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Loikaw

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Loikaw is the capital of Kayah State part of Eastern Myanmar.

Understand[edit]

Clock Tower on the Highway

Get in[edit]

By Bus[edit]

From Kalaw; A seat in the mini van is around 10,000 K (March 2020) - the locals pay 5,500 K. You can probably get that price if you buy the ticket directly from the driver. As the journey starts in Kalaw, the risk that the mini van is full and you don't get a ticket on the morning of departure is probably not too high.

The mini van departs at 5 a.m., just outside Morning Star Café, from where you can also buy the ticket beforehand (which will cost you 10,000 K then).

The journey takes approximately 7 hours. The first stop is just outside Aungpan, where the van takes a 1.5 hour break, for mysterious reasons. It departs from there at 7 am. It's recommended to take the front seats for the view and to have a blanket and warm clothes as the driver may leave the door open. On the way the driver might ask if you're hungry and stop at a rice restaurant with view over south lake, but best to take a picnic as this is not guaranteed.

From Nyuangshwe (Inle Lake) Mini Van 2 times a day. Morning and midday (don't remember times, but about 8 am and 1 pm). 12000 Kyat. It takes about 6 hours and goes on Road 54 close to Kalaw, so might be possible to board the bus at the junction near Kalaw. You can find booking office for tickets at main street in Nyuangshwe (Yone Gyi St - in Google maps).

Get around[edit]

Most of the town can be covered on foot. Surrounding temples and villages are easy by bicycle if you are comfortable with traffic on busy roads. Alternatively tuktuk or taxi can be hired. Local buses travel the main road. Ticket prices are based on distance.

It is possible to rent a motorbike. Very friendly lady rents them on the other side of the road of Mingalar hotel. She also gives a lot of information with gps coordinates and also might be able to suggest a local guide for free who wants to practise English. WhatsApp +9595600125

See[edit][add listing]

Pagoda on the Limestone outcrop
  • Taung Kwe Pagoda Entry is free but use of a camera is 300K or 500K, and 1000K for a video camera. Strangely a mobile phone camera was no charge, perhaps keep it out of sight anyway if there is a double cost. At night the temple is lit like a fairground with twinkling lights. Also a good place to weather watch or star gaze on darker platforms.
  • Sunboon village Leaving town South along highway 5. At the first traffic toll gate take the left track. 50m down women can be seen sitting weaving with goods for sale. 500m further are a few wooden houses with Kayan. Older people don't understand Myanmar Burmese so an interpreter is suggested if you really want to interact properly.
  • Seven Stages Lake About an hour south of town along Hwy 5, 5 km or so east of Denoso, is a rather large white and gold pagoda. This is the turn off to Kan Kuniht Sint, or Seven Stages Lake. It's 11km up the road from hwy 5, taking one through some very scenic countryside and villages. The lake itself is actually 7 lakes, interconnected by small channels. Nestled just up against the hillside, the reflections of the surrounding mountains are majestic. Very peaceful. A taxi could be hired from Loikaw for the whole trip, or if on a budget, get the public bus to Denoso and tell the driver 'Kan Kuniht Sint'. After being let off, hire motorcycle taxis at the junction.
  • Mount Sinphyu (White Elephant Mountain), located in Hoya Village, Kayah State near Loikaw City (It takes one and haft hours drive from Loikaw and roads are a little bumpy). It's 5700 ft above sea level. Everywhere is green as far as you can see by surroundings beautiful mountains. Since it's located in rural areas you have to prepare for foodstuffs or instant food for camping. The average temperature at night is approximately 15 to 20 degree Celsius normally. It really cold and windy even in the daytime so if you have a plan for camping you have to bring jacket , sweater , socks, things that made you warm and prepare a backpack full of personal things because you have to spend a night at mountain with low temperatures.  edit
  • Kyat Cave (ကြတ်ဂူ), (10-mile away from Loikaw). 9am to 3pm. this sprawling natural limestone cave has broken wooden boxes which are believed to be coffins from many years ago. Those who like to have an excitement. this is the one they should take! The cave is one of the natural wonders of the area and can be explored using torches. Opening times is 9am to 3pm and visitors can see long coffins apparently used by rich people who insisted on being buried with their possessions. The cave is regarded as a special geological zone and the natural environment around it is protected.  edit

Pan Pet Village- It is a 2 hour journey from Loikaw.You can see long-neck women and their living style in that village.You can also try their traditional food and wine.Walking around the village was good too. Besides,there are another tribes to visit in Kayah State.

