Myanmar is famous for its rich culture and traditions, ancient history, beautiful landscapes, and a 1,930-kilometer long coastline with amazing beaches. There are many popular destinations in Myanmar such as Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake, Ngapli beach and so forth. Myanmar also has many indigenous groups such as Chin State’s face-tattooed women while Loikaw in Kayah State is known for the long-neck Kayan women. In Shan State around the town of Keng Tung are the Ann, Ah Khar, Akhu, and La Hushi tribes. Let’s stay in Shan State and do adventure trekking around Pindaya, famous for its limestone caves called the Pindaya Caves.
Pindaya is located in the southern part of Myanmar’s Shan State. The tribes who call Pindaya home are the Danu, Palaung and the Taung Yoe people. Pindaya is known as “The land of Danu people”, a sub-group of the Bamar people.
The town of Pindaya is generally not the main destination of travellers and is visited in combination with other destinations such as Lake Inle. Arrive here via the nearby Heho Airport, or by bus or car from major cities such as Mandalay, Yangon, or elsewhere. The popular sites to visit around Pindaya are the Pindaya Caves containing thousands of Buddha images, Potetalote lake, and an umbrella workshop.
Trekking around Pindaya is a pleasant experience. Choose among several options: 1-day hiking, 2-Day/1-Night trekking, 3D/2N trekking, or embark on a 3D/2N trekking from Pindaya to Kalaw, or a 3D/2N trekking from Pindaya to Ywa Ngan. Some of these trekking trails have seen very few foreign travellers.
Pindaya – Yasagyi – Pindaya 3D/2N trekking is one of the best trekking options in the area. This adventure trek’s physical rating is moderate since you need to hike about five hours per day. It is a pleasant hike because of the beautiful nature around Pindaya, and the welcoming locals with their interesting stories. Shan State is known as “the basket of vegetables” because of the variety of vegetables that are cultivated here. Local workshops such as umbrella-making, tea-making, and cheroot-making (cigars) are all interesting to visit.
On day 1 of this trek, we start in Pindaya and hike to Yasagyi village where we will overnight. On the way, we will pass small villages and local farms. We will walk about 2 to 2.5 hours to Si Kya Inn village where we will have lunch and a break of about 1.5 hours. Si Kya Inn is now a Community-Based Tourism village since September 2018. The Pindaya to Si Kya Inn village section is the hardest part of this trek as it is a bit steep. We can take ample time to rest if needed while our experienced guide tells us many interesting stories about this area.
Our journey continues to Yasakyi village. This section is also quite challenging but is certainly worth it because of the beautiful nature. The locals in this area are amazing and warmly welcome visitors. The ethnic group at Yasakyi village is mostly Palaung people. Do you know they don’t allow the people of their village to marry someone from another village? If someone marries a person from another village, they are no longer allowed to remain in their home village. We overnight at the monastery in Yasagyi village where the friendly monks are always happy to host visitors.
Our second day starts with the sounds of nature and scenic views of the surrounding mountains. After a simple breakfast, we start our adventure to Kan Hla Gone. Today is an easy hiking day through one of the most beautiful sections of trekking around Pindaya. We will pass small villages called Linne-Inn, Ye Htut Oo, Taung Paw Gyi, and Htin Shue Gone (where we will have lunch) and continue to our destination, Kan Hla Gone village.
As mentioned earlier, Day 2 is a relaxing and enjoyable day because of easier hiking through beautiful scenery and meeting the friendly locals. Cultivating tea is their main source of income in this area so we will visit tea plantations and will have the chance to talk with locals about growing and processing tea.
It will take about three hours from Yasagyi village to reach Htin Shue Gone where we will stop for lunch. Afterwards, our two-hour journey continues to Kan Hla Gone village where we again will overnight at the local monastery. You will note that the area is generally free from garbage as locals are aware of the environmental impact of trash. Trash-cans are positioned in and outside villages.
Our third day also is fairly easy hiking. After breakfast, we will enjoy the sunrise and then start our journey back to Pindaya. We will hike down the mountain towards Pindaya. (Alternative option: If requested, we can arrange a car to return to Pindaya. Another possibility is biking back to Pindaya). It takes about three hours to Pindaya.
During this trip, your guide will take care of your food, water and other necessaries. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner will be ready on time. Beds will be as cozy as possible. Recommended items to bring along are an insect repellent, sunscreen, flashlight (torch), painkillers, battery chargers, toiletries and clothes for three days.
There are many popular trekking routes all over Myanmar. Most popular are those in Shan State such as around Kalaw and Inle Lake, Keng Tung, Hsipaw, Kyaukme, and many more. Trekking is also becoming more feasible in Chin State. Why choose Pindaya trekking? If you love nature and the friendly locals and their interesting stories, you will love Pindaya trekking.
Explore more – Top Adventure Trekking Destinations in Myanmar