Destination of Inle
Mesmerising visitors with its picture-perfect sights, Inle Lake, the second biggest natural lake in Myanmar. It is 22 km long and 11 km wide, 900 meter above sea level, has a population of some 150,000, many of whom live on floating islands of vegetation, is a refreshing change to the historical attractions of Bagan and Mandalay. Visitors can easily reach Inle Lake by car or flight to Heho from Yangon. Inle Lake, natural and unpolluted, is famous for its scenic beauty and the unique leg-rowing of the Inthas, the native lake dwellers. Places to visit in Inle Lake are Phaungdaw U Pagoda of five Buddha Images which were cherished by Bagan Emperor Alaung Sithu, dedicated to five Buddha’s of this planet earth.
Heho (Gateway to Inle) Heho is the gateway to the Inle Lake, especially for those who travel by plane. This town is located halfway between Aungban and Shwe Nyaung, a junction to Nyaung Shwe and Inle Lake.
Nyaung Shwe (The Northern end of Inle)
Nyaung Shwe, another gateway to Inle, is an interesting small town in southern Shan State. It is located about (3.5) km from the northern end of the Inle Lake. 30 km to the south of Taunggyi and 900 meters above sea level. Extended walks to the north or south of Nyaung Shwe pass through extensive rice fields and into the hills on the east leading to the Pa O villages. The panoramic views of the Inle Lake area make this town a landmark of the southern Shan State.
Taunggyi (The Hill Resort Capital)
Taunggyi, a splendid cool, pine-clad natural resort and is the Capital city of Shan State. The city is on the mountain top at the height of over 1400 meters above sea level, Taunggyi is an ideal tourist destination known for its scenic beauty and pleasant climate. Once known as the Administrative City of British Colonial rule in Shan State. The local market is well known throughout Myanmar and the road south will lead you to the unique Kakku sight of 2000 stupas in Pa-O country. The Fire Balloon Festival held annually at the full moon day of Tazaungmon in November is not to be missed.
Kakku (The Discovery Of Ancient Pagoda Complex)
Kakku is a newly discovered pilgrimage tourism site, it is situated near Mwe Daw village in Taunggyi township, about 40 km south of Taunggyi. This ancient Pagoda Complex known as Mwe Daw Kakku, about 306 meters in lengh and 150 meters in width contains over 2500 Pagodas clustered in a small valley, surrounded by thick woods and lush meadows. Kakku is a fascinating place to visit, a place of deep devotion which dates back to traditional beliefs and ancient customs. Kakku is a rare discovery for all travelers visiting Myanmar.
The town of Pindaya
Pindaya is about 42 km by car from Kalaw and 45 km by car from Heho. Only about 2 hour drive from Heho Airport. This town is 1183 meters above sea level and is situated at the foot of a western ridge of mountains which are over 1525 meter high. It is noted for its extensive limestone caves and Shwe U Min Paya which is full of Buddha images of over 8000 and picturesque Boutaloke Lake. The road from Kalaw to Pindaya passes through the little town of Aung Ban, which is famous for its sweet tangerine groves. The scenic road between Aung Ban and Pindaya also passes through villages where Shan, Pa O, Palaung, Bamar, Inthar and Danu people live. A major handicraft industry in Pindaya is umbrella manufacturing. Handmade from paper, the umbrellas can be seen in several workshops in town.
Kalaw and the surrounding hills
Kalaw is situated 61 km from Inle. Kalaw sits high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau and was a popular hill station in the British times. It is still a peaceful and quiet place with an atmosphere remnants of colonial era. Kalaw is 1320 meters above sea level with a pleasantly cool weather and is a good place for hikking amid gnarled pines, bamboo groves and rugged mountains scenery. There are good accommodations in Kalaw and trekking into the surrounding mountains to take a look at the lifestyle of native hill tribes as Pa-O, Pa Laung and others. Enjoy the unspoilt natural scenery of Inle Lake which leads to Kakku Pagoda Complex.
Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State located about 70 miles south of Kalaw in Shan State, is pleasant with traditional pagodas and monuments. While Kayah State is the smallest of the Eleven States and Regions in Myanmar, it is home to an extremely diverse population of ethnic groups ranging from the Kayah, Kayan, Kayin, Shan, Lisu, Palaung and Padaung. It is also famous of Padaung women, who wear traditional brass rings round their necks. The most striking feature of Loikaw is certainly the Taung Kwe Pagoda or the Broken Mountain. If coming from Yangon, the bus direct from Yangon take a longer route from the back of the Shan hills. If visitors don’t have the time for an off-road adventure, it can be reached by air from Yangon. The best way to Loikaw is to either go from Inle Lake or Taunggyi by car.