With Kayah and Kayin states mostly off-limits to tourists, it’s the large Shan State (a good deal of which is itself closed) that epitomizes the appeal of the hilly east of the country. A day-trip on Inle Lake, visiting stilt villages and colourful markets, is top of the list, although for many travellers the trekking opportunities around Kalaw are equally appealing. Fewer visitors make it to Kengtung, but it has its own isolated charm and offers the chance to trek to villages where traditional animist beliefs still hold sway.
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