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Pyin Oo Lwin

Pyin Oo Lwin (Burma)

Practical information about Pyin Oo Lwin

  • Park and garden
  • Waterfall
  • Caves
  • Off the beaten track
4 / 5 - 2 reviews
How to get there
Two and a quarter hours by pickup truck from Mandalay
When to go
Minimum stay
1 to 2 days

Reviews of Pyin Oo Lwin

Lorette Vinet Travel writer
61 travel articles

A small, old-fashioned town, once a health resort during the British colonial era, Pyin Oo Lwin, located on the mountain road, makes for a refreshing place to visit.

My suggestion:
Don't miss its botanical gardens, with its wealth of orchid greenhouses, bamboo plantations, the sense of calm and tranquility it exudes, and the view you get from the top of the central tower. 

As is true throughout a trip to Myanmar, it is enjoyable to use less common forms of transport, such as the quaintly old-fashioned, pink and green (well, mine was at least) horse-drawn carriages. Don't be reluctant to travel to Pyin Oo Lwin by shared pickup truck (two and a quarter hours from Mandalay, including a stop to cool the engine with a jet of water!) to then disembark and later return the way you came, or alternatively head on to Hispaw.

I spent some time visiting the Chinese temple. You could almost believe you're actually in the country itself. I even came across some Tonkinese shelling pumpkin seeds using scissors. It was like a little corner of some Chinese city in deepest Myanmar!

A few kilometers from the town is a cave called U Naung Gu where there is a series of Buddhas lit by neon lighting. As kitsch as can be, it's entirely unlike anything you'd expect to find. You can get to it easily by share taxi, or by bicycle if you're the more adventurous type.

Orchids at the botanical gardens
Travel writer
31 travel articles

Pyin Oo Lwin is a Burmese town that still bears the marks of its British colonial past.

My suggestion:
Consider taking a sweater with you as it is colder in this town than in many places in Burma. Also consider arriving at the station early in the morning to purchase your train ticket if you want a specific seat.

Pyin Oo Lwin is quite different from the other towns and cities you will travel through when visiting Burma. It is a calm and peaceful town, like something belonging to a different time and place.

It is cool and fresh here. Dogs laze permanently beneath large trees by potholed streets; small horse-drawn carriages crisscross the town; and there is, as one might say, something of an "English" atmosphere. The colonial past is strongly in evidence, even if today the large colonial houses are mainly occupied by wealthy Chinese and Indians.

In Pyin Oo Lwin, I spent time relaxing, made the most of the cool fresh air, strolled around the public gardens area, and enjoyed some delicious coffees. This is, after all, a town famous for its coffee, strawberries, flowers and sweaters!