Shan State

Shan State

Shan State is located to the east of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar and is well known as Shan plateau high table land. The total area is 60,155 square miles. Taunggyi is its capital and situated at 5,000 feet above sea level. Being a hill station, Taunggyi is a pleasant Summer Resort accessible by car, rail and plane from more parts of the country. It is a thriving commercial town. Shan State can be divided into two parts those are Southern and Northern. Southern Shan State cover the famous tourist destinations like Lake Inle, Kalaw, Pindaya, Taunggyi, Kyaing Tong, Nyaungshwe and the border city like Mongla (Myanmar-China) and Tachiliek (Myanmar-Thailand).

Taunggyi is situated in the southern Shan State and is the capital town of Shan State. It is 4.712 feet above sea level and has a moderate climate. It is located about 650 kilometers north of Yangon and about 250 kilometers southeast of Mandalay by car. It is situated on a high plateau surrounded by high mountains. As Taunggyi lies on a hill region, the atmosphere is conducive to good health especially by means of the salubrious mountain air. Taunggyi can be reached by road. rail or air from all parts of the country. The road to Taunggyi is full of bends and zigzags and. seen from above. Resembles a snake. One can have a good view of the surrounding area while travelling along this road. 

There are pines cherry and eucalyptus trees growing all over the town and the whole area is green and pleasant. The busiest part of Taunggyi is the Myoma Market where people from surrounding villages buy and sell their regional products. It is also the gathering point of different national races residing in Taunggyi. Another interesting place to visit in Taunggyi is the Cultural Museum where cultural objects. Musical instruments. traditional dresses, household and farm implements, paintings, sculptures, arts and crafts of the different national races residing in Shan State can be seen. There are also ‘Hawnans” (palatial residences) where the Shan Sawbwas (Shan Chieftains) used to live can also be observed. In Taunggyi, the people celebrate the Tazaungdaing festival with Kahtein (offering of monk robes) as well as releasing up fire-balloons into the sky. Balloons in the shape of various kinds of animals like elephant, bird, fish,. owl and parrot decorating with fireworks are released. The Taunggyi festival is one of the biggest festivals in the country. It is attended not only by Taunggyi Citizens but also by people from southern Shan State and many different races. Taungyi’s Kahtein tradition is amazing and worthy of reverence.

1) Kakku Pagodas

Kakku is about 33 miles from Taunggyi. It will take about 3 hours drive by car. Kakku is located in the Shan State. Kakku is in the territory of Pa-Oh people. There are over 2000 stupas packed closely together in ranks and covering an area perhaps a square kilometer. The main stupa is around 40 meters high. the mass of the spire surrounding it uniformly. But each one is an individual masterpiece. The particular remarkable about the whole site is its good state of preservation. Originally each one must have been topped by a gilded metal hti. the multi tiered umbrella-like feature which is typical of Myanmar Pagodas. Many of these are tilted on fallen. External rendering of mortar and stucco has crumbled away on others. exposing the brick core while trees have established themselves in a few. threatening to split them apart. But so much of the originals still exist that this site must be free of the destructive force of earthquakes. which have periodically ravaged many of the Myanmar’s other monuments. The legend says that the first stupas were created by King Alaungsithu. the 12th century King of Bagan. The decorative sculptures and figures are 17th or 18th century but some of the structures are clearly much older.

2) Sulamuni Pagoda

Sulamuni Pagoda is the city’s most prominent religious monument with the huge white stupa modelled on the Ananda Pagoda in Bagan; it was built in 1994 to commemorate Taunggyi’s centenary.

3) Mya Sein Taung Pagoda

On the hill to the northeast of Taunggyi, the Mya Sein Taung Pagoda came into life in 1962. It has the stupas of 8m high, and the Buddha bronze statue of 3m high. As the hill is 1524m above sea level, the visitor can enjoy the beautiful Taunggyi City from this spot.

