Travel Myanmar | Pyin Oo Lwin
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Fascinating Facts

  • 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.

Fascinating Facts

  • 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

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.

History

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.

History

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

By Taxi

Pyin Oo Lwin can be easily reached by cab. Shared taxis are available from Mandalay, which cost between 5,000 Kyats and 10,000 Kyats. Private taxis will cost around 30,000 Kyats. Taxis are also available from Hsipaw. Shared taxis from Hsipaw will cost around 10,000 Kyats.

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By Bus

You can reach Pyin Oo Lwin by bus from Yangon, Hsipaw, Inle Lake and Mandalay. Overnight buses usually run from Yangon. The buses from Hsipaw are quite crowded, hence ensure to book your ticket earlier. Overnight buses from Nyaung Shwe at Inle Lake leave at around 7 PM and travel via Mandalay.

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By Train

Pyin Oo Lwin is well-connected to Mandalay, Hsipaw and Lashio by train. Train travel is also the cheapest way to reach Pyin Oo Lwin. Trains from Mandalay leave at 4.00 AM and 8.09 AM and pass through hairpin bends and steep ascent, making it the most interesting way to reach Pyin Oo Lwin. There are two daily trains from Lashio at 5.30 AM and 8.34 AM, which pass through the Gokteik Viaduct before reaching Pyin Oo Lwin. This route is definitely a must-ride route.

Top Attractions

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.

Things To Do

TAKE A RIDE ON A HORSE CARRIAGE

In the city centre, you will see old-fashioned horse-driven carriages painted in bright pinks, reds, purples and greens. Hop on and enjoy a ride. This is the best way to see the town. And it’s fun too!

HIKE
TO VILLAGES

Love hiking? You will get plenty of opportunities to do so at Pyin Oo Lwin. The hills are home to several villages inhabited by the ethnic groups of Myanmar. Hike to these villages and meet the locals. The people are very friendly and would love to have you among them.

ENJOY THE WATERFALLS

The hills around Pyin Oo Lwin are home to several waterfalls. You can hike to see them or simply hire a cab to go there. The most remarkable among them is Dat Taw Gyaint Waterfall, located to the southwest of the town. The waterfall has a crystal clear pool where you can enjoy a swim.

RIDE THROUGH GOKTEIK VIADUCT

Built during the colonial era, this bridge falls in the train route from Mandalay to Lashio. The bridge is stunning, rising up to 102 metres above ground. Head to the railway station and take a ride to Hsipaw – the journey will take around 4 hours. You can take a bus back to Pyin Oo Lwin from Hsipaw.

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