- Park and garden
- Off the beaten track
As is true throughout a trip to Myanmar, it is enjoyable to use less common forms of transport, such as the quaintly old-fashioned, pink and green (well, mine was at least) horse-drawn carriages. Don't be reluctant to travel to Pyin Oo Lwin by shared pickup truck (two and a quarter hours from Mandalay, including a stop to cool the engine with a jet of water!) to then disembark and later return the way you came, or alternatively head on to Hispaw.
I spent some time visiting the Chinese temple. You could almost believe you're actually in the country itself. I even came across some Tonkinese shelling pumpkin seeds using scissors. It was like a little corner of some Chinese city in deepest Myanmar!
A few kilometers from the town is a cave called U Naung Gu where there is a series of Buddhas lit by neon lighting. As kitsch as can be, it's entirely unlike anything you'd expect to find. You can get to it easily by share taxi, or by bicycle if you're the more adventurous type.
Pyin Oo Lwin is quite different from the other towns and cities you will travel through when visiting Burma. It is a calm and peaceful town, like something belonging to a different time and place.
It is cool and fresh here. Dogs laze permanently beneath large trees by potholed streets; small horse-drawn carriages crisscross the town; and there is, as one might say, something of an "English" atmosphere. The colonial past is strongly in evidence, even if today the large colonial houses are mainly occupied by wealthy Chinese and Indians.
In Pyin Oo Lwin, I spent time relaxing, made the most of the cool fresh air, strolled around the public gardens area, and enjoyed some delicious coffees. This is, after all, a town famous for its coffee, strawberries, flowers and sweaters!