hiking to Mya Kha Nauk
Wake up early this morning for a filling breakfast–you will need it for the upcoming trek! Your guide will pick you up from the hotel before the morning rush hour begins, whisking you away from the modern streets of Mandalay and into the countryside.
Take a slice out of life at Myanmar’s morning markets
As you drive along, you will see the city at its most vibrant. The early morning is a hive of activity, with street-side markets and tea shops overflowing with people, kids on their way to school, monks collecting donations, and much more. Yet as you get further from Mandalay’s center, the pace of life slows down dramatically. Pass by rice paddies, duck farms, and small villages as you drive east.
Starting your Hiking adventure in Mya Kha Nauk
Then hop on the back of a motorbike for the last part of the journey, winding up a steep path to reach the midpoint of the hiking trail. This short motorbike trip allows us to skip the less scenic part of Mya Kha Nauk and have more time enjoying the spectacular second half of the route. After lacing up your shoes, we start the walk heading along a flat trail for around 20 minutes as a gentle warm up. Then, the trail gets steeper and you will quickly gain elevation, rising above the tree line, and getting sweeping views of the countryside.
The hike to the top will take around 1-1.5 hours. Along the way, you will pass through farms and small villages and cross under thick tree coverage as well as open spaces. The track alternates from dirt to rocky paths before turning into man-made cement steps for the last stretch of the journey.
hiking off the beaten paths in Myanmar
Although few tourists find their way to Mya Kha Nauk, the hike is growing in popularity with Mandalay residents. Along the trail, you may meet with local youth, training for a more ambitious hike in the future, or other fitness fanatics who come on a regular basis to get a dose of exercise. Occasionally hardcore cyclists take to the trails, pushing their way up the steep slopes in order to go down the trails to return.
Enjoying the perfect photo spot from the top of the hill
After this last steep push to the summit, you will be rewarded with breath-taking views. Mandalay will appear in the distance to the west and the lush Shan hills will fill your eastern and northern views. Sit back and let the breeze cool you off. The tinkling of temple bells will likely be the only noise disrupting the silence.
Well-deserved home-cooked Burmese food
Once rested, return to the trail, and descend the Mya Kha Nauk mountain. Arrive in a village around mid-day where a home-cooked lunch of Myanmar dishes will help you refuel after the strenuous morning. This is more than just a meal! You will also get a chance to see how local families live and a chance to experience true Burmese hospitality.
On your way back to Mandalay
Recharged, continue the walk back to the motorbike parking area. Going down is far less strenuous and there is plenty of time to stop and enjoy the views. Then, meet up with your motorbike driver and return to the base of the mountain where the car is waiting. Transfer back to the city, leaving the countryside behind and returning to town in time for a shower and a rest.
- Local encounters 80%
- Nature lovers 90%
- Go off the beaten path 100%
- Discovering the beautiful natural surroundings of Mandalay
- This hiking adventure is a challenge but it rewards with sweeping views of the Shan Hills, fresh air, and solitude
- Possible to ride back down on a motorbike
- Total walking time: 3-4 hours; 90% uphill; 10% flat
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