Pyin Oo Lwin known as May Myo (2019 Updated)
It is a town that linked the Shan mountains with the plain. A town situated at the edge of Mandalay Region bordering Shan State. It was known in many names. Flower town, hill station town, hill step town etc. During colonial time, it was Maymyo or May Town and now known as Pyin Oo Lwin. The weather was never at an extreme. Cool all the time. It was a place where many colonial mansions and bungalows abound.
It was a place where many races and religions lived in peace and harmony. Places of worship related to many religions can be found here. Many dress styles can be seen and a variety of foods can be tasted.
New places to visit in Pyin Oo Lwin
New places described here were indeed new that came into existence in end 2018 or in early 2019. It also include places that were in existence earlier but were not known much by the people.
Mico Hill I felt envious of the lovely parks with flower and statues that attracts visitors in Thailand and wished that we could have the same. Mico Hill is such a place that made my wish comes true. It is a resort with flowers and small buildings. The future plan include having shows and entertainment. Entry is 1,000 Kyat per person that includes a small bottle of drinking water. It is situated beside Pyin Oo Lwin-Lashio road. Go past Maha Ant Htoo Kan Than Buddha image and toll gate. You’ll see it on the left side of the road.
Humpty Dumpty Pagoda and Monastery Driving along Pyin Oo Lwin-Lashio road and after passing December Farm, you’ll see a signboard on the left side of the road pointing to Humpty dumpty pagoda and monastery. After passing December Farm, have a keen lookout for that signboard as we almost always went past it and had to turn back whenever we went there. Humpty dumpty pagoda is a pagoda with Buddha images among humpty dumpty dolls. A strange place with a strange construction but color combinations was attractive enough to make you take photographs.
Sitha Coffee Farm Sitha Coffee Farm was there for long but it became a visitors’ place only recently. There is a huge coffee shop and beyond the coffee shop is coffee plantation that was like a park. Entrance fee is Kyat 1,000 per person. You’ll be given a cup of coffee as well. It’s a big plantation. The walk is quite considerable amounting to soft trekking. You can see coffee beans extracted and dried as well as coffee plantations and oddly enough, a boat yard with some boats in it. It is an interesting place to visit.
December Waterfall When I was there the first time there was no entrance fee. Now it is 1,000 Kyat per person and 500 Kyat per car. You can take a buggy inside with 500 Kyat for going in and 500 Kyat for coming out. But the place wasn’t too big so I prefer taking a walk instead of a buggy ride. Here too there was a pond with boat if you want to take a boat ride. Restaurants had varieties of foods and you can also go horse riding. This time around, I saw some small tents beside the pond where visitors can eat while enjoying the scenery. Quite a variety of flowers were planted and the place is becoming a place to visit for photographers.
Sulamani Structure and Mya Myintzu four side Pagoda Most visitors and devotees overlook this place. It was in front of Myawaddy Fuel Station beside Ruby Mart. Inside, you’ll see the structure and the pagoda. There were many monasteries inside. The view from the top was quite breath taking.
Usual Places of Visit in Pyin Oo Lwin
After mentioning new places, I’ll now point out the usual places of visit in Pyin Oo Lwin.
(1) Maha Ant Htoo Kan Tha Pagoda The huge marble Buddha image was made and being transported to China when it fell off the truck at the place where the pagoda was built. As it seemingly refuses to leave the country, a pagoda was built with the image inside it. Ever since it fell off the truck, devotees were paying homage to it and now the pagoda is a must for all Pyin Oo Lwin visitors to visit. Hot air balloon festival was held at the field opposite the pagoda.
(2) Zina Mann Aung Rock Mountain Pagoda This pagoda was at the entrance of Pyin Oo Lwin. As it was on a small hill, the view of the town from the hill was beautiful.
(3) Bamboo Buddha image This Buddha image was on the right side of road going up to Pyin Oo Lwin before reaching Dat Taw Gyaint Waterfall. It can be reached by taking the circuit road around Pyin Oo Lwin. The Buddha image was made of bamboo. This was interesting enough but the surrounding view of nature would also be an added bonus to visit the place.
