To the west of Inle Lake lies the old British hill station of Kalaw. Surrounded by misty rugged mountains, this small and serene town offers some of Myanmar’s finest treks including an off-the-beaten-track journey to Inle Lake.
These authentic walks and treks through rolling countryside offer an unusual insight into hardly visited hill tribe villages, while a visit to Thein Taung Pagoda’s Buddhist monastery offers fabulous Kalaw views.
Though remnants of the town’s colonial past can be still seen through the likes of the Anglican Church and colonial style houses, today Kalaw enjoys a cosmopolitan population of Nepalese Gurkhas and Indian Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims. This fusion of residents is echoed in the morning market and its culinary delights, with a delicious blend of Nepalese and Indian food available in abundance.
One thing you cannot miss in Kalaw is the Green Hill Valley elephant sanctuary, where ex-logger elephants are taken in to live out their retirement in comfort. By giving the elephants a bath in the river or helping to feed them, you can interact with them in an ethical and responsible manner than supports this wonderful sanctuary and the elephants that live there.
What to do
- Overnight trek to Inle Lake
- Explore the market
- Take in the view from Thein Taung Pagoda and its Buddhist monastery
- Visit the elephants at Green Hill Valley elephant sanctuary