Loikaw is the capital of the Kayan state (pop. 140,670 as of 2013) in Eastern Myanmar close to the Thai border.
By busFrom Kalaw Costs around 5,000K (October 2015) and approximately 7 hours travel time. Departing Kalaw at 04:30 in front of Morning Star eatery just behind Aung Chan Tha Zedi. First stop is just outside Aungpan, from where it departs again at 06:00. Recommended to take the front seats for the view but have a blanket and warm clothes as the driver may leave the door open and the mornings are cold. On the way the driver might ask if you're hungry and stop at a rice restaurant with view over south lake, but best to take a picnic as this is not guaranteed.
From Taunggyi Costs around 3500K (November 2018) and takes approximately 5 hours. Departing from Bus Station ti Hsiseng at 7:30. Beautiful journey trough small villages.
By trainFrom Mandalay/Thazi/Kalaw: Thazi is on the main railway from Yangon to Mandalay. From Thazi you can take a train up the mountains; go to Aungban. In Aungban there is a junction for the branch railway line to Loikaw which was constructed in 1992. The trip is slow, but the landscape very scenic, and tickets are cheap. Tickets can be bought only at the stations, usually a few hours before departure.
Most of the town can be covered on foot. Surrounding temples and villages are easy by bicycle if you are comfortable with traffic on busy roads. Alternatively, a tuktuk or taxi can be hired. Local buses travel the main road. Ticket prices are based on distance.
Kayan people village(s)Ask around which village(s) are good for visiting or organise a local transport/tour to go around (5,000-10,000 kyat).
Taung Kwe PagodaImpressively build on a big rock with many smaller pagodas sticking out. At night the temple is lit like a fairground with twinkling lights. Also a good place to weather watch or star gaze on darker platforms.
Sunboon village50m down, women can be seen sitting weaving with goods for sale. 500 m further on, there are a few wooden houses with Kayan. Older people don't understand Burmese, so an interpreter is suggested if you really want to interact.
Ngwe Daung Dam
- Take a walk around the local market in the morning and spot different tribes selling their goods.
- Cross the old wooden footbridge without tripping.
- Walk around the lake, see the sunset in the evening.
- Rent a bicycle or motorbike at Loikaw Souvenirs (No(1), Kandayawadi Street across the street of Mingalar Hotel. ). Victoria, the owner of the shop is very kind and would be very happy to help you. She also organizes tours to go around Loikaw and villages.
Cheap noodles 500K at a small shop just north from the wooden bridge on Highway 5.
Usual tea houses with fried food freshest early in the morning.
Small market with food stalls north of Shwe Thaung Monastery. Dumpling stuffed with tofu and spring onions, 1,200K good for two.
No notable bars or restaurants.
phone: +95-83-222-1923address: 29, Khattar St, Mingalar WardMotel with 12 non-smoking rooms (double, twin & family), all featuring AC, TV with satellite channels, private bathroom. Family run business. Breakfast included served from 6:30AM to 9AM on the rooftop. Free wifi accessible from all areas. Free parking. Free bicycle to borrow. Motorbikes can be rented. Guide & transportation can be organized from here. Payment by cash or Visa/Mastercard.
Moon Innphone: +95 8321618Basic and not recommended if you are a light sleeper. Single and double rooms available with shared facilities, popular with locals so advanced booking is suggested. Speak English slowly and clearly.
Thingaha InnBasic breakfast included. Wifi and shared bathrooms, sometimes hot water. Helpful landlady. Bicycle hire is available but bikes in poor condition.
- Nan Ayar Inn Guest House. No.112A, Nat Shin Naung Street, Daw Oo Khu Qr. +95 9 262 591 161 Basic accommodation with two different types of rooms: 15000K double with shared bathroom and 25000K double with private bathroom, tv and frigobar. Basic breakfast included.