Pyin Oo Lwin - May Myo
The sleepy little town, Pyin Oo Lwin, also known as Maymyo, is situated close to Mandalay in the mountains of the Shan plateau. Its buildings bear the indelible mark of British colonialization, and at one crossroads you can still see the Purcell Tower - a clocktower that was apparently a gift from Queen Victoria and is said to be a copy of one that she gave to Cape Town in South Africa, The British also established a garrison here, and this is now an elite school to train cadres for the Myanmar Army. The town was named after Colonel May, who became its first administrator in 1886. A particularly attractive sight in Pyin Oo Lwin are the colorful horse carriages, which can be used as taxis.
National Kandawgyi Gardens
A trip to the National Kandawgyi Gardens makes for an extremely pleasant outing. This botanical garden was built on Lake Kandawgyi by Alex Rodgers with the aid of Lady Cuffle in 1915, using the manpower of 4,000 Turkish prisoners of war, and renovated just a few years ago, Covering an area of 436 hectares (1,077 acres), the park contains a wide variety of botanical attractions, including a large number of magnificent orchids and bamboo forests, and a rich array of landscapes - from a man-made wetland that visitors can explore via a wooden path, to vast woodland areas that make you feel like you are in the middle of a rainforest. In addition to the seasonal flowerbeds, with their many different colors, you can also marvel at diverse species of animals.
A few kilometers south of Pyin Oo Lwin, on the road towards Mandalay, are the breathtakingly beautiful Anisakan Falls. A small sign points the way, and after just one and half kilometers on foot you will come to a bridge where well-trained ladies will guide you free of charge through the rocky gorge and down to the waterfalls. The descent is also stunningly beautiful but the path is ver steep down the journey. Once you get to the waterfalls, you can enjoy the quite extraordinary peace, bathe your feet in icy water, or watch the wild monkeys performing acrobatics in the treetops.
Pwe Kauk Falls
Called Hampshire Falls in British times, Pwe Kauk Falls is about 8 km from town, off the Lashio road. Although the falls themselves are not that spectacular, it is a very pleasant picnic spot - popular on weekends and holidays with the locals. During, or just after, the rainy season, you can swim in the upper reaches, but not at the bottom, where the undertow can be quite dangerous. Three Shan villages - Mogyopyit, Yechando, and Ye Ngeye - can be visited on the way to Pwe Kauk Falls.