Dance with Dolphins

Dance with Dolphins

Cooperative Fishing – A Symbiotic Tradition

Traditional local fishermen rehearse their dance with the Irrawaddy river dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris). The fishermen rhythmically tap sticks on the side of their canoes and make chattering noises until smooth grey bodies break the surface. With a flick of a dolphin’s flukes, the hunt is on. The dolphins herd fish into the outstretched nets of the awaiting fishermen. When the men pull in their nets, they throw fish back for their partners. This old, symbiotic relationship between human and animal is unique. Local villages still cooperatively fish with the dolphins having a special skill to whistle to attract the dolphins.

Draft Itinerary

Day 01: Travel upstream from Mandalay through Mingun and up river to one of the 7 designated villages within the Dolphin protected zone (approx. 3 hour). You will have the opportunity to engage with local with their daily activities. Enjoy your meal serve by the community centre and overnight at one of the community homes.

Day 02:Your day usually starts early as you will go along with the local fishermen to get first-hand experience with cooperative fishing with the men and mammal. You will be traveling with small canoe and follow to the fishermen where they are collaborating with Dolphin for fishing in the river. Fishermen usually knew where the dolphins are when they see dolphins they start to tapping with bamboo to canoe or make sound like diffidence one guttural then apparently the dolphins show the signal it’s mean you can collaborate with them for fishing. They swim to you on the other side of river closely and show some sort of sign to stop the boat and throw the net. Once the fish are in the net Dolphin once again show another sign and in no time fishes are in the net. After spending half day we return back to village with the fishermen, pack our bags and bid farewell to local and head back to Mandalay.

Important note: There is no guarantee that you can encounter river Dolphin even though you spend a couple of days in the river villages. Dolphins are shy animal and usually stay away from noisy boats. Again the weather and water condition in the river may also dictate your travel.

Booking Condition

How to Book:

Complete the booking form click “submit” button to make your reservation. Alternately you may book through email  [email protected]

 Deposit and payment:

A deposit of 30% of your trip cost per person is require to secure your booking. The balance will need to be settled 7 day before commence of trek. Bookings made within 7 days must be paid in full at the time of booking.


Prices quoted are net basis and valid according to the date specified on the printed tariffs, quotation, invoice etc. Myanmar Hill lodges (Myanmar Highland Eco-adventures) warrants that the prices or rates quoted are correct at the time of issuance but are subject to change in line with market, tax or currency fluctuation.

Cancellations and refunds:

All cancellations must be advised in writing and are accepted from the date the written confirmation is received and applied cancellation as below.

15 days before trip date: you will lose your deposit
7 days and less before the trip date: 50% of the total cost per person
If reservations are cancelled (or) no-show: no refunds will be made

Amendments of trek:

If the change is minor we will endeavor to make the change at no further cost to you. If the change requires more work than we impose you an appropriate charge ask you to pay the charge before we action the change. Please note we may not be able to accommodate your request during “high occupation period”. In such case we will not be responsible for any lost or additional costs incurred. Should trip be canceled after deposit cancellation fee may applies.


There is no limitation on the group size on this program, however Myanmar Hill Lodges (Myanmar Highland Eco-adventures) reserves the right to combine in order to form a decent group on same departure.

Un-used service:

No refunds will be considered any unused service after commencement of the trek regardless of the reason whatsoever.



Your day pack should be a medium volume which can hold your personal belonging such as medication, camera, extra clothes, water etc.


Lightweight long sleeved pants and shirt are useful as sunscreen and insect protection while trek. A windshield is ideal as it will keep you warm and dry in a variety of situations.

Personal items

Such as a pair of binoculars, a pocketknife, reading and writing material, water bottle, and personal first aid kit would be essential for your convenience.

Protection from weather:

A pair of sun glass and hat is essential for your protection from sun. You will also need some sun screen to protect against sunburn.

Protection against insect bite:

It’s important to keep insect repellent to keep the insects away.


What will be the temperature like?

Weather can be hot during summer (March – May), however cooler during winter (Nov-March). Mostly clear skies, cool in the morning but warm during the day during our operating season between (Nov – May).

What will I see on my trip?

See the natural river habitat, home to the Irrawaddy dolphins, migratory birds and freshwater turtles.

View the unique phenomenon of cooperative fishing. Experience traditional ways of life at local villages. See artisanal crafts, such as pot making.

How fit do I have to be?

This program is graded as “Easy to Moderate” thus anyone who leads a moderately healthy lifestyle back home and is reasonably fit will be able to join in.

What about meal?

We take care of all catering on your visit. If you have a special dietary requirements then you will have to advise us at the time of booking.

What about guides?

We provide English or Myanmar language guide plus an expert dolphin guide who can introduce you with these friendly creature and also assist you interact with locals.

What about First aid?

Our guides are qualified in wilderness first aid, and carry a basic medical first aid kit.

Is there any age or health limit to participate?

This program is suitable to anyone with normal health and fitness condition. However older clients or clients with pre-existing medical conditions may require a doctor’s letter confirming their fitness for the trip. During your visit you are under the direction of your guide and he/she has total authority to determine your suitability to participate.

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