17.04.16 – Day Trek, Kalaw, Myanmar
During our time in Myanmar’s Shan State (Kalaw and Inle Lake), it was the countries New Year Festival (Thingyan – Water Festival), which made transport and travel difficult. So we decided to do a One Day Trek around Kalaw.
Our trek was excellent. We met Carol (our trek leader) after breakfast and set out for the hills of Kalaw. The scenery was beautiful, but Myanmar is so dry at this time of year. During the 8 hour trek we stopped in at a local village and drank tea in one of the villagers homes and had lunch on the mountainside at Carol’s family restaurant. The vegetable curry was incredible! During the afternoon walk back to Kalaw we stopped at the reservoir and walked through local farmland. Much of this area is used for rice, oranges, tea and ginger plantations.
A day during Thingyan wouldn’t have been complete without a good soaking to cool us off! The Buddhists believe that celebrating the end of a year with water washes away bad karma in readiness for the new year, and tourists are not exempt for the water throwing. The streets are lined with locals armed with copious amounts of water, ready to throw on whoever passes by, no one is exempt – even if you are in a car they will throw through the window, or straight at you on a motorbike! It’s a really interesting time to visit Myanmar, be prepared to get wet!