Last month, Lon Ton Village celebrated its official change of designation to Indawgyi City. By most people’s imaginations, the place where 250 families call home could hardly be considered a city, but it represents an important change for not just the village, but the entire Indawgyi region and is yet another sign of the rapidly changing dynamics of Myanmar.For visitors to the lake, Indawgyi City may not seem much different than some of its neighboring villages, but there are many things that set it apart. Despite its size, it has all the features of any modern city from a post office to a police station and even restaurants and hotels. At the moment, these are all small, but they are more than anything signs of what to come. The township government is enhancing and creating the infrastructure for better resources, connectivity, and resources and Indawgyi City is going to be the center of this.
Indawgyi City’s main office
The natural question for most people is why here versus anywhere else at the lake. Lon Ton was not the biggest village by a longshot. And while Nam Mun Village has also seen a changed designation to Nam Mun City, the township’s focus will be here and that’s because it always has been.
As we’ve written before, Lon Ton has for countless years been a place where people came together. It is located almost directly at the middle of Indawgyi right on the shore. It is where Shan-ni and Kachin people came together to trade products and was an important station for teak exportation during the era of British colonialism.
In recent years, the village has become host to both a military base and police station as well as the Indaw Mahar Guesthouse. Since its creation in 1999, Indaw Mahar has been the place of choice for all government officials to meet when visiting Indawgyi. At least once a week, the white tablecloth is set on the porch for important officials to arrive. It also the only place where tourists are allowed to stay and this is because of the increased safety personnel there.
For Face of Indawgyi, it’s been amazing to watch these changes and be an active part of them. We are dedicated to both cultural preservation as well as bringing the best of modern technology and ideas here. We recently helped Indaw Mahar Guesthouse go fully digital by creating their Booking.com page, getting new photos and information and helped them understand the system.
At the end of the day, Indawgyi may seem like a quiet, sleepy place but change is happening rapidly here which makes now a more important time than ever for people to work together to preserve and document the local cultures here as they become further integrated into an ever- more connected world.
Check out our bilingual map of Indawgyi City here!