Trekking in Pindaya | Thahara
Sunrise over the Pindaya landscape

Trekking in Pindaya

One of the great pleasures of travel in Myanmar, and in Shan State especially, is trekking. Winding around hills and mountains, the roads seem always to open up new, delightful vistas. Even in hot season, cool breezes take the edge off the beating sun, while its rays dance over farms and shimmering pagodas.

Many tourists have already discovered the overnight Kalaw-to-Inle Lake route. And for the determined long-distance trekker, there are overnight paths from Kalaw to Pindaya, too. But let us tell you a little bit about one full-day walk from Pindaya town. It’s off the beaten track – among tourists, that is! – and takes you up high for a bird’s eye view of this countryside that brings to mind the fantasy lands of Dr. Seuss.

Mango orchards in Pindaya, Myanmar

You start at Shwe Bone Thar monastery. Following a footpath that villagers use to get to market, you pass through groves of bamboo, crab apple and pine trees. Exotic flowering plants are blooming (a different color in each season). You come across reservoirs, where women wash baskets of chive roots, and steep mountainside plantations, where villagers harvest and process green tea.

Finally, you reach the village of Kan Hla Kone. The local monastery offers a place to rest. It’s all a downhill stroll from here. And the best reward is still to come. A jaunt across farm fields brings you to an unusually thick jungle at the base of the hills, where mineral-blue pools are constantly replenished by bubbling springs. This is the source of the Zawgyi River. Nearby, villagers tend lush gardens of green beans, tomatoes and pumpkin. You dip your tired feet in the cool water. Or maybe you jump right in.