Grab “off the beaten track experiences” at the smallest state of Myanmar; Kayah
Myanmar is a home which has tonnes of experiences for the nature lover, adventurers, outdoor enthusiast, with its untouched beauty of Myeik Archipelago, The Royal city Mandalay, thousands of golden pagodas at World Heritage site Bagan, distinct cultures and traditions of more than 135 ethnic group and delicious tastes such as rice and curry. All of these are wonderful, However, for those who love “off the beaten track experiences”, Kayah of its least visited, the smallest and sparse populated state is the best option to explore.
Kayah State, at the eastern part of Myanmar borders Shan State to the north, Thailand’s Mae Hong in the east and Kayin State to the south. Kayah previously known as kerenni state can offer enriched experiences and distinctive tribal culture as it recently opened for new travelers and smoothly peacefully transformed by air, by road, from all around the country. The state capital is Loikaw and authentic local experiences of newly developed Community based Tourism can be more seem by driving short miles from the capital. Get a load of these listed experiences in person in the beautiful hilly Kayah state.
Taste the authentic traditional food
Locals will mention that you shouldn’t come back from Kayah state without trying famous Kayah Sausage. Here is your chance to indulge in authentic Myanmar’s traditional sausage – a variety of minced meat, chicken, pork or vegetarian seasoned with the unique and delicious ingredient “Pepper”. You can also dive into the “Kayah Sausage experience” tour that introduces you to cooking Kayah sausage with plenty of flavors and you will personally prepare, taste your own Kayah sausage with a charge of US$ 5 per person.” Try also Kayah Hin Htoke’ or “rice cake’ along with a sip of Khaung yay or millet wine at this smallest state that you’ll be craving for it again and again!
Escape the bustling street of city life for “Seven Stages Lake ” at Kayah state
To get the feeling of the wind in your hair and to enjoy picnicking with your families, there is an impressive spot, “ Seven Stages Lake” in Kayah State, which is about 40 minutes southeast of Loikaw. As the name says, the peaceful hillside nestles a series of seven interconnected green-blue lakes vary in size, joined by channels, from 11 km up the road. Also, there is a local mythical story behind the lakes that the lakes are where the seven Kinnare-Kinnara Angels from Heaven used to come to take a bath.All the seven lakes are worth venturing out for all.
Get an insight into the picturesque of Kayah beauty at Taung Kwe Pagoda
In Kayah State, the first place locals would suggest you visit is Taung Kwe Pagoda
(or separated Mountains Pagoda) built on hillocks, on top of Thiri Mingala Hill at the edge of Loikaw City.This site will charm you with its breathtaking 360 degrees views over the town ,countryside and surrounding mountains. Grab this beautiful insight and experience Kayah panoramic view during sunset to see how the last rays of sunshine disappear behind the mountains.
Combine your love of sightseeing with a visit to Demoso Market
Approximately 30 minutes’ drive away from south of Loikaw is Demoso Market. It ranks among the most popular for food-centric walking tours where shoppers can freely taste of “ Khaung- Yay”-millet wine, for its fresh produced street food, dried frogs, small dried birds and for fashionistas looking for traditional clothing items. This is a must-visit hot spot in Kayah state to encounter all tribal people Kayah, kayak, Kayan, Lisu as the vendors from surrounding local areas gathering to buy and sell local products in the market. To see these people, you need to make sure to visit from 6 to 10 am on Wednesday or Saturday which are the two official market days.
Discover the curious attraction or stunning limestone cave “ Kyat Gu”
The sprawling natural cave made of Limestone and Dolomite; Ya Sa Ku or kyet Cave, located 12 miles far from the east of Loikaw ,is Kayah most impressive cave and it is the 3rd largest cave in Myanmar. Besides being a sprawling huge cave, it offers a mysterious experience for cave explorers because of the several long wood coffins that are strangely scattered around in a various state of condition, after 200 meters along the passage. According to local legends, theses coffins used to contain skeletons placed by the tribes and the cave is where the locals used to collect bat faeces to make gun powder and fertilizer. The cave is still home for lots of bats. Bring the handheld light or torch to experience a walk through inside the dark cave and discover what Kyat Gu cave offer!
