Pyin Oo Lwin
Boasting a pleasantly cool climate and an undeniable charm, Pyin Oo Lwin (originally named Maymyo) is a former British hill station a short distance to the east of Mandalay. Both the town itself and the surrounding area has plenty to explore, most notably some beautiful examples of 19th century colonial architecture, the National Kandawgyi Gardens, and a number of waterfalls.
At a cool altitude of 1,070 metres, Pyin Oo Lwin was used by the British as an escape from Burma’s scorching lowland heat. This colonial legacy stills holds much of town’s charm, with a number of 19th century country houses scattered throughout the town. Adding to its quaint charm, the most popular form of transport around Pyin Oo Lwin is by colourfully painted horse-drawn carts.
Pyin Oo Lwin’s tropical highland climate is the perfect environment for a wide variety of flora to flourish, nowhere more noticeable than in the National Kandawgyi Gardens. Carefully maintained over 100 years, these botanical gardens offer something completely unique in Burma, with more than 480 species of flowers, shrubs and trees across 175 hectares.
The area surrounding the town is home to a number of waterfalls. The most impressive of these is Dat Taw Gyaint Waterfall to the southwest, whilst the collection of small falls at Pwe Gauk falls offers a lovely place to relax for an afternoon.
A scenic two-hour drive from Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin is also a popular place to catch the train over the stunning Gokteik Viaduct, either as part of our journey back to Mandalay, or on route to the laid-back town of Hispaw.