Taunggyi, the Shan state capitol and home to numerous ancient indigenous peoples, Intha and Pa-O, who even surpass the Shan here. You can also taste a wide selection of delicious Shan food and a selection of wine from the Aythaya area.
November's glittering Fire Ballon Festivals and the thousand of coupons near Kakku are further grounds for a trip (more information below). Taunggyi's cultural diversity means that there are places of cult for a variety of faiths, among them a number of mosques, a Buddhist convent in China (Kwan Yin Si Hpaya Kyaung) and a Roman Romanesque cathedral (St. Joseph's).
Overlooking the whole village and the plain further on, just off Inle Lake, is the Shwe Phone Pwint Pagoda, located on a mountain crest just south of Taunggyi. It is a 40 minute walk from the center of K5000 or you can take a cab for K5000.
Sulamuni Pagoda, a giant blank coupe modeled on the Ananda Pagoda in Bagan, is the city's most important sacred memorial; it was erected in 1994 to honour Taunggyi's 100th birthday. Shan State Cultural Museum is a rather dust and simple place, but provides an inside look at the histories and styles of the various communities in the area as well as regional politics.
Situated at an elevation of 1,436 meters, Taunggyi (which in Burmese means "big mountain") has a cold and comfortable year-round atmosphere. Watch our YouTube videotape of Taunggyi from the Shwe Phone Pwint pit and visit our Taunggyi picture gallery for a larger choice of pictures. Visa and Mastercard-enabled cash machines are situated near the center of Taunggyi on the Bogyoke Aung San Road.
Aythaya Vineyard is located just south of Taunggyi, one of only two Myanmar wineyards, and offers beautiful Teakwood accommodations (the "Monte Di Vino Lodge") overlooking the scenic Aythaya Valley. The Taunggyi Fire Balloon Festival, one of Myanmar's most celebrated annual meetings, takes place for several nights around the full moon of Tazaungmon, which is a public day and the end of the wet season in early November in the Bregorian calender.
Featuring firework and an amazing selection of different hot air balloon design, with contests for styles and elevations. Overnight stays during the event are greatly raised and transportation to Taunggyi should be reserved well in advance. Please book in writing. Have a look at our YouTube video from the Fire Ballon Fest by sun and moon.
You can find a larger choice of pictures in our Fire Balloon Festivals picture book. To learn more about the event, visit ours. At the end of November or beginning of December ethnical Shan gathered from far away in Taunggyi to party Shan New Year with folk dances, colorful outfits and Shan long drumming. At 12 o'clock the new year is celebrated with firework and hot air blow-up.
You can find the schedule and the complete list of Myanmar in our schedule. Kakku Pagodas are a center of adoration for the Pa-O and offer thousand of densely crowded Stupa in a small space, all with ringing bell - creating an adorable ambience. Unfortunately, many of the buildings have been ruggedly renovated, using cement instead of conventional masonry - but the frame is still stunning.
Beyond the couples in the eastern part you will find a beautiful countryside with the Shan Mountains in the far and a small stream where you can soak. One and a half hour from Taunggyi on the Loikaw highway. Kakku Day takes place on the full moon of Tabaung (usually in February or March).
The Pa-O celebrate the event by dressed in their best ethnical clothes and adorned with their award-winning oxen. A larger choice of pictures can be found in our Kakku picture gallery. Hten San, a vast and vast system of lime caves with large storaktites and storagmites, lies 60 kilometers eastwards of Taunggyi.
She is more naturally beautiful than the other renowned Shan State cavern near Pindaya, although she has some glaring Buddhist tolls.