Admire the magnificent scenery of Umbrella-shaped pond
One more curious attraction, Htee-pwint-Kan or Umbrella pond in Demosoe township, 8 miles drive from Loikaw is famous for its mud bubbles up in the shape of an umbrella. According to a scientific theory, there was an old volcano and the lime and lava under the lake when they mixed with water, the vapor and the bog gathered under it. After several days the bog came out of the lake like an umbrella shape. But the locals believe that if you see umbrella shape, you are lucky as it can’t be seen every day. Admire the beauty of this unpredictable lake in the heart of giant paddy fields and heed also the charming local story of the hare, crocodile and buffalo while visiting it.
Escape to the beautiful breathtaking view of Ngwe Daung Dam
On the way to Pan Pet kayan Village, 10 miles south of Loikaw in Deemoso Township, there is a scenic man-made dam which was built in 1962. It is not only a very beautiful place encompassed by the three mountains Golden mountain, Silver mountain, ruby mountains but also it is the main dam which helps to irrigate 4,000 acres of farmland, sits between the village of Ngwe Taung and Demosoe . Become one with nature, enjoy the restful atmosphere and marvel at the breathtaking views that surround you at Ngwe Daung Dam.
Deep insights into Kayah culture at Pan Pet “Kayan Village” and Find out what makes it so unique
Pan Pet Village or abode of the world-famous long-neck ladies is one of the Community-based tourism sites in Kayah state and it is just 20 miles from the capital, Loikaw. The interesting belief that the beauty of their women lay in the bronze rings that stretched their necks like graceful swans protected from becoming slaves by making them less attractive, make them began wearing the rings since they were around five years old. The locals are very friendly and would love to share their culture, belief, stories and are happy for their photos to be taken. Saddle up and start pedaling to Pan Pet Village where local handicrafts, scarves, bracelets can be purchased, where Kayan tribe and traditional kayan musical instruments can be observed, where you can try wearing the brass coils and imitate playing their instruments and take photos with the sellers.
Enchant all your senses and experience hydropower plant at Lawpita waterfall
For the best experience, we recommend combining your “off the beaten track” trip with visiting Lawpita waterfall and hydropower plant. This one of the largest hydropower plants in Myanmar is located about 7.5 miles to the east of Loikaw and is required the approval of the relevant department allowing you to travel (through local tour operators). According to the bilateral war reparation agreement between Japan and Burma, the project was initiated in 1950 and it has three Hydropower Plant No.1, 2, 3. The most accessible and popular waterfall is located in Lawpita Hydropower Plant No. 2, where many fishes can clearly be in seen in the beautiful, blue water and tranquil viewpoint can be obtained. After enchanting all your senses, you can discover how the whirlpool turbine provides electrical energy at Hydropower Plant No.3.
Get a quick appreciation of Kayah culture and history at the Kayah State Cultural Museum
Loikaw’s Cultural Museum is a two-storied white building that displays the dressing styles, household utensils, traditional looms, traditional artefacts, silverware, weapons, paintings, and musical instruments of the nine Kayah sub-ethnic group. Also, a map of Kayah State showing localities of devilling nationals can be studied. If exploring and understanding the Kayah’s culture is more your thing, this Museum is another place to head out and observe in a short period.
Now here you get it! Be in harmony with the saying of David Kadavy, “The process of immersing, then extracting, yourself from various cultures smooths the form of yourself. It fills in the gaps where you were unaware of, and polishes off the edges where you were rough”. It is time to schedule to visit Kayah state in Myanmar , immerse yourself into Kayah culture then and there grab “off the beaten track experiences”!