4) Shwe Phone Pwint Pagoda

Panoramic views of the entire city, and further across the plains to the north of Inle Lake, can be found at the Shwe Phone Pwint Pagoda, which sits at the top of a ridge to the east of Taunggyi.

5) Montawa Cave

Montawa Guh is the longest known cave in Myanmar. It is situated in the Taunggyi area of Shan state. The entrance is a temple, but beyond this is a ‘wild’ cave. The cave is on 2 levels, connected by short pitches. The upper level is an extensive fossil passage. Below this is a river passage. The downstream passage ends in a sump. Note there can be high levels of CO2 in the upstream river passage. The cave is 1770 m long.

6) Hten San Cave

Hten San Cave is located 26 miles (42km) from Taunggyi, the capital city of Shan State; and 10 miles (16km) from Hopone city. It is a natural limestone cave at 1800 meter above sea level. The visitors see the impressive and vast limestone cave system named Hten San. The natural attraction has an elevation of 1800 m. The system protects the massive and age-old stalactites and stalagmites. The natural beauty in this highlight is fascinating while some Buddhist tributes are gaudy.

7) Padalin Cave

Padah-lin Cave is an important archaeological site west of the Shan Plateau. It is in the Taunggyi district, which is the capital of the Southern Shan State. The paintings were only discovered by geologist U Khin Maung Kyaw in 1960. The first archaeological studies of caves in the Shan State were made during the 1937-1938 “American South-East Asiatic Expedition for Early Man” (De Terra & Movius 1938?, & Thaw 1969). As these caves only revealed finds of Neolithic culture, they were not further excavated at the time as the team was interested in older Palaeolithic remains. After Kyaw found the rock paintings, the Government organized research teams to explore Padah-Lin in January 1969. Padah-Lin consists of one main cave, and a nearby rock shelter where the paintings are. The rock shelter is more interesting from an archaeological point of view. Archaeological excavations revealed (Palaeolithic to early Neolithic) stone tools, as well as mammalian bones, mollusc shells and charcoal. The pebble tools are crude and many are unfinished. However due to the large numbers it is thought that the rock shelter was a tool making workshop as well as a place for habitation. The paintings are done in ochre and show human hands as well as animals such as deer, bull, bison, elephant and fish. Ochre was found in the excavations. The paintings have deteriorated by weathering and deposition of calcium carbonate. The paintings have been confirmed as Neolithic.

8) Mukayong Village

This peaceful village lies between Taunggyi and Ho Pone. While the traditional local houses are inspiring, the natural springs are ideal for relaxing and photographing. Also, the natural springs enable the locals to grow vegetables all year round, creating the evergreen and fresh atmosphere. What’s more, Ho Pone pond is a beautiful spot for sightseeing. Moving further, you might arrive at Ho Pone ancient town where the Shan and Pa-O ethnic people have lived for ages.

Nyaung Shwe is located in Taunggyi District in the Shan State of Myanmar. Inle Lake, a popular tourist site and an inland freshwater lake, is in the south of Nyaungshwe Town. Part of Inle Lake Wetland Sanctuary lies in Nyaungshwe, Pinlaung and Pekon Township. Nyaung Shwe can be reached via Shwe Nyaung from Yangon, Mandalay, Taunggyi by car, bus or flight. This town is the main transfer port to Inle Lake by ferry boats.

1) Yadana Man Aung Su Taung Pyay Pagoda

It lies on the route of the royal barge in Nyaung Shwe. Shan State (south) as one of the 84000 pagodas built by King Thiri Dhamma Thawka. It was renovated in Sakarit 721 by the Saopha of Hissing as he built Nyaung Shwe. It was further renovated by successive kings. finally by King Mindon’s son. Saopha Sao Maung in the present name of Yadana Man Aung. In 1274, there was a big earthquake that felled the pagoda. It was renovated by Sao Maung himself to a height of 70 cubits and 160 cubits in girth that it has today as a pagoda encased in glass and golden structure. In the tazaungs. there is Yadana Man Aung image with genuine relics. consecrated with a great deal of gold in the east Lokawidhu Yadana Qushaung Image in the south. Yadana Tazaung with the hands placed together in the west and Buddha image with one hand turned upward and one hand turned down flanked by eight Arahantas in the north. In the tazaungs. Buddha images were there to represent 32 Buddha from Tahningara to Gautama.

