Eastern Myanmar bordered by China, Thailand and Laos is home to the perhaps greatest concentration of ethnic minorities found anywhere in Southeast Asia. Shan state in the North Eastern Myanmar is particularly fascinating destination for ethnic encounters, hiking, biking and other adventures like elephant camps. The climate is cooler and soil fertile making the region ideal for farming and cultivation. Shan state is of often referred to as the bread or rice basket of Myanmar.
Destinations in Eastern Myanmar
Inle Lake has become an iconic location to visit simply because of the juxtaposition of the floating gardens of reeds, silt, and bamboo in the backdrop of the Shan State’s breathtaking mountains. Famous for their one-legged boat rowers, Inle Lake is also perfect for relaxing boat rides, ambling walks, or long trekking trips into the surrounding Shan villages of the Pa-O, Intha, and Danu ethnic minority groups.
Kalaw, once a colonial British hill station, now has become a post for travelers who want to trek out into Shan State. On the western edge of the Shan Plateau, it’s 70km west of Taunggyi, halfway down the Thazi-Taunggyi Road. Because of its average elevation of 1320 meters, the general climate around the town is cooler and provides a brief reprieve from the warmer, humid heat in the lower areas.
Previously closed to outside visitors, Loikaw is one of the hidden gems of the country and marks the point where the Dawna Range, mighty Salween River and Shan Hills converge. It is the capital of the Kayah State, home to over a dozen ethnic minority tribes whose cultures are very much intact and thriving.
The small, charming town of Pindaya grew from its proximity to the calm Boutaloke Lake (sometimes spelled as Pone Thaloke Lake). However, since then, the area has become celebrated for what is found underground there – the massive network of limestone caves and what is contained in them.