Myeik, a Town with Precious Edible Bird’s Nest
Myeik, a Town with Precious Edible Bird’s Nest
Myeik is famous for its islands, fishery, pearl farms and, of course, bird nests. Bird nest can be found only in Myeik islands and islands in Irrawaddy division. Amongst all, Myeik bird nests are more qualified and expensive. This energizing bird nest is built by swiftlets for laying eggs and nursery. The nest is actually the solidified saliva. They no longer need their nests and abandoned them after the little chicks have hatched and taken care of at young state. Then people collect these nests and use as a supplement with high nutritional value.
Myeik has two kinds of bird nests; island bird nest and house bird nest. The island one is the one directly from the islands in the sea, three times more expensive than the house bird nest and possess better quality. The cup of the bird nest itself is thicker. Mali island is the one with the highest rate of bird nest in Myeik islands. It is an island with high rocks and no beach to step on. You can find little houses of the people, who are the guards of the island and bird nest collector, on the walls of the rock mountains. Ladders are hanged from the houses to climb up directly from the sea since there is no beach. So many houses can be seen around the island. And there is this huge cave to enter the island on one side of the island. But only the authorities can approach the island sine the it is filled with precious resources. It’s impossible for visitors to approach and get on the island. Mali island which you can admire only from afar stands with great gorgeousness in isolation.
The house bird nests is the ones which you get from the houses in town where the swiftlets choose to come and make their nests inside. The very first bird nest house of Myeik is very remarkable. The birds came inside the house on their own and started making nests. I find it almost hard to believe that birds which habitat on islands picked a domestic house to make their nests. It never happened before. When there are too many swiftlet couples in the house, the owners had no choice but to move out. The whole house was filled with birds and their nests. The owners of the house made a great fortune from these nests. What a luck! Then other people wanted the birds to make nests in their houses too. Since the birds do not choose them in such miraculous manner, their build the houses in special ways that are convenient for the birds and project bird noises to attract the birds. In that way, some households in Myeik make a business out of their own houses.
It is really challenging and difficult to attract the birds. But this business minded town never give up and is always trying to find a way to attract the birds. As you know, the birds never come automatically. Actually the birds are living in group and so they will only come to the place where is convenient for them. Then people of Myeik made this new profession of Bird Whisperer. To welcome the birds into the house, all the little details about birds’ habitats such as the time, the route, the bed time, the atmosphere, the temperature, the entrance into the house are consulted with the Bird Whisperers. They help you to attract the bird. Some sort of cups were put inside the house to help the birds to make nests in. In that way, the birds come inside the house, make their nests and people make a business out of it. But this business is controlled and restrained by law. As in Myanmar bird’s nest is regarded as a natural resource, you can’t buy it easily. If you want to buy over (10) Kyattha* (around 163g) of bird’s nest, don’t forget to keep the receipt because you have to show the receipt when the local authority checks you. Buying island bird’s nest has more restrictions. As the way it is, the bird’s nest becomes one of the precious treasures to Myeik.
These days only few swiftlets are still living house bird nest. They habitat among the trees in the forest. So people start creating gardens and planting huge trees to attract the birds and run the business again. As I said, Myiek’s people do know their business. Also they are strongly united and efficiently active. They have always in mind to make their own town developed. They know how to use their natural resources wisely. With these strengths and advantages this town, Myeik, shines like a star. That’s why I highly recommend you visit Myeik when you have a chance to come to Myanmar. And you will realize that with their hard-working people makes Myeik one of the brightest and brilliant stars.
*Kyattha – Traditional Burmese unit of measurement for weight. (1 Kyatha = 16.3293 g)