Working with the community is the most rewarding part of my life in tourism.

Swe Yi Myat is a Yangon-born entrepreneur that has been working in travel since 2000. In 2009 she founded her own travel agency, Ancient Geographic Travel & Tours, specializing in bespoke itineraries for international visitors. She is married to German travel industry veteran Jens Uwe Parkitny whom she met in Myanmar in 2005.

After both visited Kayah State in 2012, they developed the vision for a small boutique hotel and Swe Yi eventually acquired a plot of land on the banks of Htingalyar Lake in Loikaw to build “Loikaw Lodge by the Lake”. The hotel has 11 charming rooms and opened in October 2016.

Right from the start, Swe Yi incorporated community based tourism initiatives as part of the stay experience and convinced her brother, a skilled chef who worked in renown luxury hotels, to manage the F&B. With energy and passion she managed to position Kayah State and her Lodge as a new travel destination in Myanmar.

In 2017, recommended the Lodge as one of the 10 x “Best Hotels to stay in Myanmar”. TripAdvisor awarded the Lodge with the Traveler’s Choice Award in 2021 and with Certificates of Excellence in 2020, 2019, and 2018. Swe Yi Myat holds a BSc degree in Mathematics, has two daughters and has lived in Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore, before returning to Myanmar in 2015.

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