In the scenic Shan state, Kalaw sits high (1320m) on the western edge of the Shan Plateau. Its elevated position made it a great place to escape the summer heat and so, during colonial times, it became a British hill station. Some colonial architecture still remains but the town now serves as a base for trekkers to start their adventures.
The region is good for discovering shy hill tribes and nearby is Pindaya which is famous for the caves which house around 8000 Buddha statues.
The hills around Kalaw are also great for trekking. A typical trek in the Shan Hills might start out with an excursion to the Palaung villages of Ywa Thit and Tar Yaw west of Kalaw. The animist Palaungs were amongst the earliest inhabitants in Myanmar and have kept to their traditions living with several families in ‘long-houses’, cultivating cash crops and tanapet for Burmese cheroot cigars. Here you can enjoy visiting their long huts, their mountain plantations and the scenic surroundings. Afterwards walk to the view point, which overlooks the whole mountain range for a simple lunch. Later trek to the Palaung village of Hin Khar Kan and then to Myin Taik where you can watch life at the highest railway station in Shan State. Late afternoon you will arrive at Ywa Pu village where a simple dinner will be served and overnight accommodation provided.
Treks can be undertaken for one, two or three nights (or longer if required) and accommodation tends to be in a family home which will be basic and facilities shared with the residents. There will be a mattress on the floor but sheets and blankets will be provided. It is not plush but the experience and views will be fantastic.