This sleepy market town that sits on the western edge of the Shan plateau at 1320 meters above sea level was once very popular with the British in colonial times. You will be able to see all races in Kalaw from Shan, Indians, Bamar, Nepalis (Gurkhas retired from British military service) all rubbing shoulders at the local market. The town is a mix of old colonial and wooden Shan style houses sprawling out over this hilly town. The surrounding countryside with gnarled pines, bamboo groves and minority villages is a trekkers delight with walks to cater to all levels of fitness.
It is possible for those who wish to do a trek from Kalaw to Inle lake sleeping en-route in a monastery and a village chiefs house. This is a very rustic trip but a beautiful way in which to experience and immerse yourself in the slow and tranquil pace of rural Shan life. Alternatively spend a magical day bathing elephants at the Green Hill Valley Elephant Sanctuary.