Myanmar Hill StationsBurma Hill Stations
Emerald Season Destinations: Myanmar's mountain stations
Ever since the British Raj, Myanmar's scenic mountain stations have provided a haven for those who want to get away from the rain and sun. Situated in the rolling countryside of Centrally Myanmar at high altitude, the mountain stations have relatively cold seasons all year round and only occasional precipitation during the year.
On a 1070m altitude, Pwin Oo Lwin began as a strategic post next to a small Shan community along the Lashio Mandalay trails. Located between Nawnghkio and Mandalay, the army post was proclaimed a city in 1896. Having experienced the cold weather for a year, the city became a mountain resort and British Burma's favourite tourist resort in summers.
Yangon brought the Yangon administration and army to the city during the hottest time of the year to avoid the suffocating warmth and damp. From Pwin Oo Lwin to Hsipaw, travellers can also enjoy one of the most dramatic rail journeys in Asia. It is the highest viaduct in Myanmar.
The Hsipaw is a small city with a relaxing rhythm of living, 200 kilometres northeast of Mandalay. Located on the majestic Shan Mountains, it is a great place for hiking and discovering the ethic towns that cross the nearby uplands. Many pagodas and old folk buildings can also be admired and one of the most important places is the old Shan Prince's House at the north end of the city.
Calaw - Kalaw was once a UK top terminus of colonialism, now it has become a job for travellers heading out to Shan State. Located on the westerly side of the Shan Plateau, 70 km from Taunggyi, half way along Thazi-Taunggyi Road. Due to its mean altitude of 1320 metres, the general atmosphere around the city is colder and offers a short break from the warm, humid lower area.
In Kalaw there are a few things to see, such as the lively souvenir shop, the Aung Chang Tha Zedi Zupa (sometimes also known as Aung Chang), which is clad in silvery and golden glassy motifs, and the Hnee Pagoda, which contains a 500 year old Buddha made of brownwood. There' s even a cathedral in the city named Christ the King and built during the Colonies.
Shan cuisine is varied by the railwaymen of India and Nepal who remained in the city during the period of UK domination, with hints of Nepalese and India atmosphere. Excursionists can dare into the luxuriant woods from Kalaw and explore the communities of the tribal minorities Danu, Palaung and Pa-O.
It is also the starting point for hikes to Lake Inle in the south. Every hike from Kalaw offers stunning scenic vistas, be it woodland or arable land.