Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular hill station that is found along the river Ayeyarwaddy (west bank). It is just 69 km from Mandalay and nearly 1000 m about sea level, which helps to create the pleasant and cool temperature year-round. The local town is appreciated for its colonial style homes and large silver-oak, pine and eucalyptus trees.
Most of the attractions in town on the Myanmar travel packages are within a relatively short distance with makes it easy to get around on foot or hire a bicycle or motorbike. Other options include a short tour on the iconic horse-carts which can cost in the region of $2-$3. Look to the Central Market or Purcell Tower to pick up the horse-carts.
Pyin Oo Lwin has been able to hold onto its old-world charm that isn’t seen as much across the country, this is mostly thanks to the iconic horse-drawn carts and well-preserved colonial buildings.
Most of the charming old relic estates and houses are located close to the Kandawgyi National Botanical Gardens, which is a truly attractive place that spans a large area of parkland and lakes. Other great attractions include the Muslim mosques, Buddhist and Hindu temples and Christian churches
A great place to stop and eat in town is the local market located close to Purcell Tower; most of the food served in the local district includes Burmese sweets, dried fish, honey and other local specialties.
For the tourist on the Myanmar tours and holidays that wishes to travel further afield, there is the Anisakan Falls, which are easily reached by taxi or hiring a scooter for the day. Plus, it is possible to reach the foot of the sacred falls by hiking through the local jungle trails. It is free to visit and a great place to explore to get a break from the heat of the day.
The preferred time to visit Pyin O Lwin is between November and February when the conditions are most pleasant for touring the local area.
How to get there
The most common form of transport to reach Pyin O Lwin is via shared taxi travelling from Mandalay. The typical cost to complete this journey is in the region of $7-$8. Alternative options to reach town include the self-drive motorcycle or the pick-up (but is quite uncomfortable).
Where to stay
Pyin O Lwin has a varied range of modest to high-end accommodation to match the needs of tourists on the Myanmar travel tour.
A stay at the Hotel Pyin Oo Lwin makes it possible to book a comfortable and big bungalow that is well fitted out and includes all the must-have amenities. Most are fitted with working fireplaces and terraces, as well as giving guest’s access to an indoor swimming pool and on-site Asian fusion restaurant. Hotel Pyin Oo Lwin is well located and approx 15 minutes by taxi from the city centre.
The Royal Parkview Hotel is one of the local areas most promising mid range options. Rooms are spacious and include amenities like an en suite bathroom, air-con, TV and a desk. While it doesn’t provide the park views it is still a great place to stay while in town. Plus, it has an on-site restaurant serving a complete selection of Asian and Western dishes.
Other accommodation includes the Tiger Hotel and Golden Lion Restaurant with room amenities like free Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, and a private bathroom. The restaurant also has varied and quite pleasant menu.
Eat and drink
The places to eat and drink in Pyin O Lwin range from the snack-food stands to the upmarket restaurants.
A visit to the Club Terrace creates a very romantic setting with its colonial bungalow structure and well-maintained garden terrace. The menu consists of Chinese and Thai cuisine as the main courses, although there are a few Western and Shan options. Plus, it has a great selection of local and international wines, including the locally produced fruit vintages. The cost of the main meals is in the region of $3 while the noodle dishes are slightly cheaper at $2.
The upmarket Feel restaurant has a nice lakeside location and a very diverse menu consisting of Asian and European dishes. It might be necessary to make a reservation at this restaurant for the evening meal. The main dishes cost about $2.50, while a steaming cup of coffee on the waterside terrace costs less than a dollar.
Set in a colonial-era house, the Sain Mya Ayar is a great open-air restaurant serving up dim sum, noodles and juices from about $1.
An early morning visit to the Pyin Oo Lwin Market is certain to appeal to the tourist on the Myanmar local tour package in search of gifts or souvenirs for friends or family. There are a lot of different products from coffee, strawberry jam and wines. Plus, there is a great choice of locally made clothes.
Things to see and do
A very pleasant outing in the local area includes exploring the botanical garden at National Kandawgyi Gardens. The garden covers a total area of 1,077 acres (436 hectares) and includes a varied range of things to see. Some of the finest botanical attractions include the vast woodland areas (much like a rainforest), a man-made wetland (easily explored using the wooden path), bamboo forests, and magnificent orchids. Beyond the comprehensive list of seasonal flowers that bloom in every colour imaginable, it is also possible to watch out for a many different animal species.
A short distance from Pyin Oo Lwin on the route leading to Mandalay it is possible to see and admire the amazing sight that is the Anisakan Falls. It is about 1.5 km from town so easily reached by foot and has several signs that mark its location. Plus, there are plenty of local guides that are willing to direct the tourist through the last part of the journey that includes the rocky gorges before reaching the waterfalls. This path to reach the falls is quite steep so it is essential to be careful on this part of the trek. But on arriving at the waterfalls, the scenery is quite amazing with its quiet setting, cool waters, and wild monkeys in the treetops.
A further waterfall to explore on the Myanmar travel packages in the local area is Pwe Kauk Falls which is approx 7 km from town and passes several local Shan villages (Ye Ngeye, Yechando and Mogyopyit) on the way.