Friday, October 31, 2008

Shan State

Was a nice dinner party last night. I enjoyed seeing my friends. One of my friends couple is going to Burma in December and We are planning to go see Shan State also. Jim asked me one question..."How far driving from Heho to Inle Lake?? ". I have no idea and feel bad for such a lack of knowledge, about my own Shan State!! Anyway I got into search and read some cities of Shan States. The following is what I found and hope one day you will visit Shan State too.

Above: Inle Lake is one of the beautiful places in Shan State

Below: Map of Shan State

Shan State is located in the northeast of Yangon and east of Mandalay. It comprises the great Shan Plateau in the eastern part of Myanmar. Taunggyi is the capital and a mountain resort. Some of the other interesting towns in the Southern Shan State are Nyaung Shwe, Kalaw, Pindaya, Taunggyi, in the Eastern Shan State are Kyaing Tong(Keng Tung), Tachilek, Mong Lar and in the Northern Shan State are Thibaw, Lashio, Muse. Nyaung Shwe is situated on the bank of the famous Inlay Lake in Nyaung Shwe plain.

Kalaw is a well-known hill station. It is a pleasant and quiet town. It lies on the Thazi Shwe Nyaung Railroad.

Kyaing Tong lies on low undulation ground, not far from the Thai border. It was strongly fortified and the remnants of a wall still remain. Today it is an important business centre and frontier town. Muse is at the border with the People's Republic of China. It serves as a border point where people and goods cross. Regular air services are available to Heho, Kyaing Tong, Mong Sat, Tachilek, Lashio from Yangon.

Tachilek is also a border crossing point through which visitors from Thailand come to Myanmar. There are two railroads linking Shan State with central Myanmar. The railroad from Mandalay leads to Lashio and that from Thazi goes to Shwe Nyaung. Motor road from Mandalay passes through Lashio to reach Muse and Namhkam, the border towns. From Namhkam, the road extends to Bamaw in Kachin State. In the south, the motor road from Thazi leads to Taunggyi and then to Hopong. At Hopong, the road turns southwards to Mawchi. From Taunggyi one branch of the road turns eastwards to reach Kyaing Tong. From there it goes on to the border town, Tachilek.

Taunggyi, over 1430 metres above sea level, is the capital of Shan State. It is a hill station, cool and pleasant all the year round. The market on every fifth day is crowded with ethnic minorities in their traditional dresses. The journey from Taunggyi down to Inlay Lake area takes about an hour.

This vast picturesque lake, 900 metres above sea level, is one of the main tourist attractions in Myanmar. The lake, 22 km long and 10 km across, has a population of some 150,000 many of whom live on floating islands of vegetation. Inlay Lake, natural and unpolluted, is famous for its scenic beauty and the unique leg rowing of the Inthas, the native lake dwellers.
The largest village on the Inlay Lake; its streets are a web of canals. There are some beautiful teak houses built on large wooden poles driven into the Lakebed. The main activity and attraction is at the floating market in the largest canal.Phaung-daw Oo pagoda One of the famous principal shrines in Myanmar, this pagoda houses five small Buddha images, once a year, in end September or October, there is a pagoda festival during which the five Buddha images are rowed around the Lake in a colurful barge.
Mine Thauk Market
A large and bustling market where one can find a real local atmosphere with a variety of produce from the lake. Other places of interest in the Lake are Paya Pauk Pagoda, Zakah Village and Nga Phe monastery.
Kalaw, another hill station, is 1400 metres above sea level. Many of the Tudor-style houses and English gardens of colonial days remain. It is located 70 km west of Taunggyi.

About 45 km drive from Kalaw is Pindaya, well known for its extensive limestone caves. The caves are set deep in the hillsides and there stands at the entrance, a 15 meter high Shwe U Min Pagoda. There are some 6000 Buddha image and interesting stalagmites.

Keng Tung is the capital city of the Golden Triangle Region. There are many sites to see besides the ethnic tribes(Arkhar, Palaung, Gon Shan, Loi, Eng, Wa, Arkhu, Lahu, Lishaw Hill Tribes) in colourful dresses. There are Yangon-Mandalay-Heho-Tachilek-Keng Tung-Tachilek-Heho-Mandalay-Yangon flights everyday flights.

Tachilek, located in the Golden Triangle Area, is the border gateway opposite Mae Sai in Thailand. It is accessible by air or by road; about 2 hours by air from Yangon to Tachilek. The Golden Triangle Paradise Resort is located on the banks of the river facing Laos and Thailand. Visitors are allowed to cross into this border town with Border Passes.
It is a trading town in Northern Shan State accessible by road from Mandalay. From Lashio, the famous Burma Road built by the British before the War, intersects with Ledo Road leading into the Yunnan Province.

Muse, a small town on the banks of the Shweli River, is the main border gateway between Myanmar and Yunnan Province (China). Located 190 km from Lashio, it is a bustling trading centre. Namkham and Kyukoke are nearby border towns.


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