The far northern Shan State of Myanmar is located in the area filled with a rolling landscape of green plateaus and jade lakes. The region is home to numerous ethnic groups who still practice a way of life that has been passed down for centuries...
On the western edge of the Shan Hills at an elevation of 4,297 feet, Kalaw was built as a hill station during the British colonial period. The focal point of the town is the central market. Every 5 days the local market cycle brings hill tribe villagers here to sell their products. Most of the town’s restaurants are in this area, and a lot of the food on offer has a distinct sub-continental flavour; many of the restaurant owners and staff are descendants of Indian and Nepali railway workers and soldiers who settled here during colonial days. The hills around town are peppered with reminders of the British, with churches and cottages scattered around the area. A couple of these old buildings have been converted into boutique accommodation providing a very memorable place to stay.
The climate here is very pleasant and in spring and summer, the roads around town are lined with thickly flowering crocus. The cooler temperatures and scenic surrounding countryside, filled with ethnic hill tribe villages, makes this area the most popular part of the country in which to embark on a trek.
Come and meet them for yourself on a cycling and trekking adventure that will stay in your mind long after you return home. You’ll trek over hills enjoying the crisp air, view spectacular lakes, and visit tribal villages to learn more about the local inhabitants.
For the Train lovers, taking a morning train from Shwe Nyaung, a small train-station-town near Inle Lake and getting off at the old colonial station in Kalaw would be a nostalgic experience.
For a good view over the Kalaw and market area, take the steps on the north side of Union Hwy (NH 4) to this modest Buddhist monastery with a small congregation of friendly monks.