The Intriguing Shan State is situated in the mid-eastern part of Myanmar bordering China, Lao, and Thailand. Shan plateau is the landmass rises from 3,000 to 4,000 feet above sea level with many ranges. Most of the ranges stretch from north to south. Thanlwin river start from the Tibet mountains in China flows across the Shan state from north to south and flows down into the Gulf of Martaban.
Although people living in the state are generally called Shans, there are over 40 indigenous races. Wa, Palaung, and Myaung from Mon-Khmer tribe, Kachin and Bamar from Tibeto-Burman tribe, and Shan, Sino-shans, and Koekants from Sino-Thai tribe are also residing.
Inlay Lake (also spelled Innlay and Inle) is famous for the unique way of life of the local tribes, for their villages on stilts, floating gardens, fresh produce markets, and well-preserved traditions. In many places, the authentic life on the lake shines through.
Lakes are lovely all over the world. But if you take a lake, unpolluted and with clean, crystal clear waters and 2,900 feet above sea level, stretch 14 miles and surround it with blue mist-shrouded mountains, it is an exquisitely beautiful, romantic place.
Inle is famous for the Phaung-daw-oo Festival which is held in September/October each year on a very lavish scale. The spectacular procession of hundreds of leg-rowers in their longboats pulling the huge Karaweik is indeed a memorable sight.
Nyaungshwe in Shan State, Taunggyi District is 602 km from Yangon and 30 km from Taunggyi and was a town visited by visitors who came to Inle Lake. On the east of the town are Taunggyi and Hsihseng while to the west lies Kalaw and Pinlaung.
Those who visit the Inle Lake region usually make a side trip to Taunggyi which is only 17.5 miles to the northeast. The five-day market where the local tribesmen of various ethnic races come to sell their native produce, fruits, flowers, and vegetables.
Pindaya is only about 28 miles by car from Kalaw which can be reached by the railway which goes on to Shwe Nyaung, the terminus for Inle Lake. Alternatively, Pindaya can be reached by car from Heho airport, the journey taking only about two hours.
Pa-O land or Pa-O region’s Pinlaung Town was said to be very beautiful. Those who had visited many regions of Myanmar would say that Myanmar is beautiful with its natural beauties. However, the beauty of Pinlaung is somewhat majestically and peacefully.
Presently, Hopong is the capital of Pa.O Self-Administered Zone which is composed of Hsihseng and Pinlong townships. Hopong is situated at the lowest point between an East mountain range of Inle Lake a Lwepat range in the east of Nipon Stream.
Hai Pa waterfall, one of the cultural heritages in Mong Hsu Township where Tainwe and Palaung ethnics reside in unison in Shan State. It is formed with seven to nine steps of waterfall. It is a natural scene filled with various species of wildlife and birds.
Kyaing Tong (Keng Tung) located in a valley of tranquillity amidst an encircling range of hills in the eastern Shan State of Myanmar, is now open to tourists. It is a picturesque town with an ancient civilization.
It is located on the Thai border in the eastern Shan State of Myanmar. It has been upgraded as a gateway to the heart of the Golden Triangle. The Friendship Bridge across the small Mae Sai stream links Tachileik with the Thai border town of Mae Sai.
If you were asked to name a town in Myanmar which is so popular with tourist that two to three thousand visitors come each day, you might think it is Mandalay or Bagan or Nyaung Shwe at the head of Inle Lake. Actually, it is not one of these--
The British did not resign their scheme and they assigned the work of drawing the design of the bridge to Sir A. M. Fendal Inc. Co. in London, England. They also entrusted the duty of construction of the bridge to Pennsylvania and Maryland Co. in the United States.
The travelers make a half-day trip to Ywangan and Pindaya while visiting Kalaw, but of course, Pindaya has many sights to keep the visitors occupied. Pindaya is the central region of the south of Shan State and it is a town with 3,000 feet above sea level.
Ywangan Region can be reached by train from Yangon Station. As Ywangan town was surrounded by unspoiled natural beauties it was considered as virgin land. It is a land where peace and tranquillity prevails.
Naung Tung Lake is a place loved and cherished by the locals. It was also a place that remains in the memories of visitors. Locals say visitors who went around the lake once will become so attracted or attached to it that they’ll come back again.
Aungban can be reached by car, train, and flight. All the highway buses to Taunggyi stop in Aungban. If you come by train, you need to get off at Aungban station. As for the flight, it will take around 20 minutes to drive from Heho airport to the town.
The Myanmar people pronounce the name as Thibaw and the last king of Myanmar, King Thibaw (1875-85), got his name from this town. King Thibaw was given this town by his father, King Mindon, and he was known as the Thibaw Mintha or the Prince of Thibaw.
Hsipaw is one of the long-established towns of Northern Shan State in Myanmar. For those who would like to do trekking around the villages and mountains, attractions around Hsipaw could be one of the best destinations in Northern Shan State.