2) Shwe Yan Pyay Pagoda and Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery

Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery is just a short walk north of the town and is well-known by photographers for its unique oval-shape windows which serve as eye-catching frames when novice monks stand to look out. The monastery has a beautifully carved, gilded ceiling. The red painted, teak-wood building is an interesting architectural structure on its own. It’s over 150 years old and sits on sturdy stilts. Inside are mosaics, mirrors and ornate carvings, some gilded with gold. Next to the monastery you can find a small temple with hundreds of little Buddha statues. This devoted area is certainly worth a visit.

3) Nyaung Shwe Museum (or ) Hawnan

The Museum of Shan Sawbwa is a history museum dedicated to the former Shan Chief of Yawnghwe “Sao SHwe Thaike”, as well as to other rulers of Shan states. It is located in Nandawun Ward, Nyaung Shwe, Shan State in Myanmar. It displays costumes of Shan Sawbwa, their utensils and furniture, religious material, manuscripts, lacquer-wares, as well as historical records of Shan States.

Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar. It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles (116 km2), and one of the highest at an elevation of 2,900 feet (880 m). During the dry season, the average water depth is 7 feet (2.1 m), with the deepest point being 12 feet (3.7 m), but during the rainy season this can increase by 5 feet (1.5 m). The watershed area for the lake lies to a large extent to the north and west of the lake. The lake drains through the Nam Pilu or Balu Chaung on its southern end. There is also a hot spring on its northwestern shore. Although the lake is not large, it contains a number of endemic species. Over twenty species of snails and nine species of fish are found nowhere else in the world. Some of these, like the silver-blue scaleless Sawbwa barb, the crossbanded dwarf danio, and the Lake Inle danio, are of minor commercial importance for the aquarium trade. It hosts approximately 20,000 brown and black head migratory seagulls in November, December and January. In June 2015, it became Myanmar’s first designated place of World Network of Biosphere Reserves. It was one of 20 places added at the UNESCO’s 27th Man and the Biosphere (MAB) International Coordinating Council (ICC) meeting. The people of Inle Lake (called Intha), some 70,000 of them, live in four cities bordering the lake, in numerous small villages along the lake’s shores, and on the lake itself. The entire lake area is in Nyaung Shwe township. The population consists predominantly of Intha, with a mix of other Shan, Taungyo, Pa-O (Taungthu), Danu, Kayah, Danaw and Bamar ethnicities. Most are devout Buddhists, and live in simple houses of wood and woven bamboo on stilts; they are largely self-sufficient farmers. Transportation on the lake is traditionally by small boats, or by somewhat larger boats fitted with single cylinder inboard diesel engines. Local fishermen are known for practicing a distinctive rowing style which involves standing at the stern on one leg and wrapping the other leg around the oar.  Inle Lake is a major tourist attraction, and this has led to some development of tourist infrastructure.

1) Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda

Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda is a notable Buddhist site in Myanmar, located on Inle Lake in Shan State. Surrounding the Pagoda, and in the basement are shops selling traditional Shan and Burmese merchandise. The pagoda houses five small gilded images of Buddha, which have been covered in gold leaf to the point that their original forms cannot be seen. The gold-leaf application to such excess is relatively recent. Old photographs hanging on the monastery walls show some of the images in a more pristine form. The images are of differing sizes, range from about nine to eighteen inches tall. Being essentially solid gold, the images are extremely heavy. It is believed that the Buddha images were brought to Inlay Lake by King Alaungsithu. Annually, during the Burmese month of Thadingyut (from September to October), an 18-day pagoda festival is held, during which four of the Buddha images are placed on a replica of a royal barge designed as a hintha bird and taken throughout Inle Lake. The barge is towed from village to village along the shores of the lake in clockwise fashion, and the four images reside at the main monastery in each village for the night.

