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Why National Races Village is special ?
Myanmar’s indigenous tribes may be largely located in isolated regions, but that does not mean that they are inaccessible to travellers who do not have the time to venture farther afield.
At the National Races Village in Thaketa Township (near Thanlyin Bridge, Tel: 95 1 54 7088), you can easily get acquainted with Myanmar’s cultural diversity. Dubbed the “People’s Zoo” by locals, it is segmented according to states from Mon to Kayah, and comprises traditional houses of the country’s eight major ethnic groups. Visitors may wander through the houses to discover the various crafts, ethnic clothes, and tools of Myanmar’s indigenous people.
At the Kachin quarter, a large Kachin-style home comes complete with a traditional kitchen, utensils, paintings and wooden furniture. Out front are colourful carved totem poles.
At a Shan Villa, one can admire a display of handcrafted umbrellas and decorative belts and hats. You can also purchase traditionally-brewed wines and snacks such as light prawn crackers, locally-made potato chips and dried cashews at the Shan Villa.
The village is part of a lush park that’s also home to a beautiful lake, a crocodile farm and a bird sanctuary. It can be explored by bicycle – rent one at the park’s entrance. There is also a playground and miniaturised landmarks such as Mount Zwegabin (the tallest mountain in Hpa-An), along with the heart-shaped Reed Lake in Chin State.
What to explore at National Races Village?
If you visit the village, you will not only enjoy fresh breeze blowing across Bago River but also get the sense of Union Spirit from the village of our national brethern, Kachin, Kayah, Kayin, Chin, Bamar, Mon, Rakhine and Shan. You can see buildings with significant symbols denoting various national races residing in the country.
Firstly, you will see a sampling of traditional house of Kachin national. Kachin nationals reside mostly at the northern tip of Myanmar. If you observe the Kachin traditional house, it is found to be constructed like that of one of the elders of Kachin nationals. Construction materials are wood, bamboo and thatch. The left side of the house is used like the back of any kinds of houses, with kitchen, etc. Wooden mortar and pestle, firewood and household goods are kept at the rear of the house. Traditional utensils are depicted on the pillars of the house in the form of paintings. At the back of the house, there is a ground where the traditional Manaw can be held. If the house has Manaw pillar as in the form of a totem pole, the owner of the house is the elder who can hold Manaw Festival which is the traditional Kachin Festival. Moekyoe Nat room or compartment for spirits is found only in the house of national race elders. Moreover, living room, shrine for Nat, front room, kitchen and room for virgins are seen separately.
How to get to National Races Village?
The only way to get to the National Races Village is by taxi. Ask a local to give your driver directions: The park is tucked away on an unmarked road near Thanlyin Bridge, 20 minutes from downtown Yangon.
- Culture of the different states in Myanmar
- Skansen in a Myanmar style
- A rich cultural experience
- Great overview of Burmese culture
- Well done and educational
Yangon Myanmar (Burma)
Tips for you
There are bicyles and Horse carriage ready for rent in the park but we decided to take the truck buggy to give us a free & easy quick tour of the whole place. The park is extensively spread out with buildings and houses of 8 indigenous ethnic groups with display of artifacts, tools & furniture denoting various national native groups residing in this country. The park has man-made hardscape of mountains & waterfalls, widespread of greeneries, restaurant & handicraft & souvenir shops. It is surrounded by the lakes where it flows into the Bago River. Quite a nice place for picnic in between the shady trees in the park. Great scenery from the Viewing Tower. An interesting park to visit !!!