Where to stay in Kalaw, Myanmar?
A bumpy ride
Our Myanmar bus ride continues. The ride from Bagan to Kalaw was kind of a nightmare as we couldn’t secure 2 seats on VIP bus. Instead, we was stuck in a cramped minivan for about 6 hours. My head just kept bumping into the window while I completely had no idea.
We got to Kalaw at freaking 2am.
The hill station of Kalaw, (1320m above sea level) which sits on the western edge of the Shan Plateau is surrounded by mountains, colourful hill-tribe villages, rivers, pine woods and bamboo groves. Its cool climate during summer months is very comfortable and live-able when the rest of Myanmar is extremely hot and humid. It’s the starting point for trekking. Pyi Daungsu Lun is the main road, along which you’ll find the market, hostels, hotels, trekking companies and restaurants.
Kalaw was a former British colonial town and you will find a number of British style buildings. Tudor-style houses sit in English rose gardens, making an interesting contrast to the traditional Burmese buildings and other Asian architectures in the town.
Anything to do?
Nothing much to do in this town. Walking around the central market might be the only thing you can do in the town. If you need anything for trekking, you could possibly get it here.
The most interesting place that I’ve been to in Kalaw should be the hotel I stayed at. Built in 1903 under the British rule, the second oldest hotel in Myanmar after The Strand Hotel in Yangon 1901, Kalaw Heritage Hotel is a truly stunning time capsule. The building’s interior design reflects its colonial history, with stunning original features and archive photographs of the era.
The hotel is located about 15 minutes walk away from the main street. It is an easy stroll with beautiful scenery (and good exercise). About 5 minutes of walk, there are restaurants.
Rooms and Suites
There are 3 buildings, namely, Acorn (oldest), Pine (main), Tudor (newest) which host 45 colonial style furnished rooms and suites ranging from 26 to 40 sq metres.
Food and Beverage
Buffet breakfast is served at Sisson’s Restaurant which is of high standard. It offered a quality selection from cereals, cold cuts, noodles, rice to fruits, which, in Myanmar mustn’t be underestimated. The restaurant overlooks the garden with cool breezes.
Dinner is also served at the restaurant with a-la-carte menu. Next to it is the Heritage Bar where cocktails, wine and beer are provided.
Support Local Community
The hotel also features a shop where they sell products made by local brands.
More exciting facilities to come!
We speak to Ole from Germany who has been leading the Kalaw Heritage Hotel renovation project. With 9 years experience in Myanmar, he is currently planning the 2018 grand opening of this exciting venture, which employs 40 staff and is already proving successful since opening its doors to the public last August.
Kalaw Heritage Hotel boasts exquisite views over lanes of purple flowering trees and the Shan region’s misty mountains.
The hotel will undergo further renovation with a pool, spa and outdoor cafe due to be completed in 2018. Don’t miss out!