Kalaw

 
 

In the heart of the country, Kalaw is the starting point for many hiking trails. This is an ideal place to meet ethnic groups, farmers, sleep at home and especially to see superb wild landscapes. . 

Located in Shan State, at more than 1300m altitude, the village of Kalaw is surrounded by bucolic and often breathtaking landscapes. It is 70 km west of Taungyi, about halfway along the Thazi-Taungyi road. In British times, it was a popular mountain resort and the place is still peaceful and quiet. At an altitude of 1320m, it is also a pleasant and cool place for hiking among gnarled pines, bamboos and rugged mountains.

This small town offers cool temperatures and the ideal starting point for treks. The population is a mixture of Shan, Indian Muslims, Bamar and Nepalese.

Charming little town

The Kalaw market allows the different tribes of the region to meet. Some colonial houses give a particular charm where one would believe oneself in Europe. But the particularity of this village is that it is an Indian enclave. They are descendants of the Punjab Sikhs or Gurkhas of Nepal controlled by the British at the time of the war with Japan. There is a Sikh temple in the village. Starting point for walks around Kalaw: among the Palaung and Danu.

Why hike there?

The possibilities for hiking (from one to several days) are therefore the main reason for this mountain stopover.

During this journey through time, we cross some villages lost in the middle of Burmese mountains as well as monasteries, the opportunity to meet locals in their everyday life. Many mountain tribes are scattered in the surrounding mountains. The villagers are mostly farmers. This ease of meeting welcoming and welcoming minorities is a unique experience. Unlike neighbouring countries - where tourism is more developed, minorities have adapted to the mercantile laws of mass tourism - here, a simple smile, a word or sharing a tea will be the essence of the traveller's meetings.

The landscapes crossed are punctuated by tea plantations, orange trees, clementines, and an innumerable variety of fruits and vegetables.

The traveller will sometimes feel as if he is sometimes in the Mediterranean because of the orange fields or in the Massif Centralin Francewith its hilly and cultivated plains, with a sacred Asian touch: banyans (Buddhist sacred trees) all along the way.

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