Kalaw is a hill town at an altitude of up to 1,320 meters, located 50 kilometers from Inle Lake in Kalaw Township, Taunggyi District, Shan State, Myanmar, famous for hiking and trekking. High-end holiday resort towns in a tranquil setting, streets between majestic pine forests and still contains British colonial-era architecture.

The surrounding hills allow for a relatively easy day or night trip to the incredible villages of Danu, Danaw, Palaung, Pa-O and Taung Yo. Kalaw is one of the few destinations in Myanmar that actually caters backpackers rather than tour groups and is easy to walk around for a few days.

Xvlor Kalaw

Xvlor.com Kalaw

The small town has a relaxed atmosphere, refreshing climate, and beautiful scenery, also famous for having a significant population of Nepalese and Indian Gurkhas where their Hindu and Sikh ancestors were brought to Kalaw by the British to build roads and railways.

A longer multi-day trip to Inle Lake or Pindaya Cave to watch the life of the local hill tribes, Kalaw offers a wide range of options for exploration and freedom from unfettered movements that are not always possible in other remote parts of Myanmar.

Hiking Kalaw is through the jungle, but it is easy to pass. Stunning farmland, pine trees, tea plantations, vegetables, fruits and extensive views of the hills. Passing through the community of traditional tribes where looking at the honest daily life and the smiles of impartially children.

Villagers from the surrounding hills came to the market in Kalaw town to sell their crops. Many beautiful and cheap crafts are found. Most restaurants and city food stalls are around the market and offer a wide variety of food in local dishes that are heavily influenced by India, Nepal and China.

Location: Kalaw, Kalaw Township, Taunggyi District, Shan State, Myanmar.

Routes and public transport: Flights to Heho Airport in Heho town, then take a taxi to Kalaw for 26 kilometers in 1 hour. The cheaper option is a pick-up or bus truck, but less convenient and 3 kilometers from the airport.

Advice: Trekking between Kalaw and Inle Lake or around the hills is a favorite destination. From Kalaw, you can take an adventure into Inle Lake and experience the life of the Danu, Pa-oh, Palaung, Shan, and Taungyoe tribes.

Hiking Kalaw is an endless series of ups and downs through lush bamboo and teak forests, but nothing is particularly steep. Stunning farmland, pine trees, tea plantations, cheroot, oranges, bananas, canola, beautiful rice fields, corn, cabbage, aubergine, potatoes, other vegetables and vast hillside views.

You will find an honest and truly non-tourist scene from local life, farming, cooking and even bathing. The children have an impartial smile and young teenagers harvest tea leaves. The Palaung people sang Burmese songs happily without understanding words and making many mistakes.

Along the streets beside the villages it is possible to relax and have lunch or spend the night in the monasteries and stay at the local tribe's house. Residents in some villages produce a stack of handicrafts and woven products such as cloth, scarves, hats and others, although only 5 villages in Kalaw are allowed by the government to accommodate foreigners.

www.xvlor.com Kalaw

Xvlor Kalaw

Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp is a protected local ecology, elephant, and indigenous tradition. The Green Hill Valley is a diverse habitat of birds, butterflies, orchids and bamboo forests. Taking a trip to the Shan countryside in the Green Hill valley allows to join in a bathing assignment for an elephant if you will.

Aung Chang Tha's glittering stupa with silver and gold mosaics. Thein Taung Pagoda north of Union Highway, Hnee Pagoda has a 500 year old bamboo, and Pindaya Cave is full of gold Buddha statues. Kalaw has the Tazaungman Full Moon Festival in late October or early November featuring musical parades and fireworks.

Kalaw has many hotels, resorts and inns. Few offer air conditioning where the climate here they are unnecessary, but some offer heaters for winter evenings when temperatures have been known to drop nearly near the freezing point. The best accommodation is located outside the city center.