Unveiling the essence of Asia

Conscious Travel: Empowering Communities through Education

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Sharing Knowledge and the Gift of Education while Exploring These Wonderful Destinations

In today’s world, where travel has become easier and faster than ever before, it’s essential to consider the impact of our journeys on the places we visit. Conscious travel and responsible tourism are not just buzzwords to the hotels, boats, and restaurants in the Secret Retreats community, they represent a mindset and a commitment to make a positive difference as we promote our home destinations to the world. One remarkable way this is being achieved is through the sharing of knowledge and the gift of education in various corners of the world.

In this week’s edition, we share stories of conscious travel that focus on the power of education and knowledge-sharing in our destinations around Asia.


Inle Heritage Stilt House: Preserving Culture and Nurturing Talent

On the peaceful waters of Inle Lake in Myanmar, the Inle Heritage Stilt House offers a cultural immersion like no other. The Inle Heritage Stilt House is a captivating and culturally immersive destination located on the serene waters of Inle Lake in Myanmar. This remarkable stilt house is more than just a place to visit, it’s a living example of the rich heritage and traditions of the Intha people, who have inhabited this region for generations. One of the most striking features of the Inle Heritage Stilt House is its architectural design. Built entirely on stilts, this structure appears to float gracefully above the shimmering waters of the lake. Its wooden construction reflects the craftsmanship and skills of the local artisans, a testament to the Intha people’s deep connection to their water-world environment.

Alongside showcasing the Intha culture, Inle Heritage also supports and operates a school for local children and a hospitality school for young adults. Your visit fosters cross-cultural exchange while supporting education and skill development. The Inle Heritage Foundation stands as a beacon of hope and cultural preservation on the serene waters of Inle Lake in Myanmar. By operating a local school for children and a hospitality school for young adults, it not only preserves the unique Intha culture but also empowers the youth of the region. Through their dedication to education and skill development, the Inle Heritage Foundation opens doors to brighter futures, all while providing travelers with an opportunity to engage in meaningful cross-cultural exchanges. Inle Heritage is a wonderful example of how tourism can be a force for positive change, ensuring that the legacy of the Intha people endures for generations to come.

Pimali Foundation: Transforming Lives in Remote Areas

Set within a blissful rice field, Pimali Resort and Training Center invites you to escape the ordinary and embrace the extraordinary. The resort, surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, offers a tranquil oasis where you can relax, rejuvenate, and reconnect with nature. From the resort’s eco-friendly accommodations to sustainable practices, they are committed to preserving the environment while providing you with a comfortable and unforgettable stay. At Pimali, you’ll not only experience the serenity of a rural Thailand lifestyle, but your stay will also make a profound impact by supporting the mission to empower disadvantaged young adults through providing them with top-notch hospitality training.

Pimali’s dedication to social responsibility is at the core of their business. They believe in giving back to the community by providing young adults from remote areas with a chance to receive outstanding hospitality training. When you choose Pimali, you become a part of this transformative journey. Your stay directly contributes to empowering these individuals with skills that open doors to brighter futures. It’s not just a vacation, it’s an opportunity to make a real difference while enjoying the peaceful way of life in Thailand’s Isaan people.

At Pimali, they offer more than just a place to stay, they provide unforgettable experiences that will stay with you forever. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the natural surroundings, embark on eco-adventures, savor exquisite culinary delights crafted from locally sourced ingredients, and engage in cultural exchanges that will deepen your understanding of the region. Every moment at Pimali is an opportunity for personal growth, connection, and exploration.

Maringi Sumba: A Path to Better Opportunities

Are you ready to embark on an unforgettable journey to a hidden paradise while making a meaningful impact on local communities? Look no further than Maringi Hotel Sumba, where luxury meets purpose, and where every stay contributes to the Sumba Hospitality Foundation.

Maringi Hotel, located on the picturesque Indonesian island of Sumba, is a true architectural gem that seamlessly blends modern luxury with the rich cultural heritage of the region. Its design demonstrates both a careful consideration of the natural environment and the preservation of the island’s traditions. Maringi Hotel’s architecture harmoniously integrates with its natural surroundings. The resort’s low-profile, thatched-roof bungalows and stilted structures evoke the traditional Sumbanese ‘honi’ houses. These time-honored designs and construction methods make the smallest environmental impact possible through the use of locally sourced materials such as bamboo, thatch, and reclaimed wood.  In being constructed from sustainable materials, each bungalow pays homage to the local culture and exemplifies Maringi’s commitment to sustainable practices.

Maringi’s strategically placed infinity pools offer uninterrupted views of the Indian Ocean and the lush tropical landscapes that surround the resort. This design element creates a tranquil oasis where guests can relax while feeling as if they are part of the stunning Sumbanese landscape.

Cultural Elements: The resort’s design doesn’t stop at aesthetics. It incorporates cultural elements such as local art, textiles, and sculptures, further immersing guests in the rich traditions of Sumba. It’s not just a hotel, it’s a cultural experience.

When you stay at Maringi Hotel Sumba, you’re not just indulging in a luxurious escape, you’re also making a difference in the lives of local young adults. Maringi proudly supports the Sumba Hospitality Foundation, which empowers local youth by providing them with professional training in the hospitality industry. Through your stay at Maringi, you contribute directly to this noble cause. You help create opportunities for young Sumbanese to secure a better future, gain valuable skills, and build careers in the tourism sector. It’s a journey of transformation that goes beyond your own experience, as you become a part of their success story.

There are many more remarkable hotels and resorts we could have mentioned in the Secret Retreats community that are equally as dedicated to conscious and responsible travel as the hotels featured in this week’s newsletter. Tiger Mountain Pokhara Lodge in Nepal, Wa Ale Resort in the Mergui Archipelago of Myanmar, Glenburn Tea Estate in Darjeeling in India, Misool in Raja Ampat, Balibo Fort Hotel in Timor Leste and Satri House in Luang Prabang Laos to name a few, all transcend the traditional concept of hospitality. Alongside offering guests a unique and immersive travel experience, they also actively support their local communities. Whether formally through their own foundations, or informally through their long-established good business practices, Secret Retreats hotels, boats, and restaurant teams all work closely with their local community to protect and preserve both the local culture and the environment. Together they demonstrate how responsible tourism can create lasting positive change by investing in the local community while providing guests with an enriching and purposeful stay.


In a world that often emphasizes the ‘take’ in travel, these destinations and organizations remind us of the importance of ‘giving back’. They show us that conscious travel isn’t just about seeing the world, it’s also about leaving a positive impact, fostering cultural exchange, and making education accessible to those who need it most.

As conscious travelers, we have the power to shape the future of the places we visit. By choosing destinations and experiences that prioritize education and community development, we can turn our journeys into a force for good. So, as you plan your next adventure, consider how you can contribute to the sharing of knowledge and the gift of education, making your travels not just memorable but truly meaningful.

Every journey with Secret Retreats is an opportunity to give back.

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