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- Kalaw Travel Guide

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Kalaw Local Guide - Download PDF version.

Kalaw is located to the west of Inle Lake, and blends the influences of Indian and Nepalese cultures, which is immediately made clear in the delicious cuisine. Traveling by car, it's about two hours west of Nyaungshwe on the western edge of the Shan hills.

Kalaw is earning a cool reputation among budget travellers, and it’s not just due to its chilly winter weather. Located at 1320m on the rolling, pine-clad hills of the Shan Plateau, this is Myanmar’s budget trekking heartland. Located to the west of beautiful Inle Lake, some travellers enjoy hiking between the two (about 45km), on mountains dotted with Palaung, Pa-O, Intha and Shan villages.

The plateau near Kalaw is inhabited by the Shan ethnic tribes such as a PaO and Palaung or the long-neck people. They weave their own colourful clothings and they make their living by plantations of "Thanatphet" trees. The leaves of theses trees are widely used to make cigars in Myanmar. These people go to the Kalaw market and sell their products too.

There is only a small population, a mixture of Shan, Bamar and some Indians. It was a colonial town during the British rulings because of the cool weather. Nowadays, some of the churches are still in good conditions. Many British style buildings are still available in Kalaw. Church like "Christ the King" is also a popular place to visit.