During Myanmar travel, famous picnic place or to enjoy leisure visit neayby Mandalay is a small town Pyinoolwin. Pyinoolwin, formerly known as May Myo is situated 67 kilometers east of Mandalay, about 1 ½ hours drive. The former name May Myo was known for the town's first administrator, Colonel May during colonial time of 1896. Pyinoolwin, a small charming town became a pleasant hill station to escape the summer heat because of its cool climate at an altitude of 1070 meters. A small charming town is decorated with beautiful gardens, old colonial Edwardian-style houses in big compound, pine trees, coffee plantations, unique horse carriage. Local products such as Knitted sweaters, wines, Strawberry jams and various fresh fruits are popular products of Pyin Oo Lwin. There are some populations of Indian and Nepali inhabitants, who served in the British Indian Army and settled after the British left. Pyinoolwin is also the first step to continue to mountain ranges regions of Northern Shan trails till Lashio and finally Muse, Myanmar-China border. Happy Myanmar travel!
The most famous place in Pyinoolwin is National Kandawgyi Gardens (formerly National Botanical Gardens). It was first founded by Alex Roger, a forest research officer, with the aid of Lady Cuffe, the botanist in 1915. It was modeled after the Kew Gardens of England. The original area of the Botanical Garden was 170 acres of land and 70 acres of water spread totaling 240 acres. In 1917, the government granted it official recognition, and in 1924, the site was declared a Government Botanical Reserve. On 1 December 1942, the Ministry of Forestry designated the Botanical Gardens a "protected forest area". It has been used to promote extensive ecotourism in Myanmar. In 2000, the garden was upgraded to be a recreation garden and renamed it "Kandawgyi National Gardens". The Botanical Gardens has three museums. The fossils museum, the petrified wood museum and the butterfly museum. The gardens are well laid out among lakes and paths, and there are beautiful collection of pond fish and lovely black and white swans. There have an aerial walkway through aviary with hornbills and a variety of other birds as well as the swamp trail. There is a watch tower to climb up which offers a great views over Pyin Oo Lwin and the Shan Hills.
After visiting around Pyinoolwin, nice place to make fresh before back home is Pwe Kauk Waterfall. The Pwe Kauk Falls is a very pleasant and funny picnic spot in Pyin Oo Lwin where many Myanmar families come for a picnic. Pwe Kauk or B.E waterfalls is also known as Hampshire Falls in British times. It is located on the way to Lashio and not too far from Pyin Oo Lwin town. There are two waterfalls in Pwe Kauk where many people swim or play in the shallow waters. There is a market besides waterfalls where you can buy local products such as wines, strawberry jams, fruits and flowers etc. Pwe Kauk stunned by it's natural beauty and breathtaking scenery. A one hour hike from the falls there is the natural caves of U Naung Gu where several Buddhas are enshrined.
Peik Chin Myaung Cave (also known as Maha Nandamu Cave) is located on the Lashio road near Wetwun village, 12 miles east of Pyin Oo Lwin town. It is a limestone cave estimated between 230 million and 310 million years old. The cave is called Peik Chin Myaung as plenty of Peik Chin plants used to grow there. The entrance of the Peik Chin Myaung cave is about 20 ft wide and 1,600 ft long. The long cave is filled with so many Buddha images and pagodas in various sizes and position at every corners and niches.
Maha Ant Htoo Kan Thar Buddha image is not very old, but famous around Myanmar travel because of its own history. The reason was that three marble Buddha Images sculpted in Mandalay were being transported to their planned destination in China. On this journey, one of the Buddha statues fell down from the truck and could not be reloaded due to its weight. After many attempts, this Image was left behind and the other two were taken on their way. A local Buddhist monk decided he would try faith. He sat for 7 days on this image and preached to the locals and recited teachings of Buddha. After 7 days the image was apparently easily lifted and placed in its current location and the local people built a pagoda as an offering to Buddha.
Purcell Tower stands in the heart of the town, Pyin Oo Lwin. The clock was one of the few made in 1934 by Gillete and Johnson Co. of England in commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of the reign of King George V of Britain.
Hsipaw is an ancient Shan town, the local capital of a Shan principality of the same name which
according to its legendary history goes back to year 58 B.C. The Myanmar (Burma) people pronounce
as Thibaw and the last king of Myanmar, King Thibaw (1875-85 AD) got his name from this town.
Hsipaw is one of the most well known and powerful saopha states of Shan State. According to the
biography, Hsipaw was the wealthiest and most powerful saopha states like Kyaing Tong and Nyaung
Shwe. Hispaw has a large local market in the center of the town, old cinemas, small guest houses
and restaurants near around. The sunset of Hsipaw is famous and you can see the beautiful sunset
and the overview of the town from sunset hill.
Interesting place to visit in Hsipaw is the old wooden traditional Haw, Palace of the Sawbwa was destroyed by bombing during the last World War, but able to visit the interesting modern Sawbwa's residence built during colonial times by Sawbwa Sao Ohn Kya who ruled Hsipaw from 1928 to 1938. The Haw is at the northern end of the town. And the main pagoda, the Maha Myatmuni Phaya is right at the southern end. The roads are parallel to the Namtu or Dokhtawaddy River with its clear, cool waters against a backdrop of hill and mountains. Hsipaw is famous also for the Bowgoy Pagoda, situated in Bowgoy Village about 6 miles far from Hsipaw. Famous Myanmar travel itineraries always include Hsipaw to visit.
Lashio is the largest town in northern Shan State, about 200 kilometres (120 miles) northeast of Mandalay. The highest mountain of the Shan Hills, is located 45 km to the southeast of Lashio. Capital of the northern Shan State, major settlement is Shan and Chinese being bordering with Yunan province of China. The famous Burma Road built by the British before the War, interests with Ledo Road leading into the Yunnan province. Myanmar Railways line from Mandalay reached Lashio in 1903. In 1900, the town of Lashio consisted of the European station, with court house and quarters for the civil officers; the military police post and the headquarters of the Lashio. The highlight about this trip is to enjoy the most spectaculars scenic views of the Shan plateau traveling one way by winding road with elbow crossing hilly drive and the other way by train with twisting and turning hilly trek. Crossing over historic Gokehtaik viaduct, which is the highest bridge in Myanmar will be an unforgettable experience. There is a hot spa near Lashio which is always crowded with local pilgrimages to enjoy the nature warmed both of they believe bathing here will purify body and mind. Religious sites include the Sasana (Pyilon Chanta) Pagoda and the Mansu Pagoda. Lashio has been important for border trade between Myanmar and China. It is 190 kilometres (120 miles) from Muse, and is situated midway between Muse and Mandalay. Complete Myanmar travel itineraries always include Lashio to visit.