Its beauty has been held back from the world for far too long. This landscapes here really are one of the few hidden gems left today. It’s only been recently opened to the public because of several years of internal strife.
Now it’s a nation that offers numerous parks to explore, mountains to summit, and is the home to bustling markets that leave lingering memories.
Myanmar. It’s an experience that will literally take your breath away.
Kalaw to Inle Lake is a trek that is advertised as being a 3 day/2 night adventure. You get to travel through several Hill Tribe villages along the way. Local culture is also part of the experience, as lodging options include local family homes and a monasteries.
The first thing you’ll notice about this trekking experience is that there are hundreds of guides available online that can take you on this adventure. Take some time to research this trek if you want to do it one day yourself.
Our Itinerary (A Pictorial Journey)
Day 1: 6 hours trekking. We left Kalaw town at 9am.
1. “The trekkers are one of the best groups I’ve ever met. Everyone is considerate, easy going, and there is a common goal – to have fun.” – Susan
It was a trek of 3 hours to the lunch point located at the top of the mountain. It was the peak of summer in May and we were trekking under an average of 40 degrees celsius heat. We passed rice padi fields, jungle vistas and a lake built by the British during their colonization.
2. “Travelling alone is great, but travelling with others can be more than wonderful. It is truly a different experienced travelling in Myanmar in a group than alone. Even the horrible sunny weather can turn out to be fun. For example: having fun running up and down to take pics on the super hot marbled floor. Something that would not be possible if I was alone.” – Sucan
Passing through a tea plantation after lunch.
In the afternoon, we walked for 3 more hours before reaching the first village, Hin Kha Kone (tribe – Palaung).
3. “Children in the villages – interaction with them in song and dance. That’s just one reason to visit Myanmar at least once in a lifetime.” – Rachel
Trekking along the hills, rice terraces and railway track amongst breathtaking views, we passed by 2 more villages called Myin Dike and Ywa Pu (tribe – Danu).
4. “You will walk through different terrains and experience a local homestay. It’s like going back to the old kampong (rural) days of Singapore before the 80s – which very few Singaporeans experience nowadays.” – Hazel
5. “Buffalo bathing in the river and swimming with them, along with the tree climbing. That’s a reason to visit Myanmar.” – Janice
6. “Stream crossing, wooden planks. Trains, railways and tree climbing. These are reasons why you should go trekking in Myanmar.” – KK Cheng
We arrived at Ywa Pu village around 5pm to spend the first night in a simple farm house. We had home cooked traditional Burmese food that evening.
Day 2: 7 hours trekking starting with breakfast at 7:30
We walked through 5 villages in total this day. Along the way, we had tea break, lunch break, and even a peanuts break. When you need energy, call upon the mighty peanut! At 6pm, we arrived at the village where we spent the second night on this trek. It was a different tribe from the night before.
Day 3: 4 hours trekking
On this day, we saw 2 more villages. After the 4 hours of walking, we arrived at Inle lake – and thus the end of our Kalaw trek adventures. A boat crossing Inle Lake is the next stop in our adventure. We were all looking forward to spending the next 60 minutes exploring the lake, viewing floating houses, floating gardens, and fishermen in traditional fishing boats!
We arrived at NYAUNG SHWE city where we spent a night before boarding a 15 hours bus ride to Hsi Paw.
7. “TFH Myanmar is such an awesome trek you will never forget. Kalaw trek landscape is ever changing from padi fields, railway track, lakes, red-green patches of field.” – Chow
8. At the end of the (Kalaw) hike, you get to take a boat tour through Inle Lake which is a totally different scenery from the rest of Southeast Asia. – Hazel