Kalaw is a former colonial British hill station in western Shan State of myanmar (Burma), at 1320m above the sea level, 50 km from Inle lake.
Kalaw town is set amongst glorious pine forests. Many colonial-era buildings constructed by British in Kalaw remain with diverse states of decay. They are quaint, eerily tranquil and seemingly undisturbed.
Kalaw blends influences of Indian and Nepalese culture. This region has a significant population of Nepali Gurkhas, Indian Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims who were brought to Kalaw by the British to build the railway line.
As an untouched and pristine region, trekking and visiting villages in Kalaw is an incredible way to acquire impressive experiences. These are some featured places that you be able to trek in Kalaw.
++ Suggested tour: Trekking from Kalaw to Inle lake in 7 days with price begin from $730/person
Trekking between Kalaw and Inle lake or to surround hills
From Kalaw, you be able to trek to Inle, setting foot on beaten tracks and getting tastes of the life of the local Danu, Pa-oh, Palaung, Shan and Taungyoe ethnic groups.
Hiking Kalaw is an endless series of ups and downs through lush bamboo and teak forests but none particularly steep. You will be impressed by brilliant cultivated land, pine trees, tea, cheroots, oranges, bananas, canola, loveable rice fields, corn, cabbages, eggplant, potatoes, other vegetables and expansive views of surrounding hills. On trekking roads, you will meet really non-touristy scenes of the local life, farming, cooking and even bathing. Children contain impartial smiles, although they are carrying their siblings on their back. Young teenagers harvest tea leaves. Palaung citizen sing Burmese songs happily without understanding the words and making numerous mistakes. And it is fine if you are welcome to cultivate local trees for forest recovery.
Specially, along the street, beside villages, you can relax for lunch and spend night in monasteries. Going toward Inle lake, you be able to be overnight at Buddhist temples or local tribe farmsteads.
++ Suggested tour: Untouched Loilaw trek to Kalaw in 06 days with price start from US$650/person
many local markets are rotating markets, typical outdoor markets, with nothing for tourists and everything belongs to locals like meat, agriculture products, herbs and spices.
Villagers from the surrounding hills come to the large central market in Kalaw town to sell their produce. There are plenty of charming and cheap handy crafts you can buy. Most of the town’s restaurants and food stalls stand surround the market and proposal a wide range of food. Tremendous dishes contain origin from India and Nepal.
Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp
Founded in 2011, this area has been well conserved scenery, and is a attraction of Kalaw go to. Local ecology, elephants and traditions of indigenous citizen are protected. Green Hill valley is the habitat of diverse birds, butterflies, orchids and bamboo forests.
Taking a splendid trek to Shan countryside in Green Hill valley, you be able to learn skills of the mahout (elephant driver) and carry knowledge about habit of elephant keepers. Joining in bathe duties for elephants if you want. Mahouts do not encourage elephant riding, but short rides may be carried out depending on the weather and health of elephants. Baskets must not be used on elephants.
Other special locations
Also in the centre of Kalaw town is the Aung Chang Tha stupa, which glitters by silver and gold glass mosaics. You may head up to the Thein Taung Pagoda, which is in the northern Union Highway (the main road through Kalaw).
A pleasant walk south of the central market takes you to the Hnee Pagoda, where you will find a 500-year-old bamboo Buddha, and the Shwe U Min Pagoda (Shwe Oo Min Paya), a cave filled with golden Buddha statues. On these steps in the surrounding hills, you will realize reminders of British colonial times, such as restored cottages and a different thoughtful of religious monument – Christ the King Church. This is a wonderful instance of active Christian worship in burma, with known for daily mass and Sunday services.
Kalaw has the Tazaungman Full Moon Festival, which takes destination in late October or early November, and features street parades, music and fireworks.
Trekking in Kalaw could be enjoyed at any time of year, despite cool season is the most agreeable. Occasional rain shower could makes the trek tougher a bit.
Joining a trek in Kalaw, you could stub a toe, catch a cobweb and probably slip in mud, but the rewards are spectacular view, the plain and quiet village life or, well, just a lonely quiescent moment hearing twitters of birds and far rumble voices gone with the wind reaching you.