Kalaw is an old hill station with a laid back atmosphere high up in Shan State. At 1320 m above sea level it enjoys pleasantly cool weather and is a good place for hiking amid gnarled pines, bamboo groves and rugged mountain scenery. The picturesque town is known as Myanmar’s trekking mecca, used as a base for trekking into the surrounding mountains to take a look at the lifestyle of native hill tribes of Pa-O, Pa Laung and others. Trekking around Kalaw varies from one day to five days into the surrounding hills, with the most popular being a 3 day trek to Lake Inle.
About 50 km from Kalaw, lie the Pindaya caves, where over 8,000 golden Buddhas dating back as far as 1750, line the rocky shelves and stalagmite altars attracting the faithful who are brave enough to get past the giant spider statue on the way up!
A 40-minute drive from Kalaw, lies the Green Hill Valley elephant camp which was founded in 2011 to protect the local environment and care for ageing and poorly elephants, whilst allowing visitors to see them in their natural habitat. Short rides on the elephants are permitted, but all activities are conducted primarily with the animals’ welfare in mind. A great leap forward for eco-tourism in Myanmar!