Markets, overflowing with exotic fruits and vegetables and run by women, are an integral part of Myanmar. In the Shan State, community markets are held on a rotating basis in which each town or village within a given area hosts a market day every five days. Don't miss the thriving cattle market in Heho, the famous floating market at Inle Lake or the colourful market at Kalaw where the Shan tribes sell their fruits and vegetables.
Spend a glorious day on a motorized boat exploring the area of Inle Lake, the world's highest floating market. Pass floating flower and vegetable gardens of the Intha tribes and watch as the "One leg rowers" pull up their nets from the cool, clear emerald green waters below. Watch the silk weavers and blacksmiths at their work. Plenty of time to stroll around the compound of the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, where you can find stalls offering Shan handicrafts, so-called antiques, silk and cotton longyis and the popular brightly coloured Shan cotton bags. In September and October the biggest festival takes place at Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda.
Spend some time at the charming village of Pindaya with its cave containing thousands of Buddha images and its umbrella cottages.
As it had been a popular hill station for the British during the colonial days, it still is a peaceful and quiet place with an atmosphere reminiscent of the colonial era. The small population is a peculiar mix of Shan, Indian Muslims, Burmans and Nepalese. Kalaw is the starting point for the journey to exciting
Taunggyi, the capital of Shan State, has a small but exiting ethnographic museum devoted to the many tribes of the Shan State. The best time to visit Taunggyi is for the yearly Balloon Festival in November which definitely is THE highlight in Taunggyi!
TREKKING TOURS IN SHAN STATE
From one-day return excursions up to 4 days of hiking and 3 nights sleep in monasteries in Pindaya and Kalaw areas, you can experience the daily life of the Shan tribes! Pao, Padaung, Taung Yoe and Danu people will welcome you.
Only a one hour flight from Heho and just a border town next to Mae Sai in Northern Thailand, it is actually only important for many Myanmar people who daily cross the border bridge to Mae Sai for work or doing business and then hurry back by sunset. GMT brings you to Tachilek for the purpose of letting you enjoy a bumpy 7 hour car ride to Khentung, as on the way you will visit lots of places where colourful hill tribes live in a completely different kind of natural life compared to any other place in Myanmar.
Maymyo, Kalaw, Ngapali - the British definitely knew where to find the nicest spots during their colonial regime... During this time they built the town around the picturesque Naung Tong Lake, near the Pyin Monastery. There are not only wonderful temples, monasteries and old catholic churches to be marvelled at, but hiking to the nearby Akha, Am , Lahu or Lisu villages that will bring you back into ancient Asian times...
The mountainious regions around Lashio, an important trading center, can be reached by train or road from Mandalay. Attractions here include beautiful scenery and hot springs, as well as the town's lively market.