Hiking in the Shan Hills of Burma

Firstly many thanks to our awesome local guide Moe Zaw for designing and testing what proved to be an excellent hiking trail close to the small town of Kalaw on the Shan Plateau. Despite terrain seen below, (i.e. picturesque but hilly!), he managed to find us a predominantly flat route skirting around, rather than up and down, hills and following ridge lines affording great views without taxing the knees too much! Paths were excellent and up on the plateau temperatures mild so all in all a great hike!

Mountain scenery
Mountain scenery

A short drive out of town took us to a picturesque Shan village from where we hiked around a scenic valley to a low pass in the distant ridge line. Plenty of bucolic village scenes, bird-life and mountain views!

Traffic on the trekking trail
Traffic on the trekking trail

 

Scarlet minivet
Scarlet minivet

The next valley afforded spectacular views of our destination – a distant Palaung village.

Fortunately again the path was around rather than up and down!
Fortunately again the path was around rather than up and down!

 

Heading through tea plantations approaching the village
Heading through tea plantations approaching the village

Village was a lot of fun as we caught up with a friendly Palaung family we’d met last year and where the personal contact certainly helped to eliminate any uncomfortable, voyeuristic sentiments often felt when visiting such hill-tribe villages.

Demonstrating traditional weaving methods
Demonstrating traditional weaving methods

 

Dressing up Cathy in traditional Palaung ceremonial cotume
Dressing up Cathy in traditional Palaung ceremonial costume

From the village it was downhill until we hit the road again where our bus whisked us off to a nearby village where Moe had organized a local style chicken curry for the hungry hikers.

Excellent hike – around 5 hours including stops – and looking forward to heading back there again with a few printed out photos for the friendly villagers.

Full Burma itinerary – ‘Quite unlike any land you know about…’ can be found at this link. Cheers!

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