Loikaw is the capital of the Kayah State located at the South East of Inle Lake in between the Shan State at the North, other neigh borings are the Kayin State in the South and Thailand at the East. Loikaw is primarily well-known for the famous site of Thaung Gwe (two separated mountains), now called “Thirimingalar Taung” where two temples are erected on a rock cleft in the middle overlooking Loikaw and from where you can admire the panoramic view on the surrounding countryside; a visit is the magnificent wooden building, originally the town hall of Loikaw, was converted into a monastery and totally renovated; the building is well preserved and you can admire the finest of wood architecture. This land was free from ruling by the British and damage of Second World War.
As Myanmar’s largest hydropower plant (by the Janpanese as war reparation) is located about 20 km east of Loikaw at Lawpita falls. Travel to land of Myanmar and you will discover beautiful Kayah hill scenery and a wide number of colorful tribes, their cultures and traditions. The village of Pampet about fifty kilometers from Loikaw to discover the local life of the minority Palaung and the famous “Giraffes” women with elongated neck and superimposed rings; This tradition still continues in today’s day among the younger generation There are many native ethnic groups in Kayah, in addition to the other people from surrounding parts of Myanmar who live here. Travel from Kalaw or lnle Lake by overland is closer.
This excursion to the Kayah State is a fantastic trip off the beaten paths in a beautiful country areas to discover the provincial ways of life and some minorities to live there with their traditional activities away from the tourists flow, a getaway in “real” Burma, typical and diverse; a discovery you should do if time allows you to grant a minimum of three additional days in your journey. An exploration to Loikaw and its surrounding villages is a very interesting experience to discover the variety of landscapes in this region situated at around 125 miles from Heho airport.
To get to Loikaw is very easily accessible by flight, vehicles and border gates at Thiland. An extended travel from Heho takes about 6 hours with a few stops on the way for short visits in some villages; the road is narrow but in overall rather good apart few portions yet in poor condition, that can be curvy, and similar as a mountain road; the scenery is beautiful along the road, green and hilly; the road passes a part of Pa -O territories, a minority easy to recognize with Pa-O ladies headdress with a bright orange color shawl that often wear women of this ethnic group; the fields are essentially paddies fields, corn fields and often seen vegetable gardens around local houses. Most of the people are busy with agricultural activities; some now have modern machines like small tractors; many villagers have owned gardens and houses are equipped with solar panels to offset electricity that has not yet reached the village.
Hotels are still not many in Loikaw, most of them are basic but acceptable; the hotel the most popular by tourists “Hotel Loikaw.”To visit the small capital of Kayah State, Loikaw; most residents of that State, are Catholic, converted by Italian missionaries in the nineteenth century, originally animists; the belief continues today among some residents; pillars erected in the village of Chi Ke as posts of offerings to the elements as the sky, the sun in order mainly to get good harvests; the offerings ceremonies take place during the Burmese New Year.