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Taunggyi, the capitol of Shan State in the east of Myanmar, is known for its beautiful landscape and agreeable weather. Taunggyi lies over 1400 metres above sealevel and is perfect for holidaymakers in winter. The Taunggyi Market is the most intriguing place to observe the everyday lives of the minority people and their activity.
This is an ethnographical remembrance centre where you can see not only the clothes of the deceased Shan Sawbwas (dukes or lords) but also the life-size sculptures of minority groups with their colourful clothes, their customary arms and utensils. The Kakku Pagoda, a secret gem and extraordinary, great collection of Buddhist stupas never heard of by historians, is located in the lowest Pa-o area, 26 leagues southward of Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State.
Situated 26 leagues southward of Taungyi, Kakku borders Naungmon to theheast. Pop-oh folk from near and far flock into this sacred ensemble of hundred of ox cart trucks to attend the Pagodas Feast in mid-March (Harvest Festival). Kakku Day also attracts thousands of pagodas from all parts of Shan State.
Millions of pagodas with different forms and description within the Kakku Pagoda Complex are the major pull. But there are many other things that, combined with the sights, make a Kakku trip a great one. Their last draw is to explore the everyday lives of the Pa-oh tribes and their cultures, their towns lined up along the highroad.
Kalaw is located high up on the west side of the Shan Plateau. There are several Palaung tribal towns in the Kalaw area. Tayaw has about three hundred inhabitants. Several Palaung family in this small hamlet still lives in a nave.
The wells, the people of the villages and the warden have their own houses. During the celebration of Tataungdaing, the inhabitants of the villages meet in their parish center. They' re luring the other people out. To celebrate the event, the ladies in this small town are wearing their old-fashioned clothes made of a black coat and a reddish stripey lungey.
Single wives have a dark velvety cap reminiscent of a mandarin and adorned with colorful brushes. However, they do not carry it on their head. This is a clear indication that these village inhabitants have found the tourist industry as a means of earning a livelihood. Palaung village people of Hincagone live a poverty-stricken lives. They continue to work to earn a livelihood during the period of the Tibetan New Year.
Even one months after the end of the rainy period, the highway through the town is still a mire. Trees along the street help the inhabitants to keep their legs warm and serene. A few young ladies are walking down the slimy path with fire wood in a cage on their backs.
There is no free moment for the locals to welcome the international guests. Despite the celebration of Tamazaungdaing, the ladies do not carry conventional clothes. There are also some Danu towns around Kalaw. Danu no longer have conventional clothes. Ywapu wives are wearing a colorful lunggyi with a flower theme during the celebration of Taiungdaing.
They are wearing a shawl in a suitable color on their heels. Older rural girls are wearing clothing in deep and austere colors. The Ywapu is not far from the train leading to Kalaw train stop. Locals use the uniqueness of the site to buy their produce at the Kalaw area.
Various cabbage and vegetable racks are available in Jwapu for transportation to Kalaw. There are many PaOs, with or without families, looking for a good deal on the area. Pindaya, located at the base of the Mene-Taung Range about 45 km northern of Kalaw, is a scenic place.
It is a small city, renowned for its Pindaya caverns, which contain ancient Buddha paintings of several thousand years old. The Pindaya den is a vast grotto in which since the eleventh centuary there have been several hundred and thousand Buddha pictures of different sizes and shapes in use. There is a 50-foot tall couch at the entry to the central grotto.
Shwe U-min Hpaya or the Golden Cape is the name of this pit. The best way is to drive comfortably by handcart to the bottom of the hill to explore the 200 stairs of the roofed stairs to the entry to the cavern and the gigantic, labyrinth of meanders with many caverns.