Myanmar Journals

Myanmar - Hidden Pindaya

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A November 2004 trip to Myanmar by Ed Hahn

Pindaya Town Side Street Photo, Myanmar, Asia More Photos
Quote: We travel the "highways" of the Shan State to get to often ignored Pindaya with its fascinating caves.

Myanmar - Hidden Pindaya

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Overview

Pindaya Town Side Street Photo, Myanmar, Asia
Quote:
Very early in the morning, we flew into Heho airport from Mandalay. Heho wins the prize as the most disorganized and chaotic airport we encountered in Myanmar. We finally were able to get things sorted out with the “help” of a number of people, some official, some not, but all of whom expected tips. We met our guide, Tutu, with car and driver and headed for Pindaya. We were told the trip would take about an hour. It actually took two hours plus a stop at Aungbahn, a most interesting market town that is about half way between Heho and Pindaya. You can read more about the trip in the accompanying review, “On the Road in Myanmar.”Pindaya, itself, is a delightful little town, nes...Read More

Conqueror Hotel

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Hotel

Conqueror Hotel Photo, Myanmar, Asia
Quote:
We enjoyed our 2-day stay here. We were both surprised, almost astounded, at the luxury of our room. Each huge room has a separate entrance and its own verandas, front and back. The rooms are huge. Ours had one king-size bed, along with an ample armoire and a serviceable shower. One of the benefits of staying here is that you are near the foot of famous Pindaya Caves and also within easy walking distance from Botoloke Lake. You can also make trekking arrangements through the front desk, although the staff's English-language skills were not highly developed. The lobby is Chinese style, which means it’s a little overdone but not too off-putting.The restaurant is OK but not gr...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 10, 2006

Conqueror Hotel
Singong Quarter
Pindaya, Myanmar
+95 (1) 4481211

Pindaya Caves

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Attraction

Pindaya Caves Photo, Pindaya, Myanmar
Quote:
Containing 8098 Buddha images (no, I didn’t count them), these ancient limestone caves are about 1 mile southwest of the town and can be reached by taking a horse-cart, motoring there by car or jeep, or just walking on foot. Except for the young and energetic, the best way is to go leisurely by horse-cart to the foot of the hills at a cost of about US$1. We went by car. Until recently, one had to ascend 200 steps up a covered stairway to get to the cave entrance. Recently the government installed an elevator, which allowed us to save our energy for exploring the huge, meandering maze made up of numerous caves. The caves are supposed to be 20 million years old, and since ancient times, they ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 22, 2006

Pindaya Caves
1 Mile Southwest Of Pindaya, Shan State
Myanmar, Pindaya

Sights in Pindaya

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Story/Tip

Pagoda Complex Photo,
Quote:
Pindaya is a small quiet town perched on the bank of the placid Botoloke Lake. It also contains at least two large monastery compounds with numerous pagodas and stupas, all in different stages of preservation or dilapidation, depending on your view of things. It is a religious center for the Palaung, Shan, Danu and Pao peoples living in the vicinity.Pam and I spent a couple of hours just wandering around. We find that, while on a tour, even a custom one such as this, we must take time for ourselves to just hang out. If we don’t, we go into “tourist attraction” overload. Also, while I value a knowledgeable guide’s input, I find I don’t retain that much unless I write it down soon ther...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 25, 2006

Tea Trader Bargaining With Local Growers Photo,
Quote:
In the hills above Pindaya there are a number of villages that are accessible only by foot. These villages are inhabited by the Palaung people, one of the 135 ethnic groups in Myanmar. In the recent past, many Palaung were in revolt against the government, but a 1991 agreement ended the uprising, if not the discontent. Some of the Palaung are still living in refugee camps in Thailand. Others have joined the Wa army and are still resisting the Military dictatorship.It is about a 2-hour hike up the hill to the first Palaung village. The road is a rutted dirt track. It might be possible to take an ATV up the hill, but I seriously doubt it. A tracked vehicle like a tank or a bul...Read More

On the Road in Myanmar

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Story/Tip

Aungbahn Market Photo,
Quote:
After flying from one place to another we were finally able to go overland from Heho to Pindaya and from Pindaya to Nyaung Shwe on the shores of Inlé Lake then back to Heho. As you might guess, traveling by road is a great way to get a sense of the country that you miss by flying or by only visiting the large cities.We were fortunate, also, to be able to stop where we wanted and take photos or just stretch. The roads in Myanmar are generally one and one-half lanes wide and not well-graded, even if paved, so one’s rear end can take a bit of a beating, too. The road along the western shore of Inlé lake is particularly bad. If you are at all subject to car sickness, you might want to medica...Read More