When I arrived in Kalaw via the junction town of Thazi, I wasn’t sure how long I’d stay. For many people, it’s a launching point for multi-day treks that start in Kalaw and terminate at the popular Inle Lake. For others, it’s a hub to explore some of the many villages in the surrounding hills. I’d all but decided I wasn’t going to do any trekking, so for me it was a nice respite from the hot weather that I’ve grown so used to in Southeast Asia. I really didn’t do anything remarkable in Kalaw (I just ate a lot of food) but I still had a wonderful time.
Kalaw has the distinct air of the past about it. Whether it’s the old, colonial-style manses or the classic cars languishing on the roadsides; the town feels like it’s frozen in the past. It’s a nice feeling.
There were two things that I fell in love with in Kalaw. The first was the temperature at night. With the exception of one fever-stricken night in Taungoo, I have been relatively toasty at night with little more than a bed-sheet for ‘warmth’. In Kalaw, I had blankets piled on my bed and still managed to feel a slight chill when I slept and when I woke the next day. It was perfect. Sometimes my toes even went numb!
The other thing I fell in love with was a nice little noodle restaurant known as Pyae Pyae. The Shan-style noodles there were freaking delicious and the staff was very friendly. I went there for dinner every night. Add to that the first ice cream I’ve had this year – served to me with a smile – and I was properly smitten with one of the girls there. Some things never change, I guess.
I didn’t spend much time in Kalaw and wish I’d had the time to linger. Maybe next time I’ll be able to relax even more and spend some time exploring the surrounding hillsides. And, of course, get some noodles and ice cream from some of my favorite people in Myanmar!