Kalemyo: The Market City
Updated: Sep 11
I did not think before that there is not much places to tour in this town when I was visited with some jobs here. But every city has its own history and special facts and its own beautiful places to visit that made my thoughts wrong and I would like to admit it that I felt regretted.
This is my second time that I step down here as the transportation is good enough to travel by car but I choose by air way as it has rough journey. The first time when I get here was the time I was a fourth standard student and there are a lot different nowadays. Tahan Ward in Kalemyo Township was the native town of my ancestors and relatives and also the land of my grandfather was death. My grandmother and my mother were the real natives of Tahan. I am a half Mizo (one of the sub-ethnics from Chin State) blood person.
Kar Lay Township to Kale Township
The name of the Kale was derivative from Shan ethnic language which means the city where is good to do for trading (otherwise) the market city. The city name was called Kar Lay since long time ago. According to my study, the 56 dynasty of Nwe Pat royal lineage of King Kyay Taung Nyo was built this city in 967, February 2. And the city of Kale (Kalay) which is called now was built by Seit Thint Yan, the high official of Myanmar court in King Bayin Naung era in 1581. City was governed by Shan Chief of former times but oddly there is no left any of its royal palaces. The age of the city is over 1000 years since its founded in the era of 976 and also calculated from 1581 till now is about 440 years so that the city was included in the list of ancient cities.
Kale city was a kind of town where many of ethnics were living. The main ethnic was Chin. Tahan, the big quarter have most of Chin ethnics, Mizo and also when high landers Chin thinking of moving to flat land is Kale City as the first place of their choice. Therefore many kinds of Chin ethnics were found in Kale.
Kale is the third populated city in the Sagaing Division among of the other cities. City has its own beauty with big Albizia lebbek trees at the left and right sides of the road everywhere that those trees have been planted since the time of colonized time by English.
City’s weather is rather hot as it was situated at the lower place of the sea level and the form of the city was like cooking wok. When the time I was there in rainy season and it was a bit hot and there are only December and January have the cooling days.
How To Get There There are available 2+1 Seats what we called VIP Express tickets for express travelers. The time on spend to Kale journey was a bit long. Time spend within the trip was like if departed time was 3:00 PM noon and the arrival time is about 10:00 AM in the next morning. Airway trip will be more comfortable as it takes only 2 hours to get there. The prices of air ticket from eight hundred thousand to one lakh in many choices. The airport is the only one that is where rarely found inside of the city.
The Places To Visit in Kale City
Like I said earlier that I was thinking about Kale city is like it may not have much historical places and touring places but there were full of much more interesting places in fact. It was not in the state of Chin but city was situated at the border of Chin State and Sagaing Division therefore there were much different kinds of traditions and customs and also be in interesting in deep. Let’s see around the touring places.
The traditional Chin dresses, accessories and Saris and Indian dresses are the best things for shopping there. Tri-cars with roof covers are the good available support transportation for visit. And another choice is motor cycles carries. Also many kinds of family-used cars are available in there.
King Solomon Fish Lake
There was a Lake called King Solomon Fish Lake where there is about 40 minutes walk next after by the City Hall which is near at the Kyarr Inn village. This is the place where most of the youth are enjoying at these moments. There were some intervals time for closed down and now it started operation with 200 kyats entry fees per person. The place where the lake situated is a bit difficult to find but enquires available at the Kyarr Inn village and should forward the journey to the lake. The lake street was a little long for walk and messy mud in everywhere because it was a ground land. The lake has some places to take relaxation, photo shooting and fishing with its mountain ranges and surrounded by the paddy fields.
Mee Khwat Market Mee Khawt Market was a special market among in the others. The market was started live about early in the morning of 4:00 AM. The market operated with lamps for the light in the morning and that is why the name of the market called Mee Khwat Zay (Lamp Market). The market situated at the east of city’s junction. Most of the travelers went there in the early morning and study about it.
Shwe Bon Thar Pagoda
Shwe Bon Thar Pagoda was a good place to visit which is situated at the inside of the city. We can found the Lake Arthawka at there.
The lake was included in the list of King Arthawka’s good deeds which is among the pagodas and lakes that King Arthawka’s built. All of these were historic in the records and there is ceremonial for pagoda in every year. The lake is situated inside of the Mahasi Yeik Thar monastery which is beside of the pagoda at the south.
Myo Chat Aung Myay Pagoda
The driver who brought me inside the city said there is auspicious ground and he pointed somewhere and when I look at there and I saw the sign of Myo Chat Aung Myay Pagoda. We found the pagoda after going inside of it but there is not enough time to step down the place of auspicious.
City Hall and the Gateway of Kale The gateway of Kalemyo was quite beautiful and it is also good place to take picture. But when I heard about the tragedy of flooded year in Kale that the flooded water level was raised until the top of this signage was made me scared. City Hall was situated at the place where is on the way of road to this gateway and the statute of horse riding Maha Bandula was at the junction of the city inside and now that statute was moved to in front of the City Hall.
