Summers can be very hot in Myanmar and just as in India where the British sought altitude as an escape so they did in what was then Burma. One of their retreats was Pyin OO Lwin which dates back to the end of the 19th Century towards the end of the Third Burmese War and the fall of Mandalay. There is still a slight anglicised feel to the town. A hill station was formed and it became the British Government’s summer headquarters. At over 1,000 metres above sea level it was the ideal place.
The British called it Maymyo. Colonel May was a British soldier who was stationed there for a while. Old colonial names were discarded years ago though the name lingers in some people’s minds.
Our Pyin OO Lwin travel guide recommends a visit during a Myanmar holiday precisely because it provides some relief from hot temperatures elsewhere. Nights are particularly pleasant and just the thing after a day trekking in the surrounding rural areas. Fruit and flowers are produced in abundance and if you do not want to walk there is transport to take you to the interesting places in the region. Local transport still includes the colourful horse drawn wagons that existed in colonial times.
Mandalay for example is just an hour away and the rides offer fantastic views. Mandalay is regularly included in all Myanmar travel packages with Maha Myat Muni Paya, the second most important religious site in Myanmar the highlight of any trip to this iconic destination.
Closer to home there is plenty to see and do. Within the town itself the old colonial buildings have found use as hotels. Governor’s House and Candacraig, built in 1904 are impressive structures.
The local hot air balloon festival is held in November at the beginning of the high season. A trip above the region gives another perspective on the area.
National Kandawgyi Gardens
These botanical gardens are extremely interesting. They opened in 1915 and have been carefully tended ever since. There is wildlife in the form of gibbons, takin and antelopes native to the Himalayas. From time to time there are flower shows open to the public.
The Pwe Gauk Falls to the east have a series of small waterfalls where the locals go regularly. Dat Taw Gyaint Waterfall is to the south west at the head of a ravine. It is the most impressive of the falls tumbling into clear water in which you are welcome to swim.
A third waterfall is at the entrance to Peik Chin Myaung Cave which contains several Buddhist scenes in full colour as well as plenty of shrines.
Myanmar tour packages are tailored to client;’ wishes. Some seek activity while others want to see more about Myanmar’s history and culture. Those who undertake Myanmar travelwanting to experience everything the country has to offer will enjoy Pyin OO Lwin. If this Pyin OO Lwin travel guidehas done its job we will be seeing you soon.