(4) Snake Pagoda This was on the right side of Mandalay-Pyin Oo Lwin road. I didn’t visit this place but many visitors do visit it.
(5) Chinese Temple Chinese temple in Pyin Oo Lwin is another must-visit place. There’s a vegetarian shop. Chinese traditional stick horoscope can also be tried out with the help of nuns. There were many places for photography enthusiasts. There was even a place where Chinese and Korean dresses were rented to put on and take photograph.
(6) 100 years Old Churches There were several 100 years old churches in Pyin Oo Lwin. High numbers of visitors were disrupting prayer services so casual visits were nowadays discouraged. So I don’t want to point out where it was. You can easily find your way but be careful not be a nuisance to devotees.
(7) Peik Chin Myaung Cave Peik Chin Myaung Cave also known as Maha Nadamu Cave is a cave situated south of Wetun willage 23 km from Pyin Oo Lwin. There are many Buddha images in the cave. With a small waterfall nearby, many visitors can’t resist a dip into it. A variety of foods as well as tradition herbal medicines were also available.
Waterfalls to Visit in Pyin Oo Lwin
(1) Dat Taw Gyaing Waterfall It was known as Dat Taw Gyaing Waterfall but some knew it is Anisakan Waterfall. This is a very beautiful waterfall with water cascading down a considerable height. The view from the bottom was the most beautiful but the climb down was steep and climbing back up to Mandalay-Pyin Oo Lwin road would be a considerable climb. There were some porters around who’ll carry you up but the price was quite high so do ensure that you are in good shape and health to hike up and down the steep path. The waterfall had three stages and all are beautiful in their own ways. The beauty of the entire waterfall can be seen from The View Hotel. Entry to the restaurant of the hotel was 1,000 Kyat and you can enjoy the complete view of the waterfall while having something at the restaurant.
(2) Pwe Kauk Waterfall or B.E. Fall Majority of visitors who pay homage to Maha Ant Htoo Kan Tha Pagoda normally went to Pwe Kauk Waterfall. The entrance to the waterfall faces the pagoda across the Pyin Oo Lwin-Lashio Road. The waterfall was also known as B.E. Fall because the place renovated by Battlefield Engineers (B.E.) Corp and thus was known as such. During the colonial time, it was said to be known as Hampshire fall. The waterfall was not a high waterfall and it is more like a water cascade rather than a waterfall. Closeness to Pyin Oo Lwin and ease of going there attracts many visitors and was normally crowded during peak travel season. Visitors can swim and there were quite a number of restaurants and souvenir shops that cater to the visitors. Locally produced wines and jams can be bought there.
(3) December Farm Waterfall December Farm Waterfall located in December Farm mentioned above on Pyin Oo Lwin was another waterfall that was attracting visitors, especially youngsters.
(4) Yay Pyan Taung Waterfall The hike to Yay Pyan Taung Waterfall and back was quite similar to the one to Dat Taw Gyaing Waterfall. The way to the waterfall was descending through a forested hill or mountainside while the way back was ascending all the way out or rather up. So make sure you are fit and had a full stamina. The fall had seven stages and all stages had small but wide waterfalls. The bottom or the lowest one was said to be the most beautiful but I didn’t made it that far and couldn’t comment about it.
Wine Estate in Pyin Oo Lwin
There were a number of wine estates in Pyin Oo Lwin out of which I visited Shwe Pyin Oo Lwin Wine Estate. It was situated on the small road to Yay Pyan Taung Waterfall. As it was at a place away from town, natural beauties of forest, hills and mountains can be experienced. It is at Sin Gaung Lay Village. It can be reached via the circuit road that avoids the crowded town area of Pyin Oo Lwin while taking pictures of the pine trees along the way. Grapes were grown systematically there and you can help yourself to the grapes on the vine even though the price was a bit high. But the fact that you can fetch the tasty grapes from the vines and have it there and then makes it a worthwhile experience.
