Hill-Tribe Villages and Tea Plantations in the Shan Mountains
Trekking through mountainous tea plantations is an adventure in nature and a way to understand the lives of the Palaung people….
Kyaukme, a large town located along the Mandalay-Lashio Road in Northern Shan State, is a major trading center for tea since before British colonial times. It is also the base camp for several trekking tours that will take your travelers to remote Shan villages in an area widely known for its tea plantations.
The few travelers who have traveled in Northern Shan State have said the area reminded them of Switzerland for its mountains and cool, clean air. To the tea farmers, however, their more isolated world ends at the edge of the valley, or at the market where they trade their tea. The largest crop is green tea, about 52 percent by annual consumption, followed by black tea (31%) and pickled tea (17%).
Myanmar is one of the very few countries in the world where tea leaves are eaten as well as used to make a beverage. The pickled tea produced in Shan State is used for a special dish called lahpet-though. This pickled tea leaves salad is a very popular snack throughout Myanmar and also has roots in history: after a dispute between two warring kingdoms was settled, the rulers sat together and ate lahpet-though as a gesture of peace.
Khiri Travel Myanmar offers a range of guided trekking tours with or without one night accommodation in a traditional hill-tribe village. A full day hiking through the trails surrounding Kyaukme and lunch in their village will give your travelers an insight into the life of the Palaung people and how they still practice centuries-old traditions.
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