Pyin Oo Lwin
Pyin Oo Lwin (formerly known as Maymyo), situated 1050 above sea level and located 69KM east of Mandalay, about 2-2.5hour drive. It was originally a Shan Danu Village which was transformed into a British Hill Station in 1896. During the colonial days many South Asian migrated to this town. Today Pyin Oo Lwin has a large population of Indaian, Nepali, Anglo-Burmese, Anglo-Indian and migrants from Yunnan province of China. It is a multicultural town. It also has a very pleasant climates, temperature rarely goes above 30°C in the summer and could go down below 10°C in the winter months. Pyin Oo Lwin is famous among local for strawberries, jams, peaches & plum (fruits and liquor), coffee, flowers, sweaters and sweater cottage industry and the main market full of shops selling these local produce. There are also road side shops, café and restaurant on Mandalay – Pyin Oo Lwin and Pyin Oo Lwin – Lashio Raod where travellers stop to break for refreshment and shopping local produces for souvenir.
Its main attractions include one of the most beautiful botanical gardens, some old colonial buildings and easy access to nature such as waterfalls, natural caves.
National Kandawgyi Gardens
National Kandawgyi Gardens is located about 1.5KM south of the city. It was established in 1915 by Alex Rodger as the Maymyo Botanical Gardens, is one of the most beautiful botanical garden in the world. It has a rich and diverse collection of flora including many English plant varieties, roses and orchids. It also has a bird area, butterfly museum and houses some exotic species including Tackin (Budorcas Taxicolor) from Myanmar Himalayas. Opening time is from 10:00 to 18:00hours and entrance fees are US$5 for foreigners and 200Kyats for tourists.
Colonial Buildings and Old churches
Some colonial Tudor style houses still stand though not in a very good conditions. There are also many churches and the oldest dates ~1910.
Purcell Tower is located in downtown Pyin Oo Lwin on the main road, which is part of the Mandalay – Lashio Highway. It was a present from Queen Victoria and the clock in this tower is reported to copy the chimes of Big Ben.
Yunnan Chinese Temple
A large and colourful Chinese Temple built by Chinese immigrants from Yunnan Province of China, is located in South of the town, close to Candacraig. The six tower story temple has seating areas. The temple complex has an orphanage and a nursing home.
Pwae Kauk Waterfall
Pwae Kauk Waterfall, also known as Hampshire Falls during British era, is located 8KM north east of the town, on Mandalay – Lashio Road. It is a popular day trip destination and picnic spot for local families.
Peik Chin Myaung Natural Cave
Peik Chin Myaung Natural Cave lies further along the road to Lashio. The deep caves was recently discovered and all the Buddha images place in there are pretty new. There is a water stream going through the cave and visitors must take care in the cave where there are low ceiling.
Mogyopyit, Yechando and Ye Ngeye could be visited on the way to Pwe Kauk Falls.
U Naung Gu, a natural cave containing several Buddha images, is one hour hike away from Pwe Kauk Fall. It is used by local for a quite meditation.
Hsipaw is a charming small town located on the western bank of Duthawadi River in Northern Shan State. Mandalay – Lashio highway run through this town. It is only about 6 hour drive from Mandalay and easy to get to. Dramatic sunsets, narrow footpaths winding through the paddy fields, friendly locals and beautiful sceneries on trek through villages has made Hsipaw an increasingly popular destination in Myanmar.
Baw Gyo Pagoda
Baw Gyo Pagoda, located 5 miles from Hsipaw, is a 12th century Shan Style pagoda, an ancient monument reputed to be more than 2000 years old. It is the most revered pagoda in the Northern Shan State.
Hsipaw Haw (also known as The Shan Palace)
The Shan palace was the palace of Shan Sawbwar (pronounced Sao Pha) Sao Kya Seng and his Austrian wife Inge Sargent (known by locals as Mahadevi Sao Thu Sandi) who is also the author of the book Twilight Over Burma. This book was being turned into a film with the same name “Twilight Over Burma” in 2015.
Lashio (3100 feet above sea level) is the largest town and the capital of northern Shan State. It is the start of the famous Burma Road built by the British before the World War II, which intersect with Ledo Road leading into the Yunnan province. It is about 8-9 hour drive from Mandalay and about 3 hour drive from Mu Se at China/ Myanmar border. It is situated on a low mountain overlooking the valleys of Nam Yao River, a tributary of Namtu River. The residents of Lashio is mostly Shan, Chinese and Bamar (Burmese) ethnic groups. The main attractions of Lashio include Man Su Pagoda, Pyi Lone Chanthar Pagoda, Central morning market which is bustling with various ethnic groups and the natural hot spa which is about 5 miles from the city centre on the road to Mu Se.