2) Nga Phe Chaung Monastery

Nga Phe Chaung Monastery is located in Inle Lake. on the way to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. This is an attractive wooden monastery built on stilts over the lake at the end of the 1850s. Aside from its collection of Buddhas the monastery may be of interest to visit because its monks have taught a few of the many cats living with them to jump through hoops. 25 minutes boat ride to visit and ancient monastery built on huge pieces of teak wood with traditional architecture and see the popular jumping cats leap through the hoops. The monastery is also known for a collection of old Myanmar’s Buddha images from different areas that are worth seeing. Nga Phe Chaung is the biggest and oldest monastery on the Inle Lake and is worth visiting for its historical purposes and architecture as well as its cats.

3) Alodaw Pauk Pagoda

It lies in Nampan Village, Nyaung Shwe Township, southern Shan State. It was one of the 84000 pagodas built by Thiri Dhamma Thawka the famous king. It was then known as Innphaya Pagoda. King Anawrahta eventually arrived in Inlay and had to rebuild the pagoda as it was left only as the foot of the original pagoda. He consecrated eight more relics of Buddha there. When King Alaungsithu visited the place. he saw the Alodaw Pauk Pagoda. He made a vow on the jewelled bowl turned down and in the bowl came the relics of Buddha. So King Alaungsithu rebuild the pagoda enshrining the jewelled bowl, a stone obtained from the clouds,  a stone obtained from the ivories. a pearl worth a hundred thousand. and all sorts of jewellery. four gold statues and seven silver statues. It was named Yadana Pagoda or Down-turned Bowl Pagoda. King Narapatisithu rebuild enshrining eight gold statues. 15 silver statues. and seven pyis of jewels. It was then name Alodaw Pauk Pagoda. Some said the king had said it would be named Alodaw Pauk Pagoda. Others say a Bagan king Saw Mon Nit gilded the pagoda from base to top and named it Alodaw Pauk Pagoda. Be as it may. the pagoda has been renovated by successive kings and so appears resplendent today.

4) Shwe Inn Thein Pagoda

The Shwe Indein Pagoda is a group of Buddhist pagodas in the village of Indein, near Ywama and Inle Lake in Shan State, Myanmar. The pagodas were commissioned during the reign of King Narapatisithu. However, tradition holds that they were built by King Ashoka (known in Burmese as Dhammasoka and renewed by King Anawrahta. However, there is no archaeological evidence to support this theory.

5) Ywama Village

Ywama Village is located in Inle lake. It is the largest village on the Inle Lake. The streets of the village are like webs of canal. There are some beautiful teak houses built on large wooden poles driven into the Lake bed. The main activity and attraction is at the floating market in the largest canal. It is to the North West of our hotel. Travelling to Ywama Village will take 15 minutes by boat. The magnificent floating market is renowned. You can visit the goldsmith workshops. observe the sculpture and umbrella industries.

6) Mine Thauk Market

Usually the Mint Thauk Market is open after every 5 days. A large and bustling market where one can find a real local atmosphere with a variety of produce from the lake. Other places of interest near the market in the lake are Paya Pauk Pagoda. Zakah Village and Nga Phe Chaung monastery. Accessible by ferry boats in Inle.

Shwe Nyaung is located in southern Shan state of Myanmar. It is near Taunggyi (12 miles ) and also Nyaung Shwe ( 7 miles). For the visitors who want to go by train, there is a railway station at Shwe Nyaung from Thar Si.

