Step off the tourist trail and embark on a guided tour to Kayah State, in Eastern Myanmar, home to an astonishing range of ethnic minorities including the famed Long Neck Kayan (Padauing) Ladies.
Your journey begins in the sleepy yet charming state capital Loikaw. From here we embark on daily trips hiking trips into the picturesque countryside, visiting impressive limestone caves and waterfalls as well as several minority villages where you will have the opportunity to observe and learn about Kayah states diverse ethnic tribes.
At a glance
- Discover the charming town of Loikaw
- Hiking trips across the scenic Kayah countryside
- Summit the Peak of the Sacred Khaw Sa Maw mountain
- Explore stunning limestone caves
- Ethnic Encounters in colorful minority villages
- Meet the Kayan longneck ladies
- Tour an ancient Shan Palace converted into a monastery
- Visit bustling markets in Loikaw
Itinerary in Brief
- DAY 1: Arrival in State Capital Loikaw, Visit the town and surroundings
- DAY 2: Hiking to Kayan Villages in Pan Pet
- DAY 3: Hiking Khaw Sa Maw Mountain in Htay Kho
- DAY 4: Explore Loikaw town before departure
Arrive in Loikaw in the early morning where you will be met by your local guide and check into your hotel. We begin the day with a tour of Loikaws highlights with stops at the Haw Kyaung, a former Shan chieftain’s palace, which has been converted into a monastery and the Kayah State Museum, to learn about the fascinating history and culture of the state. After a lunch stop, we drive 30 minutes out of town into the serene countryside to explore the recently opened Kyat Gu cave system, a sprawling limestone cavern full of mesmerizing geological structures. In the late afternoon we return to town to enjoy a beautiful sunset atop Loikaws iconic Taung Kwe Pagoda. The pagoda is perched on top of a limestone outcrop overlooking the city and offers excellent views of the surrounding landscape.
After breakfast at your hotel we set off to visit the Kayan (Padaung) minority villages of Pan Pet. The Kayan ‘Long Neck’ Ladies are famous for their traditional brass ring necklaces that appear to elongate their necks. On arrival at Pan Pet, you will be received by a local community guide. Taking advantage of the cool morning weather, your guide will begin the visit with a moderate hike along a scenic nature trail. As we climb the hill, your guide will stop to explain important cultural sites on the way. These include a monument which honors the village clan, an animist bird totem, and a guardian spirit cave. The two hour hike ends at a beautiful viewpoint, with a panoramic view of the surrounding mountains, rice fields and the five hamlets of Pan Pet. After a picnic lunch at the scenic spot, we continue to the hamlet of Salong Kana where you will be able to meet with members of the Kayan community to get an insight into the local life and culture. During your time at the village you will also have a chance to visit traditional Kayan homes and observe artisans making Kayan bracelets, weaving traditional textiles, carving wooden statues and other handwork. After a full day spent with these fun loving and artistic people, we say our farewells and return to Loikaw in the late afternoon.
After an early breakfast at your hotel we set off to visit the Kayan community of Htay Kho. Once we arrive at the village, we will be received by a local community guide for a welcome and briefing session. We then set off on our hike to the soaring peak of ‘Khaw Sa Maw’ mountain, which is considered to be sacred by local villagers. The climb to the mountain peak takes approximately 4 hours. The downhill walk, back to Htay Kho takes 2 to 2.5 hours (total apr. 6 hours). During the hike, the village guides make regular, short stops to explain the importance of Khaw Sa Maw mountain in traditional Kayan hunting rituals, and spiritual life. The scenery is a mixture of mountain rice farmland, and pristine, emerald forest. You’ll be rewarded with many, excellent viewpoints and scenic ridges. We will also enjoy a delicious, traditional, Kayan picnic lunch on route. Back at Htay Kho Village, you’ll have a chance to mingle with the locals and learn abit more of their fascinating culture and traditions before we head back to Loikaw in the late afternoon.
After breakfast at your hotel, we visit the colorful Demawso market where different tribal folk come to trade their produce (Note: The market only takes place on Wednesday, Saturday). Spend time strolling the market, browsing the wares and perhaps sample the local cuisine. Afterwards you’ll have free time to enjoy Loikaw and its surroundings until your departure.
World ClassBoutique hotel with beautifully crafted rooms and the expected modern amenities.
- Private tours and transfers with air-conditioned vehicles as specified in our itinerary
- 2 bottles of water & 2 refreshing towels per passenger per day
- Lodging with breakfast as specified in the itinerary
- Luggage handling fees at airports
- Entrance fees or zone fees
- English speaking guide(other languages guide can be provide with additional charges)
What's Not Included
- Visa to Myanmar (note that pre-arranged visa is required for tourists)
- All entrance fees or zone fees
- Domestic Airfares (always quoted and mentioned separately from tour package price)
- International air fares
- Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
- Peak season surcharges & Compulsory dinners during Xmas & New Year’s
- Early check-in, late check-out. Normal check out time from hotels in Myanmar is 11am or 12 o’clock noon
- Drinks during meals, hotel extras and expenses of personal nature
- Camera & video fees. Some of the sites visited may ask small fees for photographing and video recording.
Tips & gratuities
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