Kalaw is a small town situated in mountainous region of Shan State, Myanmar. It was founded by British civil servants who could not stand the heat in the lower regions. The town looks completely different than the surrounding native villages. To some extent the feel can be similar as visiting European mountain resort. Colonial architecture is still present, it is very calm town with considerably well infrastructure. Most people who come here are going on an adventure of a life time! This is the main base of operation from which people start hiking to Inle Lake on the way visiting jungles, reservoirs, mountains, fields and various native villages in surrounding hills like Danaw, Pa-O, Palaung, and Taung Yo villages. Incredible experience!
It is also one of few places where you will meet more fellow backpackers rather than organized tour operators with full buses of foreigners. As many people come here independently to find their best trek. Relaxing here for a few days, exploring the nearby temples and trails or just getting a good night rest before the hike to Inle Lake is what most people choose to do here. However, the town is also known for its large population of Nepali Gurkhas and Indians, whose ancestors during the colonial era built most of the infrastructure. Therefore, people who enjoy local company and spending more time in one place will feel at ease. Maybe even visit a forbidden by law cock fighting stage in the local market about which you can only get to know from a local folk.
Best of luck planning your holidays in Myanmar!
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