Ko Ko’s family was forcibly relocated to New Bagan in 1989. The family was allocated a small parcel of land some distance from the river. After years of trying to rebuild his livelihood, his father, a fisherman, fell into depression and alcoholism. It fell onto Ko Ko’s shoulders to provide security for his family and support for his brothers and sisters. Instead of attending school, he returned to the Irrawaddy River and worked as a fisher to support his family from a young age.

His older brother was able to complete university, but he was left illiterate in Bagan. His family invested in a horse and cart to earn income from the growing tourism industry. As he entered his twenties and the business atmosphere became more competitive, his options were limited.

We are pleased that Ko ko shared our vision of responsible tourism and social entrepreneurship in Bagan. He joined the staff of Three Treasures Responsible Tourism, our first social enterprise, in early 2017.

His attention to detail and interest in photography also make him a good candidate for training as a photography assistant for visitors to Bagan. As a local, he knows all the secret spots and has a keen eye for photographic composition. We hope to include his work in our proposed photography project aimed at capturing the country in transition from the local perspective.