Updated: March 2013
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This is one of those hill-stations with a difference, in that it’s nestled in its own small valley rather sitting proudly atop a mountain. There is a real mix of religions and ethnicities with Burmese locals mixing with other locals originating from India as well as Nepal. As with a lot of the old British colonies, Kalaw was set-up as a hill station for R&R and a break from the hot weather of the low-lands. Amusing that the British ever colonized anywhere warm when all they wanted to do was escape the heat? It’s worth getting a room with a balcony, and one with a view, because you are surrounded by the hills offering hours of beautiful walks. Again like most hill-stations, life starts early in the morning and so finishes a lot earlier than normal with the usual hive of activity as the sun starts to set.
Quite a few places charge more for rooms on the higher floors. Sometimes this is because of the view and sometimes the rooms are slightly bigger. Oddly, most of the hotels rooms face east, so if you are playing extra, it’s for a sunrise rather than a sunset.

Dream Villa Hotel
Address: Zatila Street
Prices from: single $30-$40, double $35-$45
Includes: breakfast, W-Fi, TV, fridge
Tel: 081 501 44 Email: dreamvilla@gmail.com
Although a similar price to some of the other more modern looking hotels in the area, this one is just that little bit better. The staff are just that little bit more switched on. Rooms on the upper floors are bigger and more comfortable with some commanding views.

Eastern Paradise Hotel
Address: 5, Thiri Mingalar Street
Prices from: Single $25-$35, Double $30-$35, Triple $35-40
Includes: En-suite, Wi-Fi, breakfast
Tel: 081 503 15 Email: EasternMotel@gmail.com
Some of the rooms feel a little tatty and they have that Asian approach to electric sockets, where only some of them work! However the hot water shower was good and the breakfast was excellent.

Golden Kalaw Inn
Address: Natsin Road
Prices from: Single $7-10, Double $9-12 
Includes: breakfast
Tel: 081 503 11 Email: Web:
Small but extending. Was rough, but getting better! Staff friendlier than next door. Their balcony faces west and is a great spot for sunrise. Upper price gets you en-suite and an upstairs view.

Golden Lilly Guest House
Address: Natsin Road
Prices from: $7-$14
Includes: breakfast
Tel: 081 501 08 Email: Web:
We arrived at 3am on the bus and unlike other hotels we were charged for a full night to stay. Rooms are either shared bathroom or en-suite. There really is no comparison, with the en-suite rooms offering a large balcony area to look out over the town, seats and doors that fit! The $7 rooms aren’t really much more than a wooden shed, no power-sockets and sum don’t even have bed-frames, with just a mattress on the floor. They do seem to stop pumping water to your bathrooms on a regular basis though and not just for showers! Not the friendliest of staff.

Honey Pine Hotel
Address: 44 Zadila Street
Prices from Single $20, Double $35, Triple $45
Includes: En-suite, breakfast, Wi-Fi, TV and fridge
Tel: 081 507 28 Email: honeypinehotelkalaw@gmail.com
One of the group of newer hotels, being only 3 years old, with a modern reception area. The rooms are comfortable though the single rooms generally don’t have windows.

Winner Hotel
Address: Pyi Taung Su Road
Prices from: single $20, Double $25, Triple $40
Includes: En-suite, Wi-Fi, TV, fridge, breakfast
Tel: 95 81 500 25 Email: WinnerWin29@gmail.com 
An upgrade of a double room to $35 gets you a kettle and an AC unit for warming the room. The rooms are big and clean and although the front of the hotel is on the main road running through Kalaw, the rooms go a long way back. Double rooms towards the upper floors offer better views. 

Eating and Drinking
Thu Maung restaurant
Highly recommended restaurant for Myanmar food.

Everest Nepalese Restaurant
Prices from: mains 2,500Ks/ 3,000Ks vegetarian/ meat, Beer 2,000Ks
What’s nice about this place is that there’s generally more locals than there are tourists. That said, we’re sure they are one of those new-aged dual-priced establishments otherwise the chap sitting next to us drinking beer as quick as an Englishman drinks tea must have been a rich man indeed. The food is okay, but even in Yangon you would only expect to pay 1,500Ks for this standard of meal.

A1 Trekking
Address: Market Street
Tel:  Email: exampletrek@gmail.com
Overnight treks were also priced at 15,000Ks per person, per day.
Trek: Local, 1 day with lunch, costs 10,00Ks including lunch
More to come!

