- Day 1: Yangon/Heho/Mandalay – Kyaing Tong (Flight)
This morning, transfer to the airport for the flight to Kyaing Tong, the capital of the Eastern Shan State.
The famous Golden Triangle, where the borders of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet, was once the dangerous haunt of drug dealers and a center of opium production. Nowadays, its residents have been encouraged to abandon the drug trade and to cultivate coffee, flowers and vegetables in the heart of a very attractive landscape. The Golden Triangle of Myanmar is rich in culture, breathtaking scenery and friendly people.
Upon arrival in Kyaing Tong you will be transferred to your hotel. (Note: please check with us for surcharge for transfer from Thai border or Tachileik airport).
Go for a first orientation of the town; explore the city streets with a mix of traditional wooden houses and modern concrete buildings. Discover the ”One Tree hill”, a 245 years old Kanyin-Byu (Dipterocarpus Spp) tree stands. The tree was planted by Alaungmintaya, the founder of Third Myanmar Empire. The locals believed that this tree was planted in 1386 A.D. Three brothers had planted one tree each to show their mutual assistance. Now, only one remains. Visit a family-run lacquerware workshop, where the technique used is very different from that of Bagan. Finally, enjoy a pleasant and relaxing sunset walk around the lake of Naung Tong.
Day 2: Kyaing Tong – 2 options
Option 1: Hogyin Akha Villages (moderate trekking)
After breakfast, go to the market to choose your picnic lunch and drive for 45 minutes to the starting point of your trek. Today, you will walk for around 4 hours, passing through several Akha (Hokyin) villages. It will be an excellent opportunity to observe the rich culture and traditions of the Akha people.
The Akha are mostly Buddhist in faith, but they also practice animism, or spirit worship. Even though some villages are becoming more modern, the Akha women still wear their traditional costumes and silver jewels in abundance.
After this fantastic discovery of the fascinating tradition of the Akha people, drive back to Kyaing Tong. You’ll arrive in the early evening and have the rest of the day at your leisure to explore on your own or relax at your hotel.
Total walk: 4 hours
Steep at the beginning during 1h30. Then 20% up and 20% down, 60% flat.
Option 2: Wan Pauk OR/AND other village visit (Light walk)
Drive for 30 minutes to the Palaung village of Wan Pauk. On the way, you will cross beautiful scenery and have stunning views on the rice fields and the surrounding mountains. Wan Pauk is very peaceful and its inhabitants are extremely friendly and welcoming. The village is clean and there will be opportunities to visit some local houses and interact with the Palaung, this interesting tribe living around Kyaing Tong.
Note: The choice of villages is flexible and the itinerary can be amended according to your wishes. Please discuss with your guide to choose the right itinerary.
Day 3: Kyaing Tong: Loimwe, Kabaye and surroundings (very light walk to moderate. Can be adjusted to your fitness level)
This morning, visit the colorful and busy town market, where your guide will introduce you to the local specialties. Then drive for one hour along a stunning road until the hill station of Loi Mwe, located 1 600 meters above sea level. The town of Loi Mwe is a hill station where Christians missionaries did spread their Catholic beliefs; many churches and Heritage buildings still remain. This is a lovely and peaceful town, reputed to have a pleasant and chill climate: a perfect escape from the heat in Myanmar.
Take a look at the Pagoda, stroll around the lake and even taste some local wine at one of the local restaurant in town.
On the way, visit a traditional village. Take a walk and discover the ways of life of its inhabitants.
In the afternoon, a one hour drive leads to Akhu tribe villages, one of the rarest hill tribe living in Shan State. Located to the east of Kyaing Tong, the whole area is home to a lovely monastery for novices, some hidden beautiful villages and a meditation center offering a 360 degree view on the mountains. A beautiful sunset can be enjoyed from the terrace.
Note: All the visits can be done by car, even though the road is very bumpy in some parts. In case of rain, if the road is too muddy and if the villages aren’t accessible, an alternative option will be offered.
Day 4: Kyaing Tong – Pine Thauk
Set off after breakfast for a full day trek to Pine Thauk village. You will take a one hour drive northwest of Kyaing Tong leading to your starting point: the Akha village of Wan Pin. There you will start a trek of around 4 hours (the route and the timing is flexible). Visit several villages in the area and experience the life styles of the Ann, Akha and Lahu tribes. From Wan Pin, start with a steep uphill hike until the village Ann of Bang Le where you may be invited for a cup of tea with the friendly villagers. The village overlooks the mountain and offers stunning views on the surroundings rice fields.
Pine Thauk area is also home to the Pa Kyaw and the Nam Lin Mai villages. A picnic lunch will be taken on the way. After your trek, return to Wan Pin where your car awaits you and drive back to Kyaing Tong. On the way, stop at an interesting distillery. This interesting local factory is an opportunity to try the strong local rice wine before returning to Kyaing Tong for the night.
Note: Please note that the route can be amended according to your fitness level and your wishes.
Total walk: 4 hours
Steep at the beginning during 30 minutes. Then 10% up and 10% down, 80% flat.
Day 5: Kyaing Tong – Yangon/Heho/Mandalay
This morning after breakfast, visit Kyaing Tong’s landmark religious monuments such as MahaMuni Temple. Visit Wat Zom Khum Pagoda, which is very famous among the locals who come to pray and meditate.
Transfer to the airport to take your flight to Yangon/Heho/Mandalay. (Note: please check with us for surcharge for transfer from Thai border or Tachileik airport).
- Flight schedules to Kyaing Tong often change. Please ask your sales consultant for latest flight schedule.
- Due to regional regulations and laws, some villages might be off limits at the time of travel and an alternative routing will be provided.