Getting there & away
Many buses pass through Kalaw (heading towards Bagan, Yangon, Mandalay and Taunggyi), so it may be easier to stop here first, then leave the region from Inle Lake or Taunggyi to the east. Guesthouses can help with bus tickets, as can the general store next to the main bus stop in town.
Yangon-bound buses from Taunggyi pass by in the evening (K11, 000, about 15 hours). It’s also possible to board a bus to Bagan (K9000) or Mandalay (K8000). A bus to Shwenyaung (the Inle Lake junction) costs K4000 and takes three hours. A taxi to Meiktila is about US$35.
There are also slow train services to Thazi (ordinary/upper class US$3/5), Heho (US$2/3) and Shwenyaung (US$2/3).
Kalaw is about the same distance from Heho Airport as Nyaungshwe, so it is possible to get in or out by air. However, it is harder to find people to share with for Kalaw, as most flight passengers are heading to Inle Lake. Consider negotiating to Heho village and boarding a pick-up to Kalaw (K5000) from there.