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view from the lovely Kalaw Hill Lodge

The British knew how to pick lovely spots for refuge and the former hill station of Kalaw is a growing base for soft trekking in the area. The 3-day trek down to Inle Lake has become very popular and often crowded in peak season. A 1 or 2-night trek to or from Pindaya may be a less crowded option. Shorter walks are also possible to visit surrounding Danu, Palaung and Pa-O villages.
Train enthusiasts may enjoy the slow train ride to or from Shwenaung, close to Nyaungshwe and Inle Lake.

Another highlight near Kalaw is to visit the Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp about 45 minutes drive from town. Looking after retired elephants along with re-forestation. How wonderful such a place exists in Myanmar!

Kalaw town is centered around the market and especially interesting to experience the special 5-day market with various ethnic villagers bringing their produce to town.
See some old buildings of the British era. Christian churches, Hindu temples and muslim mosques all make up the multi-cultural feel. And there is the Shwe U Min Pagoda– Kalaw’s own smaller cave filled with Buddhas.

There is lots of good local and Chinese food available. And descendants of Indians and Nepalis who migrated here during the British rule offer some great restaurants.

Seek out the Everest Nepali Food Center for a great spread of dishes.
And the Yadana Talkie House Indian Restaurant has opened in the former town’s old cinema hall.  The current ethnic Indian owners managed to reclaim this old building.


Hillock Villa in town:

A delightful place to stay just a short walk above the old clock tower and train station.


The lovely owner and staff can also help with suggestions for walks and treks.
And they serve a wonderful breakfast including a Shan noodle option in their garden.



Kalaw Hill Lodge:   6km from town in Nanthe Village
This lovely resort was developed by ethnic Nepalis and the property is so impressive.

Kalaw Hill Lodge is set amidst 30 acres of land with organic vegetable gardens. A wellness spa offers yoga and meditation. Walks and treks with their local guides support the communities and a school.

And for anyone interested in venturing to the far north of Kachin State, the same owners now operate the Putao Trekking House-  another wow place to explore!


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– Pindaya
Inle Lake
– Main Myanmar Page
– Yangon
– Mandalay and Royal Cities
– River Journeys

Pwin Oo Lwin and Train to Hsipaw and Story of the last Shan Princess
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