Headed for the hills in Pyin oo Lwin

Trip Start Apr 18, 2012
Trip End Jun 12, 2012

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Flag of Myanmar  , Mandalay Region,
Sunday, April 29, 2012

We escaped the heat of Mandalay in the hills of Pyin oo Lwin, a former British hill station and a current vacation destination for well-off Burmese. Lonely Planet warned that it can be hard to avoid government-owned hotels and attractions in Pyin oo Lwin, and we found this to be accurate. It was so strange to go from dusty Mandalay, where 99% of the cars are white corollas from 1980, to a place that had a Hummer parked on the street. Weird.

Though parts of Pyin oo Lwin felt creepy and crony-ish, the little "downdown" had an interesting mix of colonial architecture and typical Burmese open-front stalls. Plus, it felt great to be somewhere cooler than Mandalay.

On our first day, we wandered through the local botanical gardens, which was beautiful. There were gorgeous paths, rolling lawns and a fun outdoor concert featuring Burmese remakes of Nickleback songs (much to the dismay of a certain Canadian). It was like the arboretum in JP, but with less of a patchouli oder.* As noted in my last blog post and as has become expected, many a' Burmese family plopped their children next to us for a "good luck" photo (see pic).

On our second day, we hiked (schlepped) to a gorgeous waterfall, which Kyla has agreed to describe in her second guest post. I'm sure it won't surprise you that Kyla is in charge of outdoor-activity related posts.

*observation copyrighted to Kyla Spence.
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