Pyin Oo Lwin is a verdant hill town surrounded by the Shan Plateau, east of Mandalay. Formerly called Maymyo after Colonel May, it served as a welcome respite from oppressive summers for the British rulers. Today, Pyin Oo Lwin literally translates as the city of gardens, and is a colorful canvas of nature. There are charming colonial buildings that add further character to the tree-lined streets. Winding avenues make their way to quiet roadside settlements in which various Burmese and Shan ethnic peoples, as well as descendants of Chinese and Indian settlers, call home. Despite a burgeoning trade and increasing visitors, the town retains its old world charm and is best explored on a traditional horse-drawn carriage.
Formerly May Myo, explore this city of flowers with its twisting, winding roadside villages (abt 1.5hrs). Admire its colorful canvas masterpiece of flower species; see ethnic tribes of Burmese and Shan race, and Chinese, Nepali and Indian migrants. Visit the market with multicolored flowers/vegetables; local Shan villages of Yechan O and Ye Nge; Kandawgyi Botanical Garden, Pwe Kauk Waterfall, Peik Chin Myaung Caves – explore local herbal medicine stalls here; enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride.