Discovering Pyin Oo Lwin
Dear travelers, if you would like to escape Yangon’s crazy traffic for a while and enjoy your week end in a splendid frame stay attentive this article is made for you! Experience Myanmar’s cultural and natural wealth in a unique and original way, whether you are sporty, adventurous, curious or a nature lover this program will satisfy all of you! If you are curious to know more about this destination please finds some tips and advice in the articles below.
Nature Walk Tour in Pyin Oo Lwin……
History of the city
Pyin Oo Lwin is a scenic city located only 42 away from the capital of the State, Mandalay. This charming town was built in the 19th century and was used as a military outpost by English settlers. The city count nowadays not less than 255 000 inhabitants, mostly rich Anglo-Burmese and Anglo-Indians families who settled there after the end of colonial times. Unlike many touristic cities of Myanmar Pyin Oo Lwin remains a very clean and charming city; however you can still feel this traditional warm atmosphere when you wander across the street and be greeted by locals. Due to its colonial history you’ll also be pleasantly surprised by the good level of English of the people!
If you want to get away from the city center you can easily roam across the countryside and look at the local farmers, still using traditional techniques. Be aware that in this part of Myanmar the temperature is high during the day but evening and mornings are really cold, around 7-10 degrees only!
How to go to Pyin Oo Lwin
From Yangon the easiest way to go to Pyin Oo Lwin is taking a night bus on Friday evening at Mingalar Bus station ( 1:30 drive from the city center ). Bus companies provide different categories of comfort, as it’s a 12 hours journey i would recommend you to book a VIP bus to be sure to sleep well and be ready to enjoy the city the next day. Along the way you’ll be treated with delicious pastries and a drink, the bus will stop two times in motorway service, one for dinner and another stop later in the night for the toilets. The coach arrives around 7:30 in the morning at Thiyiyadanar Bus station (bus leave from the same place on Sunday evening at 18:30). As soon as you’ll get out of the bus you will feel the freshness and you’ll understand why it’s important not to forget to take a warm jacket! You’ll also be quickly surrounded by taxi and Tuk Tuk drivers, take your time to negotiate (5000MMK for a taxi is definitely too much), if you already have a booking in an Hotel or a Guesthouse make sure they understood before to jump in their taxi you could have bad surprised. From our side we experienced the Tuk Tuk, cheaper but it’s really cold at the morning so i would recommend you to take the taxi!
Things to do….
Your adventure in Pyin Oo Lwin will start by a 3:30 (around 18kms) morning trek across the countryside to reach the famous Anisakan waterfalls. Far from the usual commotion of the city and touristic places you’ll appreciate roaming across flower fields, looking at this unobstructed view over green hills and forests. Along your trek, you will probably have the pleasure to meet local people, always happy to welcome and talk to foreigners. On the way you will also be able to watch and take great pictures of local farmers, still using traditional tools and methods to work in their fields. A little earlier than noon, when you’ll start the last 5 kilometers of your trip, you’ll leave the quietness of the countryside to cross small animated villages and if you are lucky you’ll maybe attend to a Chinlone traditional game!
Dat Taw Gyaint Waterfall
Your trek will come to an end, you’ll reach Mandalay Lashio Road, there you will find many local restaurants, eat-in or take away, if you are patient enough and want to eat in a magnificent setting there is a picnic area next to the waterfalls! It’s easy to go there walking it’s only a few kilometers away from the main road however I would recommend you to take a tuk-tuk, as evening are fresh in Pyin Oo Lwin, and you won’t find any transport on spot to go back to town. Admire this amazing waterfall is something that has to be earned! You’ll first have to go down the mountain, stride along sinuous path before you can reach the site. Here you are, you’ll realize all this efforts were worth it, you can now relax, take advantage of the view, eat your lunch and even refresh yourself in the water for the bravest!
If any Burmese offer you to climb the mountain to see another waterfall I would hardly recommend you not to go as it’s very dangerous.
It’s time to get back to the mountain top, jump in your tuk-tuk and go back to town!
As night falls, the temperature will go down, if you still have energy after this busy day, on the way back you can stop at Zina Man Aung Kyaut Taung Pagoda, also located on Lashio road, or if you’d rather wander around the city, have a look at traditional British colonial houses, have a drink somewhere enjoying the sunset before to have dinner it’s also a good option!
Pwe Kauk Falls and Peik Chi Myaung Cave
After exploring the south-west part of Pyin Oo Lwin, for your second day I would recommend you to go to Mahar Ahn Htoo Kan Thar Pagoda, Pwe Kauk falls, Peik Chin Myaung Cave at the morning, all this sights are located on the North-east part of Pyin Oo Lwin only 12 miles (23 km) away from the city center. You can easily hire a taxi for the morning to go there; it shouldn’t be more than 40.000MMK. I would advise you to start by the caves, to carry on with the falls and stop at the pagoda if you have a bit of time before lunch, this pagoda has nothing different from all the pagodas you have already seen apart from its history, 3 Buddha were transported from Mandalay through China, on the way one of the image fell from the truck, after many unsuccessful attempts to put it back on the truck this sculpture had been left behind. A monk decided to build a Pagoda around, to pray and honor this Buddha. It’s now time to make a break, you can go to National Kandawgyi garden’s cafe, here you’ll find affordable delicious Burmese and Thai food, and enjoy a panoramic view over the garden.
Things to do before departure…..
National Kandawgyi Park or Botanical Garden is Pyin Oo Lwin must-see, well appreciated by locals who come there to enjoy time with their family or friends at week-ends. The garden has officially been recognized as a state owned botanical garden and forest reserve in 1924. Spread on 240 acres the park offers to its visitors the pleasure to look at a huge diversity of trees and flowers, more than 589 species of trees, orchid lovers can also admire not less than 75 different species collected from Myanmar’s forests. On your way you will find many theme museums such as a walk-in aviary, a petrified wood museum, a fossil museum, an orchid garden and butterfly museum. If you are brave enough to climb the 10th floors of Nan Myint panoramic view tower you’ll enjoy a magnificent view over the entire park and its lake.
Last walk before departure
Time flies, it’s already late afternoon, two options are open to you: walk to Thiyiyadanar bus station going through the city center to look at colonial building and enjoy the city one last time before you go. For this option you should count at least 1h30-2h if you don’t want to rush to take the bus. The other option is taking advantage of the park longer and takes a taxi to go to the station. Don’t go to the bus station too long in advance as you’ll have to wait outside the bus. Once again don’t hoard yourself with food or snacks for the bus there is a supermarket just in front of the station! Take a sit and enjoy your way back to Yangon!
If you have an adventurous spirit and want to escape Yangon for the week end this trip is perfect for you! Pyin Oo Lwin landscapes will captivate yourself and offer you a great diversity of activities both cultural and sporty. Anisakan falls trekking will give you the opportunity to have an overall view of the surroundings, be in contact with locals, and experience their daily life. Visiting 230 million years old Peik Chin Myaung Caves and admiring these thousands images of Bhudda will offer you a glimpse of the importance of religion in Myanmar’s culture. Finally walking around the city looking at its colonial building will emerge yourself in the country’s colonial history, and wandering around its national garden will show you the great diversity of fauna and flora of the country! If this article aroused your curiosity or awake your adventurous spirit we would be happy to give you more information or organize your trip for you. See you soon for new adventures and advice.