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Why Pyin-Oo-Lwin (Maymyo) is special ?
Established by the British as a retreat from soaring summer temperatures the small town of Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo) still retains a much anglicized feel.
The colonial presence in the town can be traced back to the end of the 19th Century when the British arrived after capturing Mandalay at the conclusion of the Third Burmese War. The town was renamed Maymyo (May Town) after Colonal May, the commander of the post and a veteran of the Indian Mutiny. In 1896 a permanent military post was established in the town and it later became a hill station and the summer residence of the British Government in Myanmar (the British named it Burma) due to its cooler temperatures.
During British rule Pyin Oo Lwin was also an important educational centre with the Government English High Schools such as St. Albert's, St. Joseph's Convent, St. Mary's, St. Michael's and Colgate all based here. Maymyo was renamed to Pyin Oo Lwin in 1989 when the government abandoned colonial titles to the original Myanmar names before British rule.
What to explore at Pyin-Oo-Lwin (Maymyo)?
Pyin Oo Lwin is situated about 70 kilometers (2 hours drive) from Mandalay, up into the Shan Plateau at an altitude of over 1000 Meter above sea level. It is another summer retreat due to its “cool” climate. There is some Nepalese living in the town whose ancestors came there during the British time. The town is known as gardening town due to growing various kinds of flowers. Coffee plantations are located around Pyin Oo Lwin. The town is a transit point on the former “Burma Road” which leads to Muse to the Chinese Border via Lashio.
It is a nice and green garden, which stretches over a wide area just on the outskirts of Pyin Oo Lwin. It was recently refurbished by a private company and is worth the entrance fee. There are different “theme gardens”, some birds and nice walkways around the pond and in the forest. A silent open “car” can take you around. If you prefer to enjoy the quietness in the garden, the late afternoon on weekends or on weekdays might be the best time for a visit.
There are 2 waterfalls around town.
Anisakan is a really beautiful one. It can be reached after descending for about 1.5 hours (nearly 300 meters difference in altitude) through a densely plant covered ravine on a narrow and in parts steep path down. The view on arrival is stunning, the waterfall comes down to you from a cliff, and there is a pool on the bottom.
The Pwe Kauk waterfalls are very close to the road. It is a short walk to a small and a larger waterfall, which are less scenic than Anisakan but a very popular picnic spot with local people.
PEIK CHIN MYAUNG CAVE
There is Peik Chin Myaung cave around 45 minutes away from Pyin Oo Lwin towards Lashio is a stalactite cave and contains many small Buddha Images. The cave is easily reached but in times slippery, as usual shoes must be taken off.
There are plenty of old buildings visible in town in Tudor and Victorian style. One of the loveliest buildings is the formerly called Candacraig Hotel, today a government run hotel in a big compound.
The town is actually quiet large, outside from downtown it is loosely built on. It is worth driving around and enjoying the town.
UNIQUE HORSE CARRIAGES
Unlike horse carts in other places in Myanmar, the cabins of horse carts in Pyin Oo Lwin are closed, like one would expect them in an old western movie. You can rent them for a trip, or for a certain time.
How to get to Pyin-Oo-Lwin (Maymyo)?
From the Mandalay International Airport there are two choices: either hire a taxi (Sein Myanmar or Seven Diamond are best) directly to Pyin Oo Lwin (cost about $35 (35,000 kyats); or take a taxi into Mandalay (Shwe Myanmar has a stand at the airport Arrivals Hall - $4 per person) to the roadside stop for Pyin Oo Lwin taxis. The cost of a seat in a shared taxi is about $6-7 (or about $35 for 4 foreigners sharing). The first option takes about 1.5 hours, the second about 2.5 hours altogether. Click here for taxi phones.
It's also possible to get from Mandalay to Pyin Oo Lwin by train (5 hours), aircon bus (less than 2 hours), or even Hilux pickup (3 hours, cheap, smelly and uncomfortable). Hotels can advise on these. Train bookings and tickets can be bought only at Mandalay Railway Station. Trains run right through to Hsipaw and Lashio - a spectacular trip over the Gotheik viaduct - once the second highest in the world.
- A town of national importance
- A historical town
- Lots of to see
- A country town of exceptional beauty
- An ideal and refreshing destination for visitors to Upper Myanmar
Maymyo, Pyin Oo Lwin, Burma