These Are the Best Trekking Routes in Myanmar

Hiking in Kalaw
Hiking in Kalaw | © imke.stahlmann/Flickr
Tiffany Teng

While Myanmar is not well-known for trekking and hiking, there are lots of great treks here. The best time for trekking is from November to March, during the cooler weather. Here are the best places to go for some breathtaking views of nature.

Lashio

Until recently, not many people knew about Lashio as a trekking and waterfalls destination. However, a couple who is very passionate about Shan State started a company called Myanmar Adventure Outfitters. They offer itineraries filled with adventure activities, including stand-up paddling and motorcycling, as well as homestay experiences.

Kalaw

Hsipaw

Trekking in Hsipaw, like most trekking in Myanmar, is best done with a guide. You will encounter mountains, diverse hill tribes, and cows. With a guide, you’ll indulge in local home-made food, pass through rice paddy terraces, and play games with children. Then, you can take the train from Hsipaw all the way to Mandalay and pass the Gokteik Viaduct along the way.

Rural life in Myanmar

Kalaw

The trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake is one of the most popular treks in Myanmar. Many trekking companies can arrange a two- or three-day trek, or even a trek of a week or more, through the Shan hills. Here, you will stay in a local’s home, eat lots of delicious food, and trek through greenery. Kalaw is 70 kilometers west of Inle Lake, so the weather is slightly cooler and the atmosphere quieter. Standard group tours are about $12-15 per person per day. Your guide will tell you about the villages you pass through, where everything is handmade from natural resources, such as bamboo or wood.

Kalaw

Mindat

Mindat is situated in Chin State, in Western Myanmar. It is difficult to get around without a tour guide. Here, you’ll find women with entrancing face tattoos. The dark ink covers their entire face in patterns. Trekking through these mountains these days will give you a glimpse of a unique way of life, as the tattooed women are no longer allowed to pass on this tradition. This part of Myanmar is remote and more difficult to get to, with the only way being by bus from Mandalay.

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