RURAL Bilu Island (Ogre Island) - Mawlamyine
Bilu Island (Bilu Kyun) or Ogre Island is located about 20 min long tail boat ride from Mawlamyine Strand Road. There are quite a few stories about the islands name. The best one might be that in the past people were so ugly and eat raw meat that they are considered to be ogres.
Bilu is large with over 60 villages on the island, rice paddies and rubber plantations and maintains a remarkable range of traditional cottage industries. The main ethnic groups living on the island are Mon people. There is a saying that Mon people don’t fear to die, but fear to be poor and live in hunger.
We will pick you up after breakfast from your guesthouse/hotel and get straight to the jetty. After arrival on Bilu Islands jetty we change our method of transport toAC car. Our first stop will be the slate industry. School kids even nowadays will have an old fashioned slate board for the first grade to learn the writing of the Burmese Alphabet. Further down the road is a local blacksmith who is sharping the sickle for the rice farmers. The wooden houses are in great shape and an eye catcher. We will reach Ywa Loot Village, which is known for making smoking pipes. Watch the workers manufacturing there pipes in their local homes. Lunch will be in a clean local restaurant (not included). Other small industries we are going to visit are the rubber band making from leftovers of the rubber industry, the cigar rolling shop and rice paddy cultivation (seasonal).
Best visit might be the island during their festival week, which is around 7 days after water festival (Usually April). The whole island turns crazy for a week. Different villages will host the celebrations for a day and there will be show fights and all sorts of local amusements.
In the afternoon we will return to Mawlamyine via the new bridge, which was opened only in May 2017. If time permitts we visit the Kyaikthalan Pagoda for sunset, where Rudyard Kipling’s poem begins: “By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin’ lazy at the sea/ There’s a Burma girl a-settin’, and I know she thinks o’ me…”.
Please note: Itinerary can change on tide and weather conditions.
- Choose your method of transport →
- Traditional boat to Bilu Island
- Local lunch incl. one soft drink
- English speaking guide
- 2 bottles of water & 2 cooling towels per person / day
- Visa to Myanmar
- International airfares & domestic airfares (will be always mentioned separately)
- Meals, if not otherwise mentioned
- Travel insurance