Keng Tung is set amongst the remote area of Shan hills in the heart of the Golden Triangle. Built around a lake, the town was once a powerful centre and today the remains of the ancient city walls and gates can still be seen. The main attraction of Keng Tung is the rich and diverse ethnic people and culture of the town and its surrounding villages. Throughout the hills small communities of tribal groups including the Ang, Lahu Ahka, Akhu and Lisu live side by side, many still following a very traditional way of life. There are numerous trekking opportunities to visit these communities, winding through stunning scenery and in a pleasant climate.
This trip will take you to discover many fascinating sights of the local people and some local ways of lives. When you visit the Keng Tung market, you will see the diverse tribes and lots of local food stalls.
This trip will make you feel closer to the nature by exploring a hidden place surrounded by the hills; and be enchanted to discover the authentic tribes who dress in traditional costumes, headgears and paint their teeth black. The trek around Pin Tauk village will be satisfying to learn the unique culture of the tribes. The black teeth Ann tribe will be there. It is amazing to see the genuine smiles and experience the nonchalant nature of the local people. There will be some happy encounters with the curious children of the tribes as well.
This trip will take you to engage in the full exploring activities to immerse in the nature and culture of the Shan hills and tribes. A large variety of authentic hill tribes such as Akhu – the bamboo pipe tribes, will be seen around Ka Bar Aye pagoda. The breathtaking and eye-catching view along the way will captivate you.
Start your first day in Yangon by heading over to the downtown and the ancient octagonal-shaped Sule Paya located in the very centre of Yangon. It is surrounded by the busy streets and colonial buildings such as the Supreme Court and Yangon City Hall.
Continue to the Botahtaung Pagoda close to the Yangon Jetty. There is a sort of mirrored maze inside the stupa, with glass showcases containing many of the ancient relics.
Stop by a street café to take a taste of the delicious local Shan noodle dish accompanied with some spring rolls and Shan tofu for filling lunch.
Afternoon visit is the vibrant Bogyoke (Scott) Market which has the largest selection of Burmese handicrafts.
In the evening, visit the Shwedagon Pagoda, the 'heart' of Buddhists in Myanmar. The Pagoda is believed to be 2,600 years old and it is always crowded with many people praying and making offerings at Shwedagon especially on Full Moon days and religious days.
Start your first day in Mandalay by a visit to Shwenandaw Monastery (Golden Palace Monastery) which is a museum as well as an ancient wooden monastery. The building is covered inside and out with carved teak panels of the stories of Buddha’s life times. It once was also part of the royal apartment of King Mindon. The inside of the small monastery is greatly gilt with gold and decorated with glass mosaic work which offers an impression of what the real old palace would have made or seemed originally.
Then continue to Kuthodaw Pagoda (also known as the Maha Lawka Marazein Pagoda), located at the foot of the Mandalay Hill is the pagoda complex which has been dubbed 'the world's biggest book', for standing around the central stupa are 729 marble slabs on which are inscribed the entire Tripitaka. Each slab is housed in its own individual small stupa. The long white rows of the stupas are a sight to be worth photographed and walking around the aisle and being immersed in the beauty of the whole place is a great delight. At the pagoda, there is an opportunity to experience applying Thanakha, a natural sunblock traditionally wore by Burmese women.
Proceed to Kyauktawgyi Pagoda, which is essentially interesting for the huge seated Buddha image carved from a single block of pale green marble. The pagoda was started constructed dating back from 1853 but not until 1878 when it was completed. The marble stone block was said to be transported by ten thousand people, and it took two weeks to have the stone block rearranged from the Ayeyarwaddy River to the present location.
The last but not least is to view the superb sunset at Mandalay Hill and enjoy the spectacular panoramic view of the city ornamented with the colour of twilight and dusk after sunset.
Start your day in Keng Tung by exploring the town. The first stop is to learn about the Shan Pottery making. See Wat Inn Monastery and visit Wat Zom Kham, one of the most visited monasteries in Keng Tung. The style of the pagoda is special and totally different from others. Moreover the six strands of Buddha hair is inside the pagoda.
In the afternoon, see the making of Shan Traditional lacquer-wear and Blacksmith. Then admire the Catholic Church and Maha Myat Muni Temple. Visit and explore around Naung Tong Lake in the evening.
Today visit starts with the Keng Tung local market. Then take a drive to Pin Tauk heading north and passing through Shan villages and paddy fields. When arrival at Pin Tauk, proceed trekking to explore around the area and you will see the significant tribe villages such as Lahu, Akha and Ann (Eng) villages. Treks between villages will take three hours and you will learn about the silver headdress Akha tribe and black teeth Ann tribe when visiting the villages of these tribes.
Lunch will be served at the rest camp at the paddy field on the trekking way to another village. After touring around the villages, return back to Pin Tauk. Then drive back to Keng Tung.
This morning, take an hour drive through rubber plantation and seasonal cultivation fields. Arrive at the trekking point and start one and half hour soft trek from there. Visit Ann, Akhu and Tai-Khum villages. See the historic Ka Bar Aye Pagoda on the top of the hill with eye-catching view. The car will pick you up at the base and take you back to Keng Tung.
Today is the day for further free exploration around the town. Depart according to the flight time to continue your journey back to Yangon.
This morning, start your visit to Dala located across the river from Yangon. Take a 10-minute ferry ride at the Pansodan Pier in downtown Yangon which is very close to Sule Paya. Local commuters on the ferry are interesting sights to be seen. In Dala, take trishaw ride to explore the markets, teashops, local houses, farms and pagodas. It is one of the best trips around Yangon to experience the local ways of lives.
In the afternoon, chill at a hotel. Go swimming a few laps and relaxing by the pool. Have a fantastic memorable dinner prepared by En Route.
Say goodbye to your guide to depart Yangon. Take sweet memories of family bonding and travelling together in Myanmar back home. En Route will always make the unforgettable travel experience that lasts a life time.
When in Keng Tung, one must find and devour authentic food. At the Keng Tung local market, there are large arrays of Shan food. The food may be similar to other Shan style food from other parts of Shan state and even some Thai food, but the taste of Keng Tung food is totally different from the others. For example, the famous Shan noodle that can be seen across Myanmar is a little bit sweeter and mostly comes as salad with minced pork or chicken meat. Keng Tung Shan noodle are served in different ways but with two basic types: one is clear soup and the other is simmering soup. The first one is very likely to Vietnamese Pho in appearance, which sometimes comes with pork/beef meatball. The second one is an authentic Eastern Shan noodle which served with the pork soup made by simmering for a long period, given a really nice smell as it was well prepared with turmeric, garlics, shallots, tomatoes, light chili powder before simmering. The food stalls at the market are filled with different local delicacies which cannot be seen at the other parts of the country.
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