Parks and Other Places to Visit
(1) National Kandawgyi Park In addition to holding flower festivals, varieties of flowers were grown there all year round. It is a wide open area where you can feel fresh simply by taking a deep breath. The beauty of the wide open lake and flowers can be experienced as well as variety of birds there naturally or in cages of various sizes can be observed. A variety of butterflies can be observed in the butterfly museum while a variety of orchids can also be seen the orchid museum. Except for shortage of clean rest rooms, a visit to the park gave you a good relaxing experience.
(2) The Croft Organic Farm It is a small organic farm just within the town limit so the small size wasn’t much of a wonder. It is not far from National Kandawgyi Park. A variety of vegetables were grown as well as strawberries. Entrance fee of 2,500 Kyat per person was charged that includes a complete Hi tea set. The tea set includes fruits, a cold drink or coffee. A red barn-like structure or cottage near the entrance makes the place quite an interesting one. The water tower was also an attraction and the place was becoming a well known or preferred spot for pre-wedding photo shoots.
(3) YGW Garden YGW Garden is another interesting place, a garden, with a restaurant. The garden also had some small live bears, monkeys and birds that visitors can observe. The garden and restaurant was made up and constructed western country style with many country style memorabilia lying around making it even more interesting. It is another interesting photo spot. To go there take the Pyin Oo Lwin-Lashio road toward Peik Chin Myaung Cave. Just after descending the winding mountain side road and before entering Wetwun Village, you’ll see a sign on a white wall pointing toward YGW Garden. The drive down the narrow entrance road took about 3 minutes but as the road was narrow, it would amount to test of the driving skill of the driver if any cars came down the road from the opposite direction.
(4) Pine tree row and pine tree road This place became popular quite recently. It was on the circuit road around the town. The road was a good road that go through a small pine forest and that was where many people came simply to take pictures of the pine forest with rows of pine tree together with the road and the car. But do be careful and don’t step onto the road when taking pictures.
(5) Royal Rose Garden This was where roses where sold in thousands to tens of thousands. It is a commercial rose farm rather than a place made for tourist attraction or a garden or a park so it is best to go there to buy roses. And then you can have a look around. It is at Sin Gaung Lay Village situated on the way to Yay Pyan Taung Waterfall.
(6) National Landmarks Garden National Landmarks Garden was just beside the National Kandawgyi Park. The garden contains scale models of well known landmarks of each States and Regions in Myanmar. A buggy can take you around the sight quickly but if the weather was fine, a leisurely walk could be enjoyable even though the walk would be a considerable distance.
(7) Htoo Orange Farm Htoo orange farm can be reached by going past Pwe Kauk Waterfall and on to Pinlane Vallage. Entrance fee was Kyat 2,000 per person. With the ticket, you can get a free fresh orange juice at the restaurant inside. You can take a ride on a tractor trailer to go around the farm and pluck oranges from the trees. The oranges you plucked from the tree were then sold to you at a price of Kyat 1,500 per kilo. So don’t get over eager and pluck more than you want.
(8) Governor’s House The Governor’s House was another place to visit. The whole house can be rented for a night but the price was quite high. The house has a small restaurant as well as an indoor swimming pool. An entrance fee is collected for visitors and photography is not permitted inside the house. Some life-like wax models that include Myanmar’s last king, King Thibaw can be seen there.
(9) Bronze Statues of Three Kings The three bronze statues of the three kings that founded first, second and third Myanmar empires, King Anawrahta, King Bayinnaung and King Alaungpaya at the entrance to Defence Services Academy was also becoming a place for visitors to the town to take photo.
(10) Clock Tower The clock tower in the heart of Pyin Oo Lwin town was known as Purcell Tower during colonial time and was built to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the reign of King George V of Britain. Most visitors took photographs there but some may not know the historical story behind the building of the clock tower.
More and more places of interest will keep on cropping up and Pyin Oo Lwin will keep on attracting visitors with both new and old places to visit. For me, I’ll be visiting it quite frequently to visit the new places and to revisit the old places.
Thiha, the Traveller Translated by Handytips