A busy highway town, Taungoo (ေတာင္ငူ; also spelled Toungoo) is a popular overnight stop for both tourists and truckers. Sporting several interesting temples, a lively central market and a pretty lake, it has more places of interest than any other town on the Yangon–Mandalay Hwy, but then there's not a lot of competition. A great guesthouse on the town’s outskirts makes it easy to stay an extra day, and can also be used as a base for visiting elephant camps in the hills to the west.
The Karen hills to the east are famed for their vegetables and coffee. The area is also known for its numerous areca (betel) palms. In Myanmar, when someone receives unexpected good fortune, they are likened to a betel-lover receiving a paid trip to Taungoo.
A dry-weather road continues east all the way to Loikaw, though it's a rough and slow journey.