Pindaya is appreciated for its stunning lakeside setting and limestone caves, as well as the authentic Shan paper umbrellas that are produced in the local area. The town has several high-quality hotels with a few making good use of past colonial-era buildings. Plus, the town is host to a few hill tribe markets that provide the more unique items, such as forest catch (snake and other animals and farm product).
A great way for the tourist to fully appreciate the local views on the Myanmar travel packages of the Pindaya countryside is to book a hot air balloon ride. Balloon rides are easily organized with the help of the local guest houses or hotels.
Most of the caves are approx 40-45 minute walk from the centre of town and set into the hillside, and contain thousands or Buddha statues in different sizes and finishes (coated with gold leaf, plaster, bronze, or white marble). Also, the Shwe U Min Pagoda that stands at 15 m in height is relatively close to the caves entrance. A tour of the monasteries and pagodas makes it possible to trek through an atmospheric section of the landscape that includes massive trees with trunks with branches and trunks that weave across the ground. Entry to the caves costs in the region of $3.
A typical daytrip to Pindaya can easily form part of a trip from Kalaw. A single day tour travelling from Kalaw to Pindaya costs in the region of $20 by tuk-tuk or $28 by minibus; a journey time (one-way) is about 2 hours.
The local area of Pindaya is mostly verdant tea plantations and green forest. This helps to create the picturesque landscape which is rich in a wide range of fruits and vegetables that grow in the nutrient-rich soil.
The preferred time to visit and explore Pindaya on the Myanmar local tour package is the period March to mid-May which is when the weather is most pleasant, and after the annual heavy wet season.
How to get there
The travel option that is fastest for the tourist is flight from Yangon to Heho, which is approx 65 km from town and the closest airport to Pindaya. Heho has daily flights from Yangon and the time in the air is in the region of 60 minutes. An alternative route is Mandalay to Heho which takes about 20 minutes.
The most scenic travel option is by hiring a vehicle and travelling over the winding and uphill roads that pass over the Shan Plateau. This route can take several hours, but is very interesting and enjoyable for those that have the time.
Plus, there is a train service that runs to Heho via Thazi Junction which is the closest station to this lakeside region. On arriving in Heho the onward journey to Pindaya by taxi costs in the region of $50 and can take about three hours to complete.
For travellers taking a bus to Pindaya the closest station to town is located in Kalaw and approx a two hour journey away from reaching your destination.
Where to stay
Pindaya has a few worthwhile places to stay on the Myanmar tours and holidays with one of the most popular including the Thahara Resort. This resort makes a great base for travelling out to the local sights and provides fine local hospitality and architecture.
Thahara Pindaya is a further great option for those travellers on the staying in town. The small lodge accommodation makes it possible to really stay in comfort and experience the local charm of the natives.
Eat and drink
There are several restaurants throughout Pindaya that serve up the delicious local and western dishes.
A visit to the Green Tea Restaurant makes it possible to eat at an open-air dining room and one of the most upmarket eateries in town. It is located over Pone Taloke Lake for a very enticing setting and serves a varied menu of pan-Asian dishes, as well as one or two western classics. Most of the main dishes served at the restaurant cost in the region of $2.50.
The Kyan Lite Restaurant is another lakeside restaurant and located within a short distance from the market. This eatery is great for Chinese-Burmese dishes and also serves cold beers. The cost at the Kyan Lite Restaurant is slightly more expensive at approx $3-$4 for the main dishes.
A simple place to stop and eat on the Myanmar travel tour is the Good Morning restaurant which has a nice English menu that serves a variety of noodle dishes, as well as fruit juices and coffee. Plus, it is well located to give a shaded and pleasant outside space. This is a great choice for the traveller in search of low-cost food with dishes costing in the region of $1-$1.50.
A visit to Pindaya Market is worth a look and is usually full of colour, vibrant and fresh with a varied supply of local food produce. It is open and more active early in the morning and opens on a 5 day cycle, so not available on a daily basis.
Things to see and do
A very popular activity on the Myanmar travel guide in the local area includes trekking. By exploring Pindaya on a single day trek it is possible to arrive at authentic villages like Myin Saine Gone, while a multi-day trip makes it possible to experience the homestay and stay the night with locals in a pleasant guesthouse.
A visit to the Pindaya Cave is certain to be a remarkable attraction for tourist visiting the country. There are plenty of Buddha statues (nearly 6000) throughout the cave system that are worth exploring. Close to the entrance of the cave is an impressive sight with the Shwe U Min Pagoda that stands nearly 15 m in height. It does cost to enter the Pindaya Cave, but this in only in the region of $3, while extra fees may apply to other local activities.
A great time to visit this pagoda is during the month of February when a local festival is taking place. This makes it possible to see the local ethnic minorities dance while listening to their particular type of music.