The former British Colonial hill station of Maymyo, also known as Pyin Oo Lwin, sits at the cool altitude of 1050 metres above sea level, 69km east of Mandalay in the central Shan hills, offering a respite from the intense heat of the lowlands during summer months. The town became a permanent military post in 1896, and acted as one of the summer capitals during British rule with little cottages with chimneys and neatly tended gardens sit on the outskirts of town. The highlights of the town include the Purcell Tower, a gift from Queen Victoria; the national Kandawgyi Gardens, a beautiful botanical garden and a lovely place to have a stroll and enjoy a cup of tea. Visitors today can reach Pyin Oo Lwin from Mandalay and back again in the same day, although we recommend stopping longer and even considering travelling further north to Hsipaw.
There is much to be seen around the surrounding countryside of Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo), including the spectacular Anisakan Falls which takes a 45 minute hike to reach and well worth; the impressive Pwe Kauk Fall, a wonderful spot to enjoy a picnic and the intriguing large Buddhist shrine-cave of Peik Chin Myaung. For those who want to experience something completely different can drive to the Naung Cho village then then catch the train from Mandalay to Lashio. You will have chance to ride across the famous Gokteik viaduct built by the American Pennsylvania Steel Co in 1903 to the village of Naung Pan.
The surrounding area is abundant of orchids and flaura, with seasonal fruits including oranges, strawberries and pineapples. In the winter months its turns chilly, dropping as low as 2 degrees below 0, and there are several beautiful festivals taking place between October and December.
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