Jungle King - Singh brothers
Address: Golden Lilly Guest House
Tel: 09 428 338 036 Email: aung.harri@gmail.com
Their card states that they speak English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and Korean. I had him stumbling with German and English. That said they do come highly recommended by travel guides but sadly not all other travellers. Outsourcing of guides and pre-arranged boats that have been paid for but not arrived are common complaints that we’ve heard.
Trek: 3 days, 2 nights to Inle Lake, costs 15,000Ks per person, per day +extra charges

The following is taken from Suzanna Clarke’s blog for us called “18 Days”.
“I arranged a 3 day, 2 night trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake to start the next day.  The cost (for one person) was $61, including the guide, accommodation, all food (but not drinks), transporting my main backpack to Inle Lake, and the boat trip on Inle Lake at the end of the trek to Nyaungshwe, I was grouped together with 5 other people.  The trek was very good and the guide (James) was fantastic.  A cook was provided and the food was delicious, definitely some of the best food I had in Myanmar.  The Singh brothers asked about dietary requirements when I signed up to the trek, and I told them that my diet is vegetarian and gluten free, however they did not tell the guide about this.  But James the guide went out of his way to make sure that I was well catered for.”

The trek was more challenging than I was expecting (last year I trekked to Everest Base Camp, so I thought this trek would be nice and easy in comparison!).  I think this was mainly due to the distance and the pace.  We walked about 12 miles on day 1, about 15 miles on day 2, and about 9 miles on day 3 (we stopped trekking before lunch on day 3).  Altitude was not a problem as it wasn’t much higher than around 1,000 meters, and it was mostly flat, with a few ups and downs.  The scenery was nice, but not stunning.”

The first night we stayed in a village (no electricity or running water) and the second night we stayed in a monastery.  Both nights all 6 of us slept in the same space, on mattresses lined up on the floor with no space in between them!  The first night in the village was very chilly, maybe about 10 degrees, so I’m glad I had my walking boots and fleece.
  • Myanmar: The true land of smiles?

    Powered by Noodles

    "Trip report March 2013" 
    Chelsea & Laim
     give us a factual report on Myanmar. Read there blog for the finer points and this report if you want the hard facts. Great report. [more]

    Time Travel Turtle
    "An unexpected journey to Twante"
    Michael Turtle 
    is a journalist turned traveller; and it is clear in his writing. One of the best travel bloggers we've ever read. [more]

    Pia Regan
    "Teaching English in Lasio"
    Pia really gives some inspiration to get off of the beaten path and to just get stuck in and help where you can. Thanks to Pia for allowing us to re-publish this blog. [more]


    Cycling in Inle

    "A return trip to Inle" 
    Daniel Fisher returns to Inle to take to the bike and investigate the local temples, vineyard and villages. [more]


    Back again!
    "Travellers report February 2013"

    Martin Clarke's second trip to Myanmar in 6 months and once again we're getting hard facts with a few opinions. Useful and solid information. [more]


    Honeymooning in Myanmar?
    "Travellers report February 2013"
    We weren't at the wedding but we're really pleased that we could help with their honeymoon planing. Thanks for the report. [more]










    Yangon City Calling!

    "Visiting Yangon but not the temples?"

    Wendy Merrett reflects on visiting Yangon again but without visiting the temples? [more]


    Maing Thuak Orphanage
    "Exploring the countryside of Nyaunghswe" 
    Steve Lyons takes a cycle ride of off the beaten track to visit an orphanage. [more]


    18 Days

    "A travellers report"
    Suzanna Clarke shares her 18 days of solo travel with us from December 2012.[more]









    Biking in Bago

    "A day trip from Yangon to cycle around Bago."

    Daniel Fishers's first proper blog took that many hits we managed to talk him into writing another one for us.

    City Maps
    The map for Bago follows the route described above for cycling. And now the "map man" is back from Myanmar all of our others will be updated soon.

    To go or not to go? 

    "Myanmar, or Burma as it's known in old money"

    Wendy Merrett writes about her thoughts about visiting Myanmar with the current political wranglings that
    pose a question for us all.


    Inle Lake, Myanmar 

    "Slouching kittens, Hidden (jumping) cats"

    Join Martin Clarke and friends as they take to the waters of Inle Lake for a day of fisherman, gardens, temples and some lazy cats... [more]

    Must see!

    Want to see the world through someone else's eyes, or at least their lens? Check out our Must see! pictures of Myanmar. [more]

    Trekking from Kalaw to Inle.

