Favourite British hill station has a lot more things to offer that one would think. Pyin Oo Lwin is one of Thahara’s favourite destinations and we took the opportunity to explore more of its hidden treasures for you. Cooler temperatures make this place ideal to visit for most of the year and surrounding farms offer fresh-off-the ground experience.
A little-known fact to outsiders, but Myanmar has a lot of natural waterfalls and even hot springs, usually hidden in the mountains and known by locals only. Some waterfalls have been turned into water entertainment parks, but many are still well-kept secrets that take some effort to find. Pyin Oo Lwin is surrounded by mountains and thus amazing waterfalls. We discovered a blue-water waterfall with a pool perfect for a lazy afternoon swim surrounded by forest.
If you ever ask at any market in Yangon where the local produce comes from, the answer will likely be: Shan State. It’s the most fertile land in Myanmar and a lot of local produce if grown here. Farmers in Pyin Oo Lwin grow seasonal produce year-round: strawberries, avocados, oranges, dragon fruit, passion fruit. It is worthwhile to go explore farms surrounding Pyin Oo Lwin and you can pick your own fruit or talk to the farmers themselves.
Roses for the Lady
The nearby Royal Rose Garden is famous for growing roses of all kind of colours, shapes, sizes and all of them with soft fragrance. People come here from surrounding cities, as well as from Mandalay and Yangon and even Myanmar’s leaders buy fresh roses here; Aung San Suu Kyi herself visited the garden at least twice, as one of the garden’s caretakers told us. The garden is expanding every year, the climate does good to the flowers – no wonder that Pyin Oo Lwin was previously called May Myo, which means ‘flower city’.
Tasting the flavours at the night market
People of different religion and culture have lived in Pyin Oo Lwin for generations. Hindus, Muslims, Burmese, Shan, Chinese are among the biggest ones ensuring the variety of food options available in the city. There’s no better place to try local food than at the night market, bustling with sounds, smells and talkative market sellers. These days, the city is expanding as more people are building their summer residences to escape the heat of lowlands, so we can expect some more interesting fusion cuisines!
Getting off the beaten path is easier on a bicycle, which allowed us to cycle through farms, forests, around nearby villages and abandoned houses, meeting friendly locals on the way. If you’d like to arrange a true off-road adventure exploring the surroundings with us, get in touch, we’d love to share our secrets with you.