First Yay San Kyun Pagoda
The rivers in Kale were mystically made some logs to goes to upstream. Therefore the first wood log from the river was sculptured as Pagoda. The very first of pagoda was situated at the temple of Hindi religious which is at the in front of the Kale Market. We found it as many small sculptured statutes within the one piece of wood. And we can also found some other Hindi’s gods statutes inside of it. We have studied that every Yay San Kyunn pagodas were made from the wood log which was goes upstream in the river. There are some concepts like these upstream logs were not came from upside down location.
Second Yay San Kyun Pagoda The reason why the name of pagoda was Yay San Kyun is that the wood logs has up streamed from south to north and that is why people were sculptured pagodas on it. Another concept was the river itself has different characterized than other rivers that water stream was flowing from south to north and the teak wood logs can flow up stream in it. People were assumed that the way these wood logs flowing are not like the way of riding the boats that break the water to upstream. The art of this teak wood sculptured is more handiwork rather than the first one. This pagoda is situated near at the Myit Thar river and the pagoda is crowded. There is spacious ground on the pagoda and crowded with snack shops, drinks and car parks.
Baw Di Yadana Pagoda
This pagoda is at the inside of Kale Industrial Zone and it is a bit long get inside. There can be obeisance the pagoda with giant elephant statutes and various kinds and colorful pagodas. The residence stations and shrines have light color itself and that makes different in some kind. The place is much romantic in their culture and most the young couples came here to take pictures.
9 Miles Kyauk Talone Creek There is a Chin village after passed through from Kale Collage to walk along with the ground street. Khaung Yay (local alcohol drinks made from rice) is available at that Chin village. They will give you a small pot with some pickled grains inside when you buy the Khaung Yay. They will get 2000 kyats for earnest money for pot and the price of a pot of Khaung Yay is 3000 kyats. The earnest money will refund when after you returned their pot. Then you can start your journey to the river. Nowadays there are some projects to upgrade as garden and relaxation place. There is also has to pay entry fees 200 kyats for one person. Inside of the park, there you can take relax, have food and drinks. Beer also available at there. When you drink Khaung Yay, you have to fill the pot with purified water and wait for minutes. After that you can have a drink of Khaung Yay. There was a giant stone here and that is why the name called Kyauk Talone.
The Three Pagodas
The place of this three pagodas is at the across side of the road from Shaw Bon Thar pagoda. These pagodas are antic pagoda which were repaired and maintained since it built.
The Cross Point of the North Equator
This place is a bit far away. And you can found a big signage when you reached there. This place is near the Kyan Sat Kone village which is at the 55-56 mile stone.
Yar Za Gyo Dam This dam was a piece of place which the cause of the flood disaster last year in Kalemyo. The view was so beautiful. The journey take rather long as it takes one and half hours long from Kale city by car. There is extremely hot at along the gutter of the dam as such no trees at all. I wish to be decorated with trees and plants to make more attractable. But this place is good to study and taking pictures is perfect.
Tahan Market The biggest quarter in Kale is Tahan. As the quarter is big as the market is also crowded. Many choices of fishes and meats and the china traded clothes and fabrics.
Kale MyoMa Market
This is a market which is inside of the city. The market seems the most trading place rather than other places for the clothes from India and China.
Shu Khin Thar
People say that is the place has to climb Chin hills. The border line has started beyond the Kale Collage for Chin state so this part of the place was included in Chin State. The place is not much more different than others but people recognized to tour around near by it. Some were enjoyed the sun rise at there and most the beautiful places can be view from here.
Churches There are a lot of Christian people in Kalemyo. Various kind of Chin ethnics were living here and most of them are Mizo. Therefore many churches also here. Every wards has the black board in front of the quarters and there were the list mentioned people die on which date, how etc. The language they used is Chin language. The churches which I visited are here-
St. Mary Roman Catholic Church (On the road of Bogyoke)
Mathadic Church (Tahan)
Mathadic Church (Vengpui)
Salem Baptist Church
Foods in Kale The most I like best restaurant in Kale was Thai Foods and BBQ restaurant name with Flow. There are available variety of Thai foods and liquors with good tastes. Another restaurant is JD23. The taste of Sa Kaw rice (local rice & curry set menu served with traditional handmade tray) was good. I like the taste of Sar Bu Thii in Tahan market. There are another clean and tasted restaurants in the city but I do not remember the name of the street. And I have noticed the small restaurant named Goshen. I have waited too long when I arrived at there for lunch and there are crowded in the restaurant and taste was pretty good.
Places for Stay
They referred the hotel Taung Zalatt before. And now there were many choices like Majesty Hotel and other Motels as well. There are available hostel and small hotel for budget people.
Souvenirs for Home Return
You can buy traditional Chin suits, clothes, Chin dresses, necklace, bags and many more out there. The shops are most available near at the airport and Tahan Thu shop have much choices. Also available at the Tar Han Market. For the Indian Sari, there are many choices near at the Kale market and Linn Yaung Chi clothes shop.
Kale city was not a big city and have not much places to visit but city was situated at the border place and many kind of people were trading near and there also many kinds to study out there. You can travel continued to Ta Mu City (the border city with India) if you have time. Additionally you can travel to Rih Lake, Haka and much more from Kale trip.
Be healthy and safe travel.
Thiha, the Traveller