Kalaw is a hill town in the Shan State of Myanmar It is located in Kalaw Township in Taunggyi District. The town was popular with the British during colonial rule. The hill station is located at an elevation of 1320 metres, 50 km from the Inle lake. Kalaw stands high on the western edge of the Shan Plateau. It is 70 km west of Taunggyi. about halfway along the Thazi-Taunggyi road. This was a popular hill station in the British days and it is still a peaceful and quiet place. At an altitude of 1320 m it is also pleasantly cool and a good place for hiking amid gnarled pines, bamboo groves and rugged mountain scene. As this small-town offers cool temperatures and it sits at 1.300 meters elevation, there are plenty of trekking opportunities. The population is a mix of Shan. Indian Muslims. Bamars and Nepalis (Gurkhas retired from British military service). If traveling by car. it’s about two hours west of Nyaungshwe on the western edge of the Shan hills. Some places of interest are Thein Taung Pagoda, Aung Chan Tha Pagoda, Su Taung Pyae Pagoda and the King Church. The visitors can do Shopping around for a trek, Walking toward temples & churches, Meeting tribes at the colorful every-5-days market, taking the stairs to a temple & a good view of the village, Walking up the hill for an even better panorama and a pleasant 1.5 hours trip, Tasting strawberry lassi, Feeding birds, breathing fresh air filled with pine trees smell,  while on trek visiting coffee, tea or cigar leaves plantations or see elephants at work.

1) Nee Paya (Bamboo strip lacquer Buddha Image)

This Buddha Image is in Pinmagon Monastery of Pinmagon Village, Kalaw Township, South of Shan State. It was estimated to have been established in First Inn-wa Period over 500 years ago. The donors were hard to ascertain and there were no records but its head was sharp upright. Its ears were not touching the shoulders and the nether garment was covered for the whole of its lower parts. So it was believed to be historic. It is eight feet four inches high. It is noted for its longevity. It is believed that it has the power of fire prevention and wish-granting powers. Occasionally radiation seemed to come from the pagoda at the front of image. The image is now lacquered and gilded all the way.

Pindaya is a town in the Shan State of Myanmar. It is located in the west of the state in Pindaya Township in Taunggyi District. Mainly famous for its limestone caves called Pindaya Caves where thousands of Buddha images have been consecrated for worship over the centuries, it is also one of the towns that host an itinerant market every fifth day. Pindaya is a small quiet town perched on the bank of the placid Botoloke Lake. The Pindaya cave containing thousands of Buddha images is the main destination in this region. Pindaya cave is a huge cavern where hundreds and thousands of Buddha images in various size and shape are installed since the 11th century. The winding galleries and nooks and corners are ideal places of insight meditation since the olden days. Huge monastery compounds with numerous pagodas and temples in different stages of dilapidation are much respected by such ethnic groups as the Shans. Danus and Paos lives in the environment of Pindaya. The caves are supposed to be 200.00 million years old and since ancient times they have been places of worship and veneration with 8.094 Buddha images made from various materials like teak wood. At the entrance to the main cave there is a pagoda 50 feet in height. This pagoda is called Shwe U-min Hpaya or the Golden Cave pagoda. The tazaung or prayer hall was built by the famous hermit U Khanti who also built many of the religious edifices on Mandalay Hill. The entire length of the cave is 490 feet. The numerous stalactites and stalagmites in these limestone caves. from fanciful shapes and have given rise to such names as the “Fairy Princess Loom”. “Posts for tying horses and elephants” and so on. Some of the smaller caves used meditation chambers are accessible only if you crawl on your knees and elbows. Visitors should plan to stay for one or two nights in Pindaya to explore the natural beauties all around; the tranquil lake. the limestone caves. the ancient pagodas and images and the lovely old trees.

