Andrew Montgomery

Kalaw

Kalaw (ကေလာ) was founded as a hill station by British civil servants fleeing the heat of the plains. The town still feels like a high-altitude holiday resort – the air is cool, the atmosphere is calm and the tree-lined streets still contain a smattering of colonial-era architecture – while the surrounding hills are fine for relatively easy day or overnight treks to Danu, Danaw, Palaung, Pa-O and Taung Yo villages.

One of the few destinations in Myanmar that genuinely caters for backpackers rather than tour groups, Kalaw is an easy place to kick back for a few days. The town is also notable for its significant population of Nepali Gurkhas and Indians, whose ancestors came here to build the roads and railway during the colonial era.

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These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Kalaw.

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