Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo)

Mandalay Region

Few towns in Myanmar call to mind a bygone era of British colonial times such as the town of Pyin Oo Lwin, formerly called Maymyo after Colonel May. The town sits at the cool altitude of 1050 meters above sea level 69km east of Mandalay in the central Shan hills. Little cottages with chimneys and neatly tended gardens sit on the outskirts of town; the Purcell Tower, a gift from Queen Victoria, is the centerpiece in town; the national Kandawgyi Gardens, a beautiful botanical garden started by wives of the colonial administrators and British botanists in 1915, is a lovely place to have a stroll and enjoy a cup of tea. Take a ride around town, and from December through to February enjoy delicious baby, organic strawberries, a specialty of this hill-station.

There is much to be seen around the surrounding countryside of Maymyo. The Anisakan Falls is a 45 minute hike to reach but well worth it and a very pleasant walk to get there. The Pwe Kauk Falls are less spectacular than Anisakan but make for a wonderful spot to enjoy a picnic. Something totally different to do is to drive to the village of Naung Cho and board the Mandalay to Lashio train. A 45 minute train ride across the famous Gokteik viaduct built by the American Pennsylvania Steel Co in 1903 to the village of Naung Pan crosses the 700 meter gorge at a maximum height of 300 meters.