Kyaing Tong is the capital of Eastern Shan State in the famous Golden Triangle Region where Myanmar, Thai and Laos territories meet. It can be accessible by flight from either Yangon or Mandalay or Heho. It lies in the valley between the high misty mountains of the Shan Plateau bordered by the Mekong and Thanlwin Rivers. It is one of settlement of 35 different Shan ethnic groups mostly found – Gon Shan, Ang, Akha, Lisu, Wa and Lahu. Kyaing Tong means “Walled City of Tung”. The original city walls and gates can still be seen today. Kyaing Tong is a pretty town with winding streets that go up and down the small hillocks on which it rests. Lone Tree on top of the Soon Mun Hill at the outskirt of the city stands alone on the hill. Naung Tong Lake lies in the centre of the city- a pretty spot to stroll around by it. The market is a good place to hang out in the morning; tribal people in the area come to shop and sell. The wooden monasteries – Wat Zom Khun and Wat In are excellent ones of which architectural style closer to Laotian and Thai temples. The traditional Shan artwork by now is only seen at U Mu Ling Ta’s lacquer ware shop. The ethnic tribes had preserved their ancient customs and traditions as well as their unique and colorful dresses up to now. Most women in the villages embroider the Akha designs on rectangular pieces of black cloth. Eco-tourism activities can be done there such as trekking, bird watching, mountain biking tours. The Lwei Mwe village near Kyaing Tong is a former British hill station during the colonial period and ideal place to visit. From 1243 A.D, to the last Sawbwa (the Chieftain) reigned there were altogether 45 Saw was. Although there are many ethnic majorities living in this area having faith in different religions, Buddhism is the main religion of this area. There are regular flights from Yangon to Kyaing Tong. Tachileik is also a border crossing point through which visitors from Thailand with border pass can come to Myanmar. Two interesting places of Loimwe and Mongla can also be accessible by car from Kyaing Tong. Loimwe, 38 km to the east from Kyaing Tong, was the seat of the British District Commissioner during the colonial period. This ‘hill station’ features a number of old colonial buildings and a century-old Catholic church. The main attraction is the scenery on the ascent to Loimwe, as you pass through forests, terraced rice fields and past a lake.

Tachileik is a border town in the Shan State of eastern Myanmar. Tachileik was a border crossing used in the opium trade from the Golden Triangle. The Friendship Bridge across the small Mae Sai stream links Tachileik with the northern Thai border town of Mae Sai. The area is currently being developed for tourism and cross-border trade with Laos, Thailand and China. A visitor can go direct from Yangon to Tachileik by plane. There is a ferry-landing site at Wanpon port on the Mekong River at the Myanmar – Laos border, 29 km from Tachileik. The port also handles goods shipments to and from Thailand and China. There are a number of exciting things to do and to explore the exhaustive list of all other local attractions in Tachileik from historical sites to cultural attractions. Tachileik sits on the banks of the Mekong River across from Mai Sai in Thailand. It is a cross border town. A one-and-half hour away from Tachileik we arrive at Mai Pong, where we can enjoy a boat tour of Mekong River.

1) Sop Ruak

The Sop Ruak scenic spot is a part of the Golden Triangle. The landscape here is divided by the Ruak River that flows into the Mekong River. They give rise to a triangular delta formation between the three countries of Laos, Myanmar and Thailand. Sop ruak is at the centre of this Golden triangle as it is called and was also the centre of the Opium trade that happened decades ago. The two Opium museums that cover the history of the opium trade, its effects and the CIA’s involvement in great detail, are a short distance from here and can be reached through boats. The spot itself offers a wonderful view of all 3 countries.

