, includes the upper catchment basins of the Petpa, Patolon and Taungdwin rivers. It is the largest national park in Myanmar, at 160,500 hectares. The Petpa River is a tributary of the Patolon. The Patolon and Taungdwin rivers drain the eastern and western parts of the park, respectively.
Local travellers and tourists visit the park by riding elephants along the route of forests. Outside monsoon season, the park is one of the big tourist draw cards for the Sagaing Region. The elephant camps in the park and the hospitality of local people have contributed to the growth of the area’s eco-tourism industry.