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Places to Visit in Myanmar

Around Inle area

Kalaw used to be a retreat area in British colonial times due to the cold weather at  nearly 1500 meters above sea level. It is still a cool and cozy place with many pine trees. You can see various tribes especially during the market day in Kalaw. The town became famous as a trekking site for day- or overnight trips to the many tribes and villages around Kalaw with Palaung, Pa-O, Danu and Taung Yoe tribes.

The Pindaya cave is about 150 meters deep and 8,000 Buddha images are enshrined in it. There are several stalactites and stalagmites in the cave. Most Buddha images date back to the 17th and 18th Century. Various hand postures (Mudra) of Buddha images can be studied in the cave. Shan Paper and traditional umbrella making workshops are also situated in Pindaya area. Driving to Pindaya town from Aung Ban, the landscape is very colorful with various vegetables grown, especially between November and January.
There is a beautiful lake in Pindaya. Pindaya is also a starting point for trekking trips to the mountains west of Pindaya, e.g. to Yasagyi village where nights can be spent in a Monastery. This is in the meantime a very touristy place.

Aung Ban is situated on the highway from Taunggyi to Yangon. As the area produces many kinds of vegetables and fruits, all the farmers come and sell their goods in Aungban. Aside from market activity, there is not much to see.  


Heho has the only airport in the Southern Shan State. The town is small, many farmers grow potatoes around Heho, and is also a center of cattle trading. Danu and Taung Yoe tribes live in the area.

Taunggyi is the capital of Shan State with a population of 300,000. Trading is the main business, Gems, Cheroot wrapping leaves (Cordia Dichotoma) and garlic are the main commodities. Market day in Taunggyi is very colourful because of the Pa-O tribal people coming from the surrounding hills to town.

For those who would like to combine their vacation with charity: There are several orphanages around Inle Lake and in Taunggyi. Some people already support orphanages near Inle, therefore we mention those farther away. Some of  the orphanages where you may leave a contribution are.
The Christian Orphanage in Taunggyi with about 130 children, managed by two spinsters. Previous guests from America are supporting that Orphanage and have started and association to support on long term and sustainable basis. You find more information on:


The  Buddhist Orphanage in Taunggyi with about 110 Children, managed by a Buddhist monk.


Kakku, in the territory of Pa-O people, is situated 42 km south of Taunggyi. About 2500 stupas, built probably in the 17 to 18th century, are closely aligned in an area of 1 square km. It is possible to hike uphill from Inle Lake to Kakku in a day trip for experienced hikers. The pagoda festival held in March is a special attraction. Cheroot wrapping leaves and garlic plantations are grown in Kakku area. A Pa-O guide is compulsory during the trip.

Sanghar - old Buddha ImagesSanghar is situated a 3-hour boat ride from Nyaung Shwe village. The fascinating boat trip leads to the Southern end of Inle Lake, further through a creek, before widening in a 2nd lake with Sanghar. The attraction are the pagoda ruins from the 17th Century, still not restored, on the banks of that Lake. The area gets sometimes flooded during the rainy season.
  200 stupas at Thakhaung village are worth a visit. You can observe the local distillery method in Thakhaung village.

On the way to Sanghar, a pottery village and a lotus robe-weaving village can be visited in the Southern part of Inle Lake.

We recommend to stay at the hotels in the southern part of the lake as a starting point. The boat ride takes only 2 hours from per way. Sanghar is Malaria area. From February till May the journey may become more difficult due to shallow water. It may become necessary to push the boat at some places.

Market days in Shan State are most attracting to tourists who love to see daily live of ethnic people. The Market in a certain place is not held daily but every other five days. The Feudal Lord of Shan State invented the system. The distance between villages and the market places is quite big, so that sellers and buyers cannot come to the market places everyday. This five-day market system is convenient to local people as well as to the sellers. The market rotates from one village to another and comes back every five days to each place. Markets in Shan State also double as community centers where people meet friends from other villages and exchange news. Food, beverages and most necessities can be bough at the markets. The markets are colourful, tribal people wearing their traditional costumes can be seen. Visitors should not miss the market day while being in Shan State. Click here to see the market day schedule.


We do not recommend the train as means of transport. There are however a few really attractive routes, e.g. from Nyaung Shwe (near Inle Lake) to Heho / Kalaw. The train continues further to Thazi in the plains south of Mandalay.
From the plains around Inle Lake the train ascends steeply into the mountains around Kalaw.

Train schedules are never to be taken too serious. departure times get long delayed, sometimes trains may also be cancelled altogether. Please see the schedule as reference only. Sometimes stops at stations can suddenly take an hour.

The quality of compartments and toilets are beyond imagination. Despite slow speed, the train swings tremendously. The ride surely is no pleasure for sensitive guests.


Near Inle Lake a vineyard was established a few years which also welcomes visitors. The vineyard is located between the Inle Lake and Taunggyi in Aye Thar Yar.

Further details you can find on their Webpage: www.myanmar-vineyard.com







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Last Updated : 09 May 2018