The Ways of Myanmar’s Shan State
Khiri Travel Myanmar likes to introduce three ways to discover it’s northeastern Shan State. Travelers have the chance to get up close with the friendly and hospitable locals on a winery walk, hill tribe trekking, or rural kayaking expedition.
One of the distinctive hill tribes in Shan State are the Pa O – known for their navy blue clothes, colourful red or orange turbans and their good farming and trading skills. During a day of trekking travelers will get to know life as the Pa O live it. Starting with a short ride by horse cart from the hotel, the trek begins with a two-hour walk. A bit uphill, to arrive in a Pa O village where guests can talk with monks, visit a local school or be invited to wear the traditional dress. After another 45-minute walk, we arrive in a village where a traditional Pa O lunch is served. We get to taste dishes like ginger soup, pumpkin leaf salad and cheroot leaf salad. After some relaxing, your traveler’s return trek is about two and a half hours. Along the way we get to see some stunning views of the lake and plantations with crops like ginger, garlic and turmeric.
Apart from the popular day tour by motorboat on Inle Lake, kayaking is becoming a new and much more environmentally friendly mode of transportation in areas less frequented by motorboats. In times of ever increasing air pollution certainly a step (or “paddle”?) in the right direction. Khiri Travel Myanmar now offers a full day exploration of the rural villages surrounding the lake.
We have 2-person kayaks ready for guests in Shwe Nyaung – one of the creeks leading into Inle Lake. Here we start our kayaking trip. Farms fields along the way are filled with potatoes, rice, sugarcane, tomatoes, garlic and peanuts. Every now and then we stop in a traditional Shan or Intha village that rarely sees foreign visitors. A good opportunity to take a rest from paddling and meet people at their homes to learn more about their lifestyle. We share a cup of tea with the Intha people (the people who live on Inle Lake) and arrive at a picnic spot around lunch time. A blanket is spread out in a bamboo forest and lunch is served. The total time kayaking will be about three hours on calm water. We will arrange peddlers for travelers who like to explore the creeks around Inle Lake, but are less confident in kayaking themselves.
Guests who are more looking into pleasing their taste buds can try locally produced wine: grown, matured, and bottled at a winery in Myanmar. Travelers get the chance to wander around the vineyard to learn everything about the wine-making process. Our winery excursion normally starts at the Ayethaya market. Our guide will give travelers 1000 kyats (about 1.50 USD) per person with a challenge to find as many different types of local snacks to taste. A good way to learn some words of Pa O or Shan language and interact with the local population. From the market we start a walk through the different plantations and arrive at the entrance of the Ayethaya Winery. While wandering the vineyard, we learn all about the wine making process. Of course we are rewarded with Shan dinner and wine tasting at the winery restaurant.
For more information and booking requests on the above described travel options, please contact [email protected]