The hill station of Kalaw in Myanmar was once a spot where the British would retreat from the heat during the colonial era. Today it’s as much of a cool, calm escape as ever, with beautiful architecture and plenty to see and do. In the summer, the cooler temperatures are a blissful escape from the heat of Myanmar‘s cities; while in the winter, the evenings can be a little chilly, so bring your coat!
Kalaw is a great base for a number of treks to remote villages and the surrounding area, but don’t discount the town itself. The market here is one of the best spots around to shop for beautiful, affordable handicrafts that make great souvenirs for your friends and family. This is also a chance to stop off and sample some of the region’s fantastic street food – the curry is spicy, so make sure you buy something to drink!
In the town itself, it’s well worth checking out the mirrored pagoda of Aung Chan Tha Zedi in the town centre, as well as the smaller Thein Taung Paya Pagoda, where you’ll enjoy spectacular views over the town.
If you fancy getting out of town, one of our favourite things to do is head to Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp. Unlike a lot of elephant camps, this promotes the ethical treatment of these beautiful creatures and is one of, if not the best camp in the country. Here you can enjoy a walk with these giant creatures, or try bathing an elephant. It’s a unique experience and one you’re going to want to keep your camera handy for!
Most people come to Kalaw for the trekking opportunities and indeed the town does make a great base for trekking. One of the most popular options is a two-day, one-night trek to Inle Lake, where you can take a boat trip onwards to other destinations.
If you’d rather explore on two wheels, why not rent a bike and enjoy the 30 to 40-minute cycle to Myin Ma Thi village? Here you can visit the temple and caves – a great chilled-out activity for hot summer days.
Delightfully cool, serene and beautiful; it’s easy to see why Kalaw is becoming so popular. If you’re looking for somewhere peaceful to kick back for a few days, you’ve found it here.
Plan your trip to Kalaw today!