Hidden Gem of myanmar Trekking - Loikaw
Loikaw is the capital of Kayah State in burma (Burma) - the home of tremendous tribes of which Padaung is very known for one with "long necks" women.
Loikaw is located in Karen Hill area, near the State’s northern tip, just above an embayment on the Pilu river. Just by a short flight from Yangon, you could reach to a very traditional Loikaw, which is one of the best places in Southeast Asia for a sight of authentic tribal life. Another way to reach Loikaw is that you be able to boat from Inle lake - where you can observe “one leg rowing fishermen” - to Phekhkone lake, travel Sagar village on the way then drive to Loikaw. Or you drive from Kalaw/ Heho to Loikaw and you be able to relax spectacular scenery along the way.
Loikaw has three main tribes: Kayan, Kayah and Kayaw, especially among them, Kayan (or Padaung) women are well-known for wearing neck rings, which lengthen their neck.
To explore Loikaw, you be able to bring a classic adventure to some particular locations or a trekking tour to distant areas.
In a burma Classic tour:
With this journey, you can go to renowned places inside and around Loikaw city. You may visit Thiri Mingala Taungkwe Pagoda, the Buddhism sputa. It is located in the middle of Loikaw, which towers over the city. Being constructed in 11th century, this pagoda situated in two hillocks. Between two hills is a bridge which connects them. You could watch desolately at the pilgrims and relax the stunning sight from the top, especially at sunset.
Other place you can travel is Shan chieftain, Haw of Loikaw. This palace used as a Buddhist monastery.
If you do not have a chance to get to tribe villages, you may carry an excursion to the Kayah State museum, which displays the traditional life styles of Kayah national races.
Besides, local markets like Demawso are also the amazing places where you be able to see Padaung tribe ladies with their really long necks. These unique women are on the brink of extinction because of up to date life, which made Padaung women do not want to keep their neck lengthening habit.
If possible, you be able to find out Kyet limestone cave, which is 15 km outside of Loikaw.
To make it an adventure tour:
By trekking through remote villages, you be able to notice the true life of local inhabitants, but this depends on regulation of authorities and sometimes it can be not permitted.
highlight of Loi Kaw adventure tours is Padaung race, especially Padaung women with their extremely long necks. Tribes in Loikaw also dress colorful costumes. In the villages, you be able to get insight traditional living ways, unspoiled cultures and also how the villages deal with the taking ways of the military, who take their food without payment. Travelers can discover Kayah traditional weaving industry and marvelous ritual flagstaffs of Nat (spirit) worshipers. Trekking trails also pass through fields. A long with paddy, the main crop of Kayah State are beans, pulses, maizes, sunflowers, cotton and vegetables are cultivated as well. Guides also lead you to trek through hills and thick jungle.
You may also be overnight at homestay. At these nights, you will obtain abnormal feelings with noisy barks of dog at shadows or distant howls from across town, which you may not discover in a up to date city.
Spirited poles are the featured point of Loikaw. You could found them in almost villages around Loikaw. They are worshipped once a year, around April.