    "4 non-blondes on the way to Inle”

    Ruby Hood decides to walk to Inle rather than taking the bus? Two days and one night... [more]


    Posted 23 Jul 2013, 18:21 by Elli Murr
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  • Myanmar Charities: The Leaping Lemur Group
    There are no charges for receiving information on this site, because this is about sharing the latest information and not making money. That said, please take the time to look at some of the charities that we've highlighted beneath, and if you want to "pay" for the information you've downloaded, then look into some of these worthy causes.
    Elli xx

    The Burma Children’s Fund supports orphanages and pre-schools in various parts of Burma in order to provide shelter, health care and education for orphans and children. We will only support orphanages, clinics and pre-schools for infants and younger children where we know that the staff are dedicated and that the money they receive is spent on the children and for the direct benefit of the children. Children in Burma cannot control their own destiny and this is why our goal is “To Support their Future". [more] 

    Burma Campaign UK
     works for human rights, democracy and development in Burma.Burma Campaign UK is one of the leading Burma campaign organisations in the world. We play a leading role in raising awareness about the situation in Burma, and pressuring the international community to take action in support of the people of Burma. Founded in 1991, Burma Campaign UK is one of the leading Burma campaign organisations in the world. We play a leading role in raising awareness about the situation in Burma,  and pressuring the international community to take action in support of the people of Burma. [more]

     works with marginalised urban children and youth, their families and communities to become productive, independent citizens of their country. We do this by listening to and being guided by those who matter the most to us - the children and youth we work with everyday. Friends-International has been assisting marginalized urban children and youth across the world since 1994. We now run and support projects for these children and their families in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Honduras, Mexico, Egypt and Myanmar. Friends-International and its partners reach out to over 50,000 marginalised young people -particularly street children and youth – each year. We offer a range of comprehensive services as part of our holistic approach to assisting children and their families to improve their lives. [more]
    Compassionate Hands is a home-grown charity, founded by Snow Aye after the cyclone Nargis struck the southern delta region of Myanmar on 2nd May 2008. Since the start of Compassionate Hands, many people have volunteered to help realise various projects, ranging from emergency relief efforts after the Cyclone, to digging wells and helping children with AIDS. Many volunteers are from Myanmar itself, but also foreigners from other Asian countries, the United States and Europe are involved.... [more]
    Posted 27 Jun 2013, 20:17 by Elli Murr
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  • A sample from our facebook page. Follow us for regular updates.

    Garden of Reflection,
    Chiang Mai, Thailand:
    There is no glory for a lazy person however good looking

    Krabi Thailand:

    Solitude and silent reflection seems to be moving with the times

    Almost Famous,
    Pai, Thailand:

    Toilet humour, bar humour and a great quiz.
    Posted 26 Jun 2013, 21:11 by Elli Murr
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  • Sidebar
    Focus Charity 
    Popular City Guides 
    Popular Blogs
    Recent Trip Reports
    Posted 3 Jul 2013, 03:14 by Elli Murr
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  • Myanmar Sidebar
    Free Shuttle Bus at Mandalay Airport
    A free shuttle bus has been introduced for AirAsia customers in Mandalay. This service provides a free bus transfer between Mandalay Airport to Mandalay Downtown and vice versa. 

    1. How much is the fare for the transfer bus? 
    It’s free for all AirAsia guest. 
    2. How do I get the free transfer? Who are entitled to the free service? 
    AirAsia guest can present their inbound boarding pass, flight itinerary and their passport. 
    Service is only available on actual date of the flight as specified on boarding pass 
    3. Where do I find the service? 
    At Mandalay Airport: Exit gate of Arrival hall 
    In Mandalay City: Street 79 near Mandalay Palace (between 26&27) 
    4. How long is the shuttle bus ride between Mandalay airport to downtown Mandalay? 
    Approximately 1 hour depending on traffic conditions.

    Posted 16 Jul 2013, 19:24 by Elli Murr
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  • Travel Guides
    Over 1,000 downloads of "A travellers Guide to Myanmar"

    We've had over 27,000 hits in just 7 months! For some, that's nothing, for the charities we support, approx. 2% of our visitors visit on.Which means all of our hard work is worth it. 

    Looks like we'll be publishing an update to "A Travellers Guide to Myanmar" in September ready for the new season. And already we have Peter and Anne from Balmain, Sydney Australia on board to give us updates for their pending trip in October.

    So we have "
    Fish out of Water" and "Powered by Noodles" and now "Cool for Cats" set to update us in Myanmar. Can you get any more up-to-date?

    Free guides and downloads.
    Posted 24 Jul 2013, 21:12 by Elli Murr
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Definition of Charity: 
"Generosity and helpfulness especially toward the needy and suffering"

This is all about giving something back to the people of the countries that we've visited, to thank them for the wonderful experiences that we've had. There are no charges for receiving information on this site, because this is about sharing the latest information and not making money. You'll also note, there are no pop-ups or sponsored links to businesses. So, please take the time to look at some of the charities that we've highlighted on our charities page, and if you want to "pay" for the information you've received, then look into some of these worthy causes. Otherwise we'd gladly accept any support to help keep this site alive.

You will be directed to an Email window. 
If not, then email: volunteer@

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