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An update from Evaneos

Kalaw (Burma)

Practical information about Kalaw

  • Family
  • Encounters with locals
  • Hiking / Trekking
  • Countryside
  • Mountain
  • Handicraft
  • Off the beaten track
4 / 5 - 3 reviews
How to get there
One hour by taxi from Heho
When to go
From December to February
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Kalaw

Marine Faure Travel writer
47 travel articles

Kalaw is a small town in Shan State, in the north of the country, lying at an altitude of 1300 meters.

My suggestion:
Take warm clothing with you as the air can be quite cool!

Kalaw is a small town located at quite high altitude in Shan State, in the Burma's north. It's a destination to include in your tour of the country.

One of the main reasons to visit Kalaw is to go trekking to Inle Lake. My trek lasted for three days and two nights, during which I slept in a monastery along with the rest of the group and my guide. We were six people in my group, though you can opt to go with less people if your prefer smaller numbers. 

During the trek I passed through a multitude of little villages inhabited by Shan tribes, each of with has its own dialect and traditions. I also passed through immense fields of rice, chili peppers and ginger. The landscapes are magnificent. Children came to greet me at the entrances to the villages. What lovely memories!

In the vicinity of Kalaw
Travel writer
31 travel articles

Kalaw is a small town on the hills of Shan State in Burma and is the starting point for hikes that take several days.

My suggestion:
Be sure to take a look around the central market when it's being held. It's wonderful to visit and it's a perfect place to buy arts and crafts souvenirs.

Kalaw is located in Burma's highlands and the trip by bus is quite spectacular, as long as you don't suffer from vertigo. In Kalaw, it is nice to relax out in the fresh mountain air, to watch the sun going down from the high bars lining the main street, or to visit the impressive central market.

However, for those visiting Burma, Kalaw mainly serves as an obligatory starting point for treks to Lake Inle. In my case, I chose a two-day trek. The scenery was incredible, the trek not too difficult, and it's also the chance to meet and interact with the locals. We got invited to a traditional marriage for example. Absolutely worth recommending!

Damien Eschbach Travel writer
7 travel articles

Kalaw is located at an altitude of 1,300 metres and was the summer hill station for the British colonials escaping the heat of Mandalay.

My suggestion:
Kalaw will suit fans of trekking to a tee. You can go on treks for one or several days to Inle Lakeand spend a night in a monastery.

The scenery around Kalaw is really beautiful. You walk through mountain landscapes and come across little tribal villages along the way. You can stop off in some of them for a bite to eat and a charming welcome from the locals. You must have a guide if you're trecking because the trails aren't marked out. Most hotels offer trekking in the region.

If you have time, it's worth visiting Pindaya as well as Kalaw, on the way from Bagan, before you reach Inle Lake.

Because Kalaw is in the mountains, the climate is relatively pleasant. Winter is chilly, so bring jumpers, and summer is relatively spared from the rainy season compared to Yangon.

The Shan Mountains