By Kayan Beauty
ayah State is the smallest one of Myanmar’s 14 states and regions, but has an amazing variety of landscapes due to its geographical location. And also, remains one of the least-visited areas in Myanmar.
Situated in eastern Myanmar, it is bounded on the north by Shan State, on the east by Thailand's Mae Hong Son Province, and on the south and west by Kayin State. The relief of Kayah State is mountainous with the Dawna Range and the Karen Hills. The area is 11,731 km2.
Who lived ?
9 Ethnic groups ( Kayah, Mo Nu, Gay Par, Yinnatale, Yin Baw, Kayan Padaung, Kayan-Lahta, Kayan Gay Kho and Kayaw ) are as native to Kayah State. In addition, Shan, Intha, Bamar and some minor races live in the north and Pa-O in surrounding hills.
Loikaw is the capital of Kayah State and this is one of the gateways to the untouched gems of Kayah. The city is just above an embayment on the Belu River and it make more attractive and beauty. Especially, the city is neat and tidy and won “ASEAN Clean City Award” in 2019.
Getting to Loikaw…
Loikaw is 11 hour drive away from Yangon. Or if you are thinking of flying, it will take only 50 mins. From Mandalay, it will take 8 hours driving time. 5 hours from NayPyiTaw and only 3 hours will take from Taunggyi.
Where to visit around Loikaw?
Taung Kwe Pagoda is the main religious landmark in Loikaw. You can enjoy excellent views of the town, the surrounding countryside. Sunset is the best time to spend there.
Haw Nan ( Thiri Mingalar Monastery ), was established in 1921 to serves as a palace for Kayah princes – known as Sao Pha until 1959. The place will let you know about of Kayah Royal Family affairs.
Christ the King Church, constructed by Roman Catholic missionaries in 1939, is equipped with a bell brought over from Italy. In an adjacent newly constructed building, mass is still held there in Burmese, English, Kayan and Latin languages. This church is the one to visit without fail because very first built church at Loikaw.
And also you can visit to MyoNan Pagoda, NaungYar Lake, HteeSeKhar water fall, Kyut Cave and LawPita Hydropower Plants & water fall, as well.
For the one who love to visit to ethnics group…
There are 4 CBT Project villages in Kayah State and start opened since 2016.
And also, won “ASEAN Tourism Standard Award” by ASEAN CBT for 2017-19.
Let’s visit and listen all about of their tradition, history, stories, etc…
HtaNeeLarLeh CBT village ( The Kayah tribe )
This village is 45 mins drive away from Loikaw. It’s a farming village displaying traditional animist shrines, totem poles and Kaetoebu village hall. Totem Festival is held in every April. Walking around the village, you can learn their daily life style. I am quite sure you will be amaze and surprise when you hear their traditional song by playing bamboo instrument. Feel it!
PanPet CBT village ( The Kayan tribe )
Panpet village is home to Kayan Padaung ethnic group. 25 miles outside of Loikaw. The village is 1.5 hours journey, there offers opportunities for scenic hikes and chances to meet the local villagers. Traditionally, most of the women placed brass coils around their neck from a young age. They are so friendly, happy and attractive. Seeing is beliving!
HteKho CBT village ( The Kayaw tribe )
This village is 42 miles away from Loikaw and it will take 2.5 hours. On the way to the village, you will definitely love with beautiful landscapes and breathtaking views because of mountain road. Generally, their villages built on the top and slope of the mountain. You will surely notice that most of the women wear traditional clothes, have leg rings, circular earrings, and elaborate necklaces.
DawTaMaGyi CBT village ( The Kayah tribe )
This village is the same ethnic group as HtaNeeLarLe village. 3 hours driving time from Loikaw. If you go visit there, you will get special chances to learn about “Phoe Dee Gree” and “Conferences for Women Right”. You will be satisfied with interesting story and make you amaze with their traditional law for women, especially responsibilities of martial affairs.
If you have been daydreaming of unplugging from your daily grind and reconnecting with the natural wonders, here are some of our favorite mountain destinations in Kayah State.
If you feel like hiking why don”t you visit to LoiNanHpa Mountain, only 45 mins drive away from Loikaw. It will take about 3 hours to reach top of the mountain. At the peak of the mountain, both pagoda and crucifix are standing together peacefully. Its high is over 5000 feet above sea level and highest mountain around Loikaw. It is also one of the most amazing and iconic sight in Kayah State.
SinPhyuTaung ( White Elephant Mountain ) is getting popular these day.
Local people so called “Little Newzeland” because of its pleasant views and weather. It will take 2 hour drive away from Loikaw.
KhuPra Hill (ShweTaungTan) - Newly untouched virgin land. It is located near border line of Kayah and Shan State. Non-deteriorated natural environment make more attractive to the visitors. It may take 2.5 hour driving time. At the top of the hill provides spectacular views and surrounded mountain ranges make you feel as paradise. KhuPra is a perfect place for camping and picnic trip with your friends and families.
As I mentioned before, Kayah is the smallest State in Myanmar, but the place is dense with pristine nature, ethnic tribal beauty and many off the beaten track experiences. Except above destinations, a lot of new untouched destinations out there such as Prunu River Cave, Red River Cave, YwarThit Waterfall & Monastery, SharTaw Hot Spring, EiSant Lisu tribe village,etc…
You are always welcome to undiscovered land!!!