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Kandawgyi National Botanical Garden is only 30 min walking distance from most hotel. Well-marked, this 437 hectare point of splendour contains innumerable examples of Myanmar's abundant wildlife: forest (pines, bamboos, tea and other trees), open park landscape with freely wandering Peacock, Swan, Duck, shaped garden full of moderate seasonal flowering, Orchid and Rose.
These gardens were first designed by Alex Rodger, the then forestry scientist, and Lady Cuffe, a botanist from Kew Botanical Gardens, London. There are almost 600 native and non-native tree varieties and the biggest assortment of orchids in Myanmar today. The 50-hectare site next to Kandawgyi National Gardens was designed as National Landscapes Garden, with replica of famous sights (both architectural and natural) from each state.
Walking (or driving) around the Circular Road under the blossoming and extravagant flowers of the May to June blossoming Jakaranda tree gives you an idea of how life today protects the 100-year-old area. Kolonial homes (some over a hundred years old) look through huge shrubs and lie in 2 acre or more collonial garden; more contemporary homes (some very nice, some not so) interwoven with the old school, all with great historic tie.
The stripes of grassy land, shady bushes and hybrids and poinsettias give a timeless feeling. It is a rural city about 6 leagues on the Mandalay side. There is the Dat Daw Chaing waterfall (best view from below, but you have to be in shape - 45 min to the ground and 90 min up - the waterfalls are empty into a very precipitous and canyon.
Beside this centre is the Dat Daw Chaing Resort Chaing Ballerina. Approximately 10 leagues further towards Lashio are the Paik Chin Myaung Caverns near Wet Wun. There is a dramatic cascade that plunges down the coves.