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Loikaw

Nestled in the center of Myanmar (Burma), not far from the northern border of Thailand, is Loikaw, a traditional village that is guaranteed to give you a glimpse of Southeast Asian tribal life. Home to 250,000 people, this destination is new to tourism as outside visitors were not permitted to visit many of its surrounding villages until 2006 when a local conflict ended, leaving it a raw, authentic, and pure taste of tradition and ceremony. Since it has opened itself to visitors, it has remained true to its roots, allowing people to experience life in the Kayan, Kayaw, and Kayah tribes. The hub of many remote nearby villages, located high in the Karen hills, Loikaw is the perfect home base to explore the state, located in the Karen Hills. A trip to Loikaw is to have all your senses awaken - don't underestimate all there is to see and do in and around this sleepy town.
Nestled in the center of Myanmar (Burma), not far from the northern border of Thailand, is Loikaw, a traditional village that is guaranteed to give you a glimpse of Southeast Asian tribal life. Home to 250,000 people, this destination is new to tourism as outside visitors were not permitted to visit many of its surrounding villages until 2006 when a local conflict ended, leaving it a raw, authentic, and pure taste of tradition and ceremony. Since it has opened itself to visitors, it has remained true to its roots, allowing people to experience life in the Kayan, Kayaw, and Kayah tribes. The hub of many remote nearby villages, located high in the Karen hills, Loikaw is the perfect home base to explore the state, located in the Karen Hills. A trip to Loikaw is to have all your senses awaken - don't underestimate all there is to see and do in and around this sleepy town.

EXPERIENCES

EXPERIENCES

A Day in Dawdama Gyi and Dawsaw Pyar

Until February 2014, no visitors had ever set foot in these two Kayah villages - in fact, apart from some NGOs, no outside visitors had been to these hidden destinations. Pristine, rustic, and naturally beautiful, the scenery will take your breath away. Also fascinating are the tribal traditions of the Buddhist villagers, who wear traditional Kayah clothing, many of whom have never encountered foreigners. Meet with the village chief, speak with women working on local peanut farms, and bask in the authenticity of these villages - far from being tainted by outside forces and overt tourism.

A Visit to Panpet Village

An hour and a half from Loikaw, Panpet village is a naturally beautiful area surrounded by spectacular rice fields. After visitors admire the landscape, they may be greeted by the chief and tribal members of the village, welcomed in with open arms to enjoy a fireside chat, cup of tea, or a tour of the local rice fields to learn all about local life. Guests may even experience some ceremonial traditions, such as seeing elders place gold rings around young girls’ necks to train them to carry the weight full time.

A Visit to Sunbon Village

Despite being more touristy than other villages, Sunbon is worth a visit to meet longneck women - who hold up to 28 rings on their necks - and villagers who all speak Burmese.

Taungkwe Pagoda

These gold ornamental monuments tower over Loikaw like two Gods rising above Earth. Built in the 11th century over two mountains, legend says that two opposing groups inhabited each point - but over the centuries, a bridge was built between the two mountains as the groups found peace with each other and within Loikaw.

The Kayhto Bo

Tradition remains alive and well: the Kayhto Bo, or spirit poles, are worshipped every April - a longstanding tradition despite the fact that most of the tribes have been converted to Christianity. Check out the poles themselves, beautiful decorations to the village and a true stronghold in traditional tribal life.

Voyage to the Demawso market

Pass by rows and rows of natural bamboo shoots and rice fields on the way to Demawso market, where visitors can pick up some locally-crafted goods and meet villagers, who sell their crafts and meet in the village to socialize with each other and the odd visitor who arrives.

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TRAVELOGUES

TRAVELOGUES

Remote Lands’ Dozen Dream Destinations for 2015

Remote Lands’ Dozen Dream Destinations for 2015

Author : Remote Lands
The new year is already upon us and so it's time for us to once again share our pick of what we think are Asia's hottest destinations for the coming 12 months.
Read More
Discovering the Tribes of Loikaw

Discovering the Tribes of Loikaw

Author : Jay Tindall
A short flight from Yangon sits the very traditional Loikaw, one of the best places to head in Southeast Asia for a window into authentic tribal life. I was the very first foreign visitor to some of Loikaw’s more remote tribal areas.
Read More

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