- The town was formally established in 1897 when a permanent military post was built here owing to its cool climate.
- Owing to its colonial history, Pyin Oo Lwin has a mix of Indian, Gurkha, Anglo-Burmese and Anglo-Indian population alongside local ethnic groups of Myanmar.
- The famous author George Orwell was stationed at Pyin Oo Lwin from 1922 to 1927.
Pyin Oo Lwin or Pyin U Lwin is a quaint hill station located about 67 kilometres east of Mandalay. It is a small town nestled in the Shan Hills, showing a strong influence of the colonial culture. It was the summer capital during British rule and has preserved its history over the years. The wooden structures and horse-driven carriages in Pyin Oo Lwin will surely take you back to old England. It is an ideal place to escape from the strong heat of Mandalay.
The history of Pyin Oo Lwin dates back to the pre-colonial period with the establishment of a military outpost near a small village between Lashio and Mandalay, in the Shan Hills. After Myanmar was taken over by the British, the town was converted into a permanent military post in 1897. It was also made the summer capital thanks to its cool weather. At that time, the town was called Maymyo after Colonel May, who was stationed here. Colonel May had served the crown remarkably during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. During this time, the town was brimming with an Anglo-Indian community. When the Japanese occupied Myanmar, many of these Anglo-Indians of Maymyo were incarcerated by the Japanese because of their loyalty to the British. Once Myanmar gained its independence, the government changed the town's name to Pyin Oo Lwin.
HOW TO GET THERE
Pyin Oo Lwin will take you back to 19th century Britain with its colonial red-coloured buildings and horse-driven carriages. However, the buildings are not like the colonial buildings of Yangon and Mandalay. They are cute brick structures that will surely win your heart. Pyin Oo Lwin is home to the historic National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens, the country’s largest botanical site established in 1915. This garden contains 514 species of indigenous trees and 74 foreign species, as well as 300 types of orchids and 25 different roses. The gardens have been modelled after the famous Kew Gardens of London. The best way to enjoy Pyin Oo Lwin is to simply take a walk and immerse yourself in the hilly atmosphere.