Taunggyi is the capital of Shan State, Myanmar. Taunggyi has an estimated population making it the fifth largest city in Myanmar.
The name Taunggyi means “huge mountain” in the Burmese language, and is named after the ridge on the east of the city, part of the Shan Hills system, whose prominent high point is called Taung Chun or “The Spur.”Locally this spur is popularly known as Phaya Taung. The ridge has a more prominent and more popular feature known as Chauk Talone, meaning the Craigs.
An interesting place to visit in Taunggyi is the Cultural Museum where cultural objects. musical instruments. traditional dresses. household and farm implements. paintings. sculptures. arts and crafts of the different national races residing in Shan State can be seen. There are also ‘Hawnans” (palatial residences) where the Shan Sawbwas (Shan Chieftains) used to live can also be observed.
The annual Taunggyi Balloon Festival draws many local and foreign tourists every year.
Its origins come from the practice of floating one’s sins and bad deeds away via lanterns. During the day, the balloons form a glorious kaleidoscope of colors and shapes. In the evening, the light show created by the sheer number of balloons outshines the stars.
The event has become something of a competition for the biggest, brightest and most elaborate hot air balloons, at times dripping with fireworks or weighed down by candles. The balloons often compete not only for most creative designs but the altitude height they gain.
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