Inle Vicinity

 

Taunggyi

Taunggyi, over 1430 metres above sea level, is the capital of Shan State. It is a hill station, cool and pleasant all the year round. The journey from Taunggyi down to Inlay Lake area takes about an hour. In November, to coincide with the full-moon festival of Tazaungmon (also Tazaungdaing), the city hosts a hot-air, or fire balloon festival. The particular interest in Taunggyi is for shopping, since commodities of Thailand can buy cheaply in Taunggyi. Among so many hotels, Taunggyi hotel is the best.

 

 

 

Kakku Pagodas

Recently discovered tourist site beyond Taunggyi. Cluster of hundreds of ancient pagodas said to be the merit of King Asoka of India. The particular interest is the village life along the road to the Kakku. The small road across a dozen of the pretty Pa-O villages and very green plantations irrigated by stream water.

 

 

 

 

 

Pindaya Caves

About 45 km from Kalaw is a small town Pindaya, well known for its extensive limestone caves. The caves are set deep in the hillsides and there stands at the entrance, a 15 meter high Shwe U Min Pagoda. There are some 8000 Buddha images made from alabaster, teak, marble, brick, lacquer and cement. Among the more unusual features in the cave is a set of stalagmites that can be struck with large wooden mallets to produce gong tone.
 The way to Pindaya is scenic since both side of the little tar road are fields of dry cultivated mountain rice, potato and passes through the Pa O, Taung Yo, Danu hill tribes villages. Entering the plateau of Pindaya, the great mountain range appeared to dwarf the city and lake down below. Aged banyan trees lined the beautiful Pindaya Lake, which is the only water source for bathing and cleaning. Groups of ladies and young children enjoying their bath and swim in the Lake.

 

Kalaw

Built as a hill retreat in the late 19th and early 20th century by the British, Kalaw is perched 1320 meters high on the western rim of the massive Shan Plateau. Cool, spring like weather, pine forest, tea plantations and colourfully-clad hill tribes make Kalaw, a natural magnet for tourists. With its beautifully rustic setting amid bamboo groves, orange orchards and pine trees, it used to be a popular vacation spot for British who came here to seek a cool respite from the heat of the plains. Kalaw's attractive surroundings are prefect for walks. Without too much strain, it can hike to villages of the most Shan tribes who live scattered over the plateau. Those around Kalaw are mostly from four ethnics groups: the Palaung, Pa-O, Danu and Taung yoo.