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Situated at 4,330 feet (1,320 meters) above sea level, among the rolling pine-covered hills of the Shan Plateau, Kalaw is one of the most famous hill stations in Myanmar, frequented in British colonial times by government and military officials looking to beat the summer heat. Today, Kalaw still retains pockets of this colonial charm, with large country houses and churches dotting the wide, sloping roads. Located 29 miles (47 kilometers) west of Inle Lake, Kalaw is a trekking heartland; hikers enjoy the journey through the misty blue Kalaw mountain ranges, peppered with vibrantly attired Palaung, Pa-O, Intha and Shan hill-tribe residents. The area is also a naturalist's paradise, boasting hundreds of species of birds, insects, butterflies, monkeys, other animals and orchids.
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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald enjoys going to Myanmar and trekking in remote hilltribe villages, where the way of life has remained the same for hundreds of years.
Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp is a 150-acre, privately owned and independently run nature preserve, founded in 2011 to protect and conserve Kalaw’s fragile ecology and support the diverse cultures of local peoples. Here, you can train to be a mahout, or elephant handler, learning basic caretaking protocol and commands used to "drive" the resident pachyderms.
Visit a local market, where you will interact with the many ethnicities that compose the melting pot of Kalaw, from Shan to Indians, Bamar, and Nepalis (Gurkhas retired from British military service). This is a chance to buy authentic local goods from native merchants.
Ethnic Minority Village
Spend a half day hiking to various local villages, such as Myin Ka, a Danu settlement, and Pein ne bin, a village of the Paulang people. Meet local residents and learn about their lives in this rural part of Burma.
Go birding in Kalaw; the region is home to more than 1,000 avian species, including six endemic species that are globally endangered.
Experience mysterious Myanmar from top to bottom on this thrilling 14-day journey through its hotspots. You’ll take in the temples of ancient Bagan, interact with locals at a local silk weaving factory, and cruise down the calm waters of Inle Lake, all the while spending your nights in some of Myanmar’s best hotels.
This colonial residence, originally built in 1909 and restored in 2002, is located in the hill town Kalaw in Shan State. The building is laden with history and tradition and is surrounded by a cottage garden with ancient trees and flowers. The resort is situated in a tranquil location with a fantastic view over Kalaw and the Shan mountains. All 10 rooms of the Amara Mountain Resort are simply decorated in Asian and European style, each room with an open fire and chimney and en-suite bathroom with bathtub and shower. The resort’s dining room serves traditional Myanmar and European food. Many of the restaurant’s ingredients are picked from the resort’s own organic garden. The surrounding area has plenty of nature and culture worth exploring. Activities include trekking directly from the front door into the Shan mountains and around Kalaw, visiting Palaung, Danu and Pao villages, Kalaw market and golf course. Heho airport can be reached by car within 45 Minutes.