|A Korean woman is missing in Myanmar. Screengrab of the Irrawaddy News Magazine's website|
By Jung Min-ho
A Korean tourist in Myanmar has been missing for 10 days after being swept away in a swift current.
According to Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Myanmar's media reports, the tourist, 45, surnamed Heo, went missing on Nov. 21 while floating on inner tubes in the Namtu River.
She was on a group tour at Hsipaw Township, Shan State, with four other travelers and a local guide.
Citing witnesses, a police sergeant said Heo suddenly "disappeared beneath the water." An Italian man tried to rescue her multiple times but to no avail.
The guide told police that he had suggested several times that all tourists wear lifejackets, but Heo refused.
"The water surface is rough in that river as there are hard-to-see rocks in the riverbed that cause unexpected waves," the police sergeant said.
Local police and tour agency employees have been searching for her since.
According to the Tourism Ministry's website, foreigners are not allowed to travel outside the Hsipaw downtown. But tour agencies offer travel to restricted areas such as the Namtu River and the Nam Hu Nwe waterfall.
In a bid to attract more tourists from Asia, Myanmar recently started offering visa-free travel to tourists from South Korean, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau.