Exploring Dala Township definitely is one of the highlights when visiting Yangon, Myanmar.
Located across the Yangon River, life there is completely opposite to the busy city center. Rather than modern skyscrapers and colonial buildings, there are colorful fishing boats and houses which can only really be described as shacks.
A small fishing village in Myanmar, Dala is a perfect spot for a day trip from Yangon. A trip to Dala village gave us a quick snapshot of life in a small Burmese village. A visit to Dala village is perfect for those who want to take a quick look at simple Burmese village life and need a change of scenery from Myanmar’s touristy spots.
How to get to Dala
It is a 10-minute ferry ride away from Nanthida Jetty in downtown Yangon.
Like most of the things in Myanmar, the cost of this ferry is different for locals and international tourists. When you get to the jetty , you are to buy the ferry ticket 2,000 MMK for one way – it will cost 4,000 MMK per person for a return .
Ferry from Yangon to Dala village
A visit to Dala village is surely interesting but the ferry ride is literally as interesting as the village itself.
The ferry irself was like a mini floating market and had a lot of interesting sights. Many locals brought their bicycles on board and some of them got their little shops too. In this brief ferry ride, you will see many people (mostly women) selling different things – clothes, cigarettes, combs, mirrors, bird eggs, fresh fruit and so much more.
One the decks of Dala ferry (or Dallah ferry as some call it),you will also notice plastic chairs for rent. Just like Yangon’s tea shops, these plastic chairs were tiny and in reality are for children. The seats on the upper deck are for free.The trip takes approximately five minutes. Once the boat is docked everybody makes a mad dash to depart. This is where you will be bombarded by hawkers.
How to get around Dala ?
One of the best ways to explore and discover Dala is by the city’s oldest mode of transportation – the TRISHAW. The TRISHAW was a popular and the only mode of transportation in Yangon in the olden days .The price around the town for a one and a half hour to two-hour tour should be approximately $2.20 / 3000 kyat each for two people, $4.40 / 6000 kyat total.
What to see in Dala ?
Heading out of the main township the first stop for us was a local pagoda there. This was definitely not as stunning as the Shwedagon Pagoda in the city center. Though, it was still alright to look at for a couple of minutes. There were a few stray dogs hanging around which seemed quite angry so best to keep a distance.
The Fishing Village
Next stop was at the local fishing village. If you stay by the river in Yangon you will see colorful small boats driving back and forth all day. The fishing village is where a lot of them dock.The fishing village is lined with locals homes on each side, which barely any walls and no doors or windows you are given a literal glimpse into their lives.
See the local way of life
After this, we headed further away from the river to a small local village to watch the sunset.The houses are small like the majority in Dala, the same size as us in the Western world would consider sheds. Dala is said to be a place where only happy people are believed to live with smiles and seems happy about their lives.
The Local Market
Onwards to the last stop, the local markets. Set up alongside both sides of a dirt road the market is very welcoming and has a great atmosphere. People crowd the sidewalks eating dinner off small plastic chairs and tables.
Meet CHU CHU Makers
Meet the ChuChu makers! ChuChu is a workshop space located in Dala Township, on the southern bank of the Yangon River, across from downtown Yangon. Six families work there together and sell their crafts to locals and tourists visiting from Yangon. They work with recycled plastics to create new fabric, which they use to make purses, bags, and household goods. The artisans often work in the middle of the night when electricity is more reliable. Each member is a designer and their work continually evolves. As they forge new creations, new ideas are born and explored. This group of designers all consult one another in their work; each person has a voice in business decisions from designs to strategy. Together, they set the prices for their crafts and ensure their business is sustainable. The ChuChu workshop space is also made of recycled goods.
Visit Monastic Education Center
While your excursion in Dala, you are advised to visit Monastic Education Center where more than three hundred school kids getting educaton services and those kids are from needy families . meet up with the kids , have a chat and fun .and also learn what they are learning .
Leaving Dala Township
After the Monastic Education Center , it is time to head back to the ferry terminal.
At the ferry, you are to show your return tickets, and this time, jump onto a boat that is still connected to the dock.