About Pyin Oo Lwin

Pyin Oo Lwin is an old British hill town located about 67 km (42 mi) east of Mandalay, in the Shan Highlands. This scenic town was also once known as Maymyo, which translates to ‘May’s Town’ in Burmese. “May” is referring to Colonel May of the 5th Bengal Infantry who had a hand in designing the town. Even though its altitude is a modest 1,070 m (3510 ft), it’s still considered a “hill station,” following the colonial practice of naming places of summer residence.

It doesn’t matter whether this is your first or 51st visit to Myanmar: you won’t fail to notice the energy, hope and possibilities for the future that hang in the air

This holiday town started as a military outpost next to a small Shan village along the Lashio-Mandalay trail. Sitting between Nawnghkio and Mandalay, the military outpost was declared a town in 1896. After experiencing the year-long cool climate, the town became a hill station and the summer destination for British Burma.  The government and military officials would come to Maymyo during the hot season of Rangoon (Yangon) to escape the stifling heat and humidity.

The area has had a high concentration of the Anglo-Burmese population ever since British rule, but it has fluctuated over the years. When the Japanese occupied the area, they incarcerated much of the Anglo-Burmese population because of fear of their loyalty to the nearby British. Today it still has one of the largest populations of Anglo-Burmese in the country.

Gokteik Viaduct Railway Bridge

By taking the train from Pyin Oo Lwin to Lashio, travelers get to experience one of the most spectacular train rides in all Asia. The ride is special experience because of the Gokteik Viaduct railway bridge that spans across the 300m deep Gokteik Gorge. It’s the highest bridge in all Myanmar. Completed in 1901, the steel construction was designed by the Pennsylvania Steel Company from the United States. The steel was also shipped from the United States.

Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens

Modeled after the Kew Gardens in England, the Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens covers over 400 acres of land and contains an amazing variety of indigenous plants and foreign species. Although forty-two of its acres are a protected forest area, the gardens are available for the public to walk among the beautifully manicured gardens and colorful flower beds. The Botanical Gardens also has three museums: the Petrified Wood Museum, the Butterfly Museum, and the Fossils Museum.

Tours near Pyin Oo Lwin


Our Myanmar Express tour covers most of the must see cultural highlights of the country. Starting from Mandalay you will get to visit the old royal capitals in Mandalay, Ava, Amarapura and...


Embark on a guide tour to Lashio, in North Eastern Shan State, a truly off the beaten path destination, where stunning landscapes, diverse ethnic minorities and plenty of adventure await intrepid...

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