Pyin Oo Lwin



Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar, is probably best known as the starting place for the famous Burma Road, a 500-mi-/800-km-long road running northeast that was built during the 1930s to supply Chinese resistance forces in their fight against the Japanese invaders of China.

Less touristy than nearby Mandalay, it has a locally famous guesthouse, now known as the Thiri Myaing Hotel, formerly the Candicraig. The hotel once catered to the British when Pyin Oo Lwin was a holiday hill station for the imperial civil servants in Mandalay. Unfortunately, this government-owned relic has suffered serious neglect over the years.

Strolling among the nicer houses in this area might make you think you were in a pleasant village in the English Midlands: The stately redbrick, half-timbered houses seem completely out of place, though they must have been a comfort to those British trying to escape the oppressive heat of lower elevations.

Pyin Oo Lwin also has an interesting botanical garden and a picturesque town center. If possible, take a ride in one of the town's horse-drawn carriages (they look like a small version of an Old West stagecoach). Pyin Oo Lwin is usually seen as a full-day or overnight excursion from Mandalay—train and bus services connect the two cities. Pyin Oo Lwin is 40 mi/65 km east of Mandalay.

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