Lashio is the largest town in northern Shan State, Myanmar, about 200 kilometres (120 mi) north-east of Mandalay. It is situated on a low mountain spur overlooking the valley of the Nam Yao river. Loi Leng, the highest mountain of the Shan Hills, is located 45 km (28 mi) to the south-east of Lashio. Lashio is the administrative center of Lashio Township and Lashio District before April 2010. It was also the administrative center of Shan State (North). The British colonial period in this part of the country began in 1887, and the Myanmar Railways line from Mandalay reached Lashio in 1903. Before British rule Lashio was also the centre of authority for the northern Shan States and the Lashio valley was formerly very populous. In 1900, the town of Lashio consisted of the European station. Lashio was famous in World War II as the starting point of the Myanmar Road Capital of the northern Shan State, major settlement is Shan and Chinese being bordering with Yunnan province of China. The famous Myanmar Road built by the British before the War, interests with Ledo Road leading into the Yunnan province. The highlight point in Lashio is to enjoy the most spectaculars scenic views of the Shan plateau traveling one way by winding road with elbow crossing hilly drive and the other way by train with twisting and turning hilly trek. Crossing over historic Gokteik Bridge is a fascinating journey to Lashio. It is also a trade center and the terminus of the railroad line from Mandalay.

1) Gokteik Bridge

The Gokteik viaduct is a railway trestle in Nawnghkio, western Shan State, Myanmar. The bridge is between the two towns of Pyin Oo Lwin, the summer capital of the former British colonial administrators of Burma, and Lashio, the principal town of northern Shan State. It is the highest bridge in Myanmar and when it was completed, the largest railway trestle in the world. The bridge is located approximately 100 km northeast of Mandalay. The bridge was constructed in 1899 and completed in 1900 by Pennsylvania and Maryland Bridge Construction. The components were made by the Pennsylvania Steel Company, and the parts were shipped from the United States. The rail line was constructed as a way for the British Empire to expand their influence in the region.

Hsipaw is the principal town of Hsipaw Township in Shan State, Myanmar on the banks of the Duthawadi River. It is 200 km (124 mi) north-east of Mandalay. Hsipaw State was perhaps one of the most well known and powerful saopha Shan States. According to the biography of Sao Nang Hearn Hkam (the chief wife, Madhidevi of Sao Shwe Thaik, the first president of Myanmar and another saopha of Hsenwi), Hsipaw, along with Kengtung and Yawnghwe were the wealthiest and most powerful saopha states in Shan State. The Saophas played fluctuating roles in regional Shan and national Burmese politics from the 11th century all the way until the 1962. Hsipaw is famous for the Bowgoy Pagoda, situated in Bowgoy Village about 6 miles from Hsipaw. The Central Market at Hsipaw is one of the best markets to visit in all of Myanmar. Shans, Kachins, and other tribes came here to trade regularly. The chief river is the Nam Tu or Myit-ngè, also frequently called by its classical name the Dôktawadi.

1) Bawgyo Pagoda

The Bawgyo Pagoda in Hsipaw is a Shan-style Paya (Ceti) from the 12th century. It is ancient monument reputed to be more than 2000 years old. Legend has it that a celestial being gave the 11th century King Nara-Pati-sithu (1174-1211 A.D.) of the Bagan Dynasty a piece of wood, out of which he carved four Buddha images. He built Bawgyo Pagoda to house the images for people to worship. The rest of the wood, which was implanted in the courtyard of the pagoda, grew miraculously into a tree that still flourishes today and is considered sacred. The four sacred images are locked up in the inner section of the pagoda and they are brought out to display, only once a year, to enable the faithful to worship and gild with gold leaves at the festival time. The sacred images are said to always grant the wishes of the faithful. For many years in the past, the golden images used to be housed in the Hsipaw Haw to deter robbers. Every March, they would be taken from the haw to the pagoda in a grand ceremonial procession that included a parade of elephants. It is located 17 miles from Kyaukme, 5 miles to Hsipaw and it is the most revered pagoda in the Northern Shan State.

Kyaukme is a town in northern Shan State of Burma. It is situated on the Mandalay – Lashio road, after Pyin Oo Lwin and Nawnghkio, and before Hsipaw, on what is now the Mandalay – Muse road, part of the Asian Highway route 14 (AH14). It is also connected to Momeik (Mongmit) in the Shweli River valley and Mogok with its ruby mines. Kyaukme can be reached by train on the Mandalay-Lashio railway line.

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