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Take a walk around the local market in the morning and spot different tribes selling their goods.
  • Cross the old wooden footbridge without tripping.
  • Walk around the lake, see the sunset in the evening.

Buy[edit][add listing]

  • Many local foods and products at the market.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Since it's Myanmar and a small town don't expect much open after 9.30pm or before 8am.

Cheap noodles 500K at a small ish shop just north from the wooden bridge on Highway 5.

Usual tea houses with fried food freshest early in the morning.

Small market with food stalls north of Shwe Thaung Monastery. Dumping stuffed with tofu and spring onions, 1200K good for two.

For the adventurous, visit the Myat Ni Lan Restaurant, north of town on Hwy 5, just past where the new airport is being built. It's nestled in between several beer stations on the west side of the road. Look for the trestled garden-like entrance as the sign (as well as the menu) is in Myanmar only. Ask a local, as its well known in Loikaw. Here you'll find lots of exotic meats like rabbit, snake, 'jungle chicken', bear and probably dog on occasion.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Now, there is a bar called Amazing which opened just a few months ago.You can enjoy different kinds of drinks and a good view.If u are lucky, u can even meet other backpackers.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Moon Inn, (From the clock tower in the north of town on Highway 5, turn West and travel past the lake. Take the 4th left turn (also the second road over the river), the Inn is on the left side set back from the road, before the bridge), 08321618. Basic and not recommended if you are a light sleeper. Single and double rooms available with shared facilities, popular with locals so suggest advanced booking. Speak English slowly and clearly. 8000K.  edit
  • Thingaha Inn, (From the clock tower on Highway 5 head south. Take the last left turn before the steel bridge over the river. The Inn is about 350m along on the right side. The sign is in Myanmar Burmese but can be recognised by a large space for car park in front.). checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. 15$ single, 25$ double basic breakfast included. Wifi and shared bathrooms, sometimes hot water. $60 ensuite room. Helpful landlady. Bicycle hire is available but bikes in poor condition.  edit
  • Kanthayar Hotel, (From the clock tower go north on Highway 5, turn left on 8th Street. Very last right on 8th, one block to hotel entrance. Very near well-known (and overpriced) Hotel Loikaw. 376 U Ni Street), 09 250244225. Brand new (opened in October 2015) and modern, quiet, friendly staff with good English skills. Fast wifi when it works (which isn't often anywhere in Kayah State). USD$30, en suite bath, big rooms, AC, fridge, big desk and lots of outlets. Breakfast included.  edit
  • Nan Ayer Inn, (From the clock tower go east until you reach the lake. Turn left the next street(on a dust road), turn left the next road.). Clean room, AC more or less working(but not necessary), en suite bathroom, breakfast eggs, toast with jam and coffe or tea, owner is friendly, organizes day trips to places around Loikaw(45000kyat) 25000 Kyat.  edit

Contact[edit]

If u want to get informations about Loikaw,u can add a friendly 16 yrs old boy called Nyan on facenbook or whatsapp.He can show u what to do in loikaw. He is really helpful,friendly and good guy. Facebook-William Nyan Linn

Whatsapp number- +959776523396

Get out[edit]

Bus[edit]

To Yangon goes to via Kalaw to Aung Mingalar station in Yangon. Cost 12800K (October 2015) to Yangon departs 12pm and 3pm. The route can be popular so best book in advance. The 3pm bus arrived at 7am in Yangon.

To Kalaw 9 am and 5 pm. Mini van. About 6 hour journey. Price 10000 Kyat (Jan 2019). Or a Mini van 10.30 (there should be more times available) going to Inle lake which can drop you of at junction near Kalaw 8000 Kyat. From Junction you can hire a moto-taxi to Kalaw for 2000 Kyat for 5 min ride.

To Inle Lake 10.30 am Mini van. 10000 Kyat.

Boat[edit]

Inle Lake you can take a local bus at 6:30 am to Pekhon (about 1 hour) for 2500 kyat. From there you can go by boat (leaves once a day at 9 am) to Nyaungshwe (Inle Lake) for 10000 kyat per person(They might ask you for more than 20000 kyat p.p, but it is just 10000 kyat). You will have to pay the Inle-Lake-Fee (12500 kyat) at the boat station. You will drive with locals and a lot of baggage to serveral villages and get a great view into the real life of Myanmar people. You will be on a longtail boat for almost 8 hours with no roof, so prepare yourself with a hat, sun protection, water and some snacks. They will make a toilet stop.

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