When it got too hot in the lowlands for the British during the colonial era, they retreated to hill stations like KALAW. Today the climate is still part of the appeal, even if it can get a bit chilly at night in winter, and the town is a base for some excellent treks to ethnic minority villages.

Other than the market, which is open every day but spills out into the streets when it’s Kalaw’s turn to host the rotating market, there isn’t a lot to do in the town itself besides visit its pagodas. These include the mirrored Aung Chan Tha Zedi in the centre and small Thein Taung Paya, uphill from the Union Highway and notable mainly for the views back towards the town.

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