I’m no stranger to Pyin Oo Lwin, in fact I must have visited the Flower City – named so for its spectacular botanical gardens and flower festival – about six times.
However, this time around I wasn’t going to look at pretty plants, I was off to see the stunning Gokteik Viaduct, the second-highest viaduct in the world, built by an American Company in 1901.
Unless you aren’t a fan of heights, the best way to experience the viaduct is by train.
My Magical Myanmar asked travelers in Yangon and Bagan how they plan to spend February 14th this year.
As Green-fingered enthusiasts from around the world flocked to the 11th flower festival at the National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens last month, I went to see what 150,000 plants on display looked like, while revisiting Myanmar’s botanical gem.
I took the 8:30pm bus from Yangon AungMingalar Highway gate on Christmas Eve and arrived the next day at 6:30am in PyinOoLwin. The weather was chilly but pleasant. I took a taxi to the hotel I was staying at, Hotel Spring PyinOoLwin, located in a quiet part of town.
Shan State has long been established as Myanmar’s go-to destination for cultural trekking tours – these are not expeditions to remote Himalayan regions requiring special climbing equipment or survival skills, but rather easy to moderate walks through tropical highlands, well-tended farmland and ethnic minority villages. In Shan State, travelers are never too far from motorized transport, shelter or even small shops where they can stock up on snacks and drinks.
As the new year comes around and travellers are greeted with a cool January breeze, visitors are flocking to the annual Pyin Oo Lwin Flower Festival. My Magical Myanmar took to the flower-lined road to ask some of these travellers about their experiences.
Natasha Hecher, Austria
As 2016 draws to an end, one of the biggest nights of the year will soon be upon us- New Year’s Eve! Whether you are planning to spend a romantic night in with a loved one, travel to another city with friends or party the night away at a hip Yangon bar, it’s bound to be special for everyone. My Magical Myanmar spoke to Lillian Kalish,an American working in Yangon as a journalist about how she will spend her New Year’s Eve.
Lillian Kalish, America
Mawlamyine is the fourth largest city in Myanmar and the capital of Mon State. It’s 300km southeast of Yangon and is a city famous for its history.
If you are planning a trip to this historic place, here are a few places you should go:
Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda
Kyaik Than Lan Pagoda, the town’s main pagoda, is situated at the ridge overlooking the town, offering picturesque views. It’s a great place to see the sunset.
Maha Muni Pagoda
The Thadingyut Festival or Festival of Lights is one of the most popular festivals in Myanmar. It is held on the seventh month of the Burmese calendar. It also marks the end of Buddhist lent. Buddhists celebrate Thadingyut by lighting candles or colored electric lights in their home to welcome the Buddha.
In Nyaung Shwe, the number of restaurants is growing rapidly, intensifying levels of competition and innovation.
One of the latest restaurants causing a stir is the all-bamboo structure, the Sinyaw 2 Restaurant and Chilling Nest, known for its good food, great atmosphere, and cooking classes.
The restaurant and upstairs lounge opened last September, and is located on Kyaung Taw Shae Street, Nyaung Shwe.
It is not far from the downtown area, but remains secluded from the hustle and bustle.