Pyin Oo Lwin
The dozy former British hill station called Maymyo (after Colonel May, the first administrator) is now a dozy Burmese town known by its original name of Pyin Oo Lwin. To reach it takes about 3.5 scenic hours winding up the mountains of the Shan Plateau. The place is loaded with old colonial buildings and is one of the most “British” towns in Burma. The Purcell Clock Tower was a gift from Queen Victoria herself! The old garrison is the current elite training facility for the Tat Madaw, the Myanmar Army. But don’t let them scare you off, instead enjoy a quaint carriage ride around town and visit the National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens.
The 435 acres of the gardens have 589 tree species, 75 species of bamboo, and over 300 varieties of Orchid, amid a multitude of other flowers bedded across the gorgeous grounds. It also has a one acre, walk-in aviary, and a Lodge & Restaurant. Black and White Swans grace the small lake. The entrance fee is USD 5.00 for you, and 1,000 kyat (about $1) for locals.
Pyin Oo Lwin is also a preferred starting point for the High Wire Train Journey across the Gokteik Viaduct. “Preferred” by those whose preference is not to engage the journey in Mandalay, which begins at 4 am!
Outside of town is the Anisakan Waterfall pictured below, which make for some good exercise and a relaxing day.