Loikaw MyanmarMaya Myanmar
Guidebook to Loikaw, Kayah State (Myanmar)
Not surprisingly, as the street was rocky and undulating and we were riding in an incredible small car with more than twenty persons on tight seat. In my opinion there was no place anymore, but in every town more and more persons tried to enter.
As there really was no longer any real room, the humans were sitting on top. As we approached Loikaw, the more flamboyant and varied were the minivan drivers, from Palaung to Kayan wives (long neckline women), Shan and even buddhistic siblings. It was a more ethnically and group-diverse coach than many in Europe, and I could no longer be intrigued by all the different kinds of wearers of turbans and colourful clothes.
But when I saw all their faces gazing at me, I soon realised that the only thing odd and odd about this coach was not them, but a stranger who drove to Loikaw on a small train. It is the smallest state in Myanmar, but also the one with the greatest ethnical variety.
The Kayah State was banned for many years for travellers, and the only way to get in was by a trip organised by a regional travel agent. But from 2013 Loikaw and Demoso, two of its seven counties, were opened and willing to be discovered by travellers looking for real adventure and avoiding the growth of Myanmar's massive population.
Kayan, whose wives are better known than the long-necked wives, are the most famous group in the area. You' d be completely mistaken if you think that a visit to Loikaw would be the same as a visit to Karen towns in Thailand, which contradicts any kind of ethic touring. They would be amazed to learn that these are original Loikaw residents and those living in Thailand are indeed Myanmar migrants.
At Loikaw you can find Kayan ladies who shop at the village basar and live their everyday life. Loikaw is not small in tribes from Palaung to Shan and Kayah to the Kayans. Photographers who like to photograph humans will enjoy Loikaw and Kayah State because it is home to the greatest ethnical variety in Myanmar.
Kayah, whose wives are inclined to dress in dark and scarlet clothes, are a Chinese-Tibetan nation and the biggest group in the Kayah state. A group of Shan State residents, known as the Palace Man, can also be found in Kayah. There are many different types of bikers in the town, but I suggest that you go cycling outside the town, where most of them work in the countryside.
There is a well-known Taung Kwe in Loikaw, situated on a small hillside with a breathtaking view of the village. Because of the grandeur of this pageant, it is not surprising that Myanmarians from other parts of the land come to the area for a week-end.
For gourmets, you should know that Loikaw is known for its regional cooking, which consists of pasty ricepaste meals, such as bread roll with pigs and a kind of risottos with chopped tuning fish, vegetable and many herbs. So I tried this last court in a landlord's house, so not sure if you can find it in inns.
But I tried the paddy wheels in some restaurants. Myanmar is the land with the most elephant houses in the whole wide globe. I' m not saying that this is a good thing; an elephant should be free, and I' m not even very sure that these humans are treating them as they are right.
The Loikaw is situated in the state of Kayah, in eastern Myanmar, 200 km southward of Inle Lake. Where to get to Loikaw? From Inle Lake to Loikaw - If you are coming from Inle Lake, there is a locally operated minibus that departs at 8am. From Yangon to Loikaw - If you are coming from Yangon, there are large busses there every day.
Loikaw also has a small airfield with services to and from Yangon. For price-conscious backpacker tourists, please be aware that lodging in Loikaw can be costly. Budge - Loikaw Princess Motel - One of the city' s lowest priced lodgings. Budgets - Nan Ayar - This used to be the best value in the city, but since there are other, new, good choices, it may not be the best one.
Mid Range - Kayan Golden Sky Motel - If you are a pair, you may also like this second cheap downtown and one of the clearest hotels in the state. Taxis - If you don't have much free space or want to go further away from the centre, you can also rent a cab.
So Loikaw is definitely an insider tip in Myanmar.