Inlay lake stretches 11 miles (17.7km) in the Nyaungshwe basin of southern Shan State at an altitude of 2918ft (889m) above sea level. ringed with mountain ranges that disappear into the far mist in hues of purple and blue, the lake is a heaven for waterfowl and other birds, some of which are endangered species. The lake is the home to the Inthar national race; many of whom live in stilted houses built over the water, which is only 20ft (6m) at its deepest. The Inthar frown vegetables on floating beds of slit and cut weeds tacked to the lake bottom with bamboo poles. The beds can be detached and moved as necessary.
Pindaya Cave Pagoda
The three caves along the cliff are believed to contain more than 8,000 images. The southernmost cave containing the main shrine is 490ft (149m) long and is filled with images of all sizes, carved in wood, stone, marble and bronze, some thickly glided. Here one can see many Buddha images in the ‘healing’ posture, with a bowl on the upturned palm of the left hand while the forefinger and thumb of the right hand holds a fruit called hpankhar, (Terminaliachebula) which is often used in tradition medicine.
Sagar is a ruined royal capital with ancient monasteries and pagodas at the southern end of Inlay Lake, in a beautiful, isolated setting far from villages.
Kalaw, is a small hill station town within a day’s drive from Inlay. It has English cottages that remain in good repair, some converted into cosy guest houses. The cool climate of the hill station is perfect for flowers and in spring and summer the roads are lined with thickly flower crocus.
Nyaungshwe is the gateway to Inlay, almost halfway between Heho and Kalaw. The town has a huge market where local produce is sold.
High on a mountain is Taunggyi, literally meaning “Big Mountain”. It was not hill station but a busy trade center. Taunggyi is the one of the exit way of Thailand. Shan State is biggest among the others in Myanmar. Myanmar has 8 major tribes. Shan is the one of major tribe which is biggest population.
Kyaingtong is a pretty town where people stroll in the evening around Naung Ton Lake. The morning market is where tribal people in the area come to buy and sell. Local crafts and old textiles are half the price of the same products in Chiang Mai of Thailand. The real draw is the surrounding villages populated by the Loi, Akha, Lahu, Lishaw, Palaung and Eng national races. They live in separate villages some distance from each other and although they do not mingle freely, they live in harmony. Most women in the villages, even if they are not Akha, embroider Akha designs on rectangular pieces of black cloth which are bought in bulk by traders from Chiang Mai. Trekking in this region is interesting especially fro collectors of rate butterflies. They may be collected to set limits with special permission from the responsible authorities.
Lashio is a sprawling town near the Chinese border, always busy with trade coming to and from Mandalay and Ruili to China.
Muse is border town opposite Ruili and China. Chinese-made goods are cheap easily acquire a border pass to visit two main markets in Ruili, FaHwaung and Hai Li Kai, where you can buy almost anything, however electronic products seem to be cheaper in Muse. One legendary must-stop venue famous in the region is the 20-yearold Aung Chan Than Restaurant at KutKhaing, on the road from Lashio to Muse. The restaurant offers a buffet lunch for K2000. Vegetarian meals are K1500. There are large basins of salads, vegetables, fish, meat and chicken cooked Shan style, stews, and even roast duck 34 dishes plus two soups and rice.
Bawgyo Pagoda of Hsipaw
The Bawgyo Pagoda is on the road between Hsipaw and Kyaukmei in northern Shan State. The highway and the railway linking Mandalay and Lashio pass near the pagoda, which overlooks the Namtu River next to Bawgyo village. The pagoda is believed to have been built either by an emissary monk sent by King Ashoka of India.(r.273-232 BCE) after the Buddha’s death, or in the 11th century by the father of Sao Mon Hla, a beloved queen of King Anawrahta of Bagan who died at this spot while travelling to her home. It fell into ruin and was completely restored in 1961. Every March the pagoda trustees hold a festival which is one of the most popular and famous in Shan State, attracting tens of thousands of pilgrims from throughout Myanmar.
Heho is the point of arrival air for southern Shan State, with roads leading through wonderful scenery to such destinations as Pindaya, Inle Lake, Kalaw and Taunggyi. Visitors can enjoy ancient pagoda complexs, trhe rich culture of the Shan and trekking tours through the beautiful, rolling hills. In this region, markets move from town to town making a complete round every five days. The Five Day market at Heho is one of the busiest and the vendors include the many different races from the surrounding area.
The residents of Hopon, which is believed to be an ancient town, are Mainly Shan and Pa O. They are devout Buddhist and the town has pagodas and monasteries. The most famous religious sits is the Shwe Chan Thar Pagoda. The surrounding area is fertile and there are natural springs to water crops such as garlic, potatoes, chilies, maize, rice, peanuts, coffee and oranges. Hopon Pond is a beautiful spot.
Htam Sam Cave
Soon to become as famous as the Pindaya Cave Pagoda is the Htam Sam Cave not far from Hopon, about 19 kilometers (12miles) eats of Taunggyi, it is long cave and already well-known in the region but the difficulty of access has prevented if from attracting large numbers of visitors. a young monk is building a road to its entrance and has been enshrining Buddha images, so pilgrims will soon be arriving in droves. The best feature of this cave is the delicate stalactites hanging from the ceiling. The golden light of candles offered to Buddha images by devotes creates a magical glow inside the cave.
Tachileik lies 102 miles away from Kyaingtong and it is a place for border crossing to Thailand’s Maisai. In the past it was a long trip by road from Kyaingtong to Tachileik but now the highway bus takes about four hours. Tachileik is not a very big town but it is a busy place, being a gateway to Thailand. Local are allowed day passes and tourists too can use this crossing but some times it might be closed so it is wise to make sure first. The market is a lively place, where people of many races come to buy or trade.
It tiles on the railway route from Mandalay to Lashio. Built in 1900 it is the second-highest viaduct in the world, a 2260ft long steel bridge spanning a deep gulley in Hsipaw Township of Northern Shan State. Some of the steel frames holding up the bridge are as tall as 1100ft. One million rivets hold up this structure of 431 tones. Built by American company, the cost was Kyat169, 8200. The stunning view and the sensation of being hundreds of feet in the air give the train ride over this world-famous viaduct a breathtaking experience.The Gokteik Bridge is a structure of steel trestle construction for railway line to Lashio. The construction began in 1901 by American company known as the Pennsylvania Maryland Bridge Construction.The Gokteik Bridge was complete in 1913. The length of the bridge is 2260 feet long and 320 feet high above a deep ragged stone rock valley. The bridge was destroyed in the World War II but was repaired later by the Myanmar Railway.It is a remarkable construction which is still in good condition and can be considered as a masterpiece. This bridge is a must to cross once you are in Myanmar.
Program 1) : Yangon – NyaungShwe – Inle ( 4 Days / 3 Nights )
Program 2) : Yangon – Taunggyi – Inle ( 5 Days / 4 Nights )
Program 3) : Yangon – Inle – Pindaya ( 5 days / 4 nights )
Program 4) : Yangon – Taunggyi – Kalaw – Inle ( 7 Days / 6 Nights )
Program 5) : Yangon – Taunggyi – Kalaw – Pindaya – Inle ( 7 Days / 6 Nights )
Program 6) : Yangon – Mandalay – Lahsio – Muse ( 7 Days / 6 Nights )
Program 7) : Yangon – Bagan - Mandalay – Inle ( 8 Days / 7 Nights )
Program 8) : Yangon – Mandalay – Bagan – Kalaw - Inle – Pindaya ( 12 days / 11 Nights )