By Thiha (the Traveller)
- continued Article of 23 September
Waterfalls to visit in Pyin Oo Lwin
(1) Dat Taw Gyaing Waterfall
It was known as Dat Taw Gyaing Waterfall but some knew it is Anisakan Waterfall. This is a very beautiful waterfall with water cascading down a considerable height. The view from the bottom was the most beautiful but the climb down was steep and climbing back up to Mandalay-Pyin Oo Lwin road would be a considerable climb. There were some porters around who’ll carry you up but the price was quite high so do ensure that you are in good shape and health to hike up and down the steep path. The waterfall had three stages and all are beautiful in their own ways. The beauty of the entire waterfall can be seen from The View Hotel. Entry to the restaurant of the hotel was 1,000 Kyat and you can enjoy the complete view of the waterfall while having something at the restaurant.
(2) Pwe Kauk Waterfall or B.E. Fall
Majority of visitors who pay homage to Maha Ant Htoo Kan Tha Pagoda normally went to Pwe Kauk Waterfall. The entrance to the waterfall faces the pagoda across the Pyin Oo Lwin-Lashio Road. The waterfall was also known as B.E. Fall because the place renovated by Battlefield Engineers (B.E.) Corp and thus was known as such. During the colonial time, it was said to be known as Hampshire fall. The waterfall was not a high waterfall and it is more like a water cascade rather than a waterfall. Closeness to Pyin Oo Lwin and ease of going there attracts many visitors and was normally crowded during peak travel season. Visitors can swim and there were quite a number of restaurants and souvenir shops that cater to the visitors. Locally produced wines and jams can be bought there.
(3) December Farm Waterfall
December Farm Waterfall located in December Farm mentioned in last week’s article on Pyin Oo Lwin was another waterfall that was attracting visitors, especially youngsters.
(4) Yay Pyan Taung Waterfall
The hike to Yay Pyan Taung Waterfall and back was quite similar to the one to Dat Taw Gyaing Waterfall. The way to the waterfall was descending through a forested hill or mountainside while the way back was ascending all the way out or rather up. So make sure you are fit and had a full stamina. The fall had seven stages and all stages had small but wide waterfalls. The bottom or the lowest one was said to be the most beautiful but I didn’t made it that far and couldn’t comment about it.
Wine estate in Pyin Oo Lwin
There were a number of wine estates in Pyin Oo Lwin out of which I visited Shwe Pyin Oo Lwin Wine Estate.
It was situated on the small road to Yay Pyan Taung Waterfall. As it was at a place away from town, natural beauties of forest, hills and mountains can be experienced. It is at Sin Gaung Lay Village. It can be reached via the circuit road that avoids the crowded town area of Pyin Oo Lwin while taking pictures of the pine trees along the way. Grapes were grown systematically there and you can help yourself to the grapes on the vine even though the price was a bit high. But the fact that you can fetch the tasty grapes from the vines and have it there and then makes it a worthwhile experience.
Parks and other places to visit
(1) National Kandawgyi Park
In addition to holding flower festivals, varieties of flowers were grown there all year round. It is a wide open area where you can feel fresh simply by taking a deep breath. The beauty of the wide open lake and flowers can be experienced as well as variety of birds there naturally or in cages of various sizes can be observed. A variety of butterflies can be observed in the butterfly museum while a variety of orchids can also be seen the orchid museum. Except for shortage of clean rest rooms, a visit to the park gave you a good relaxing experience.
(2) The Croft organic farm
It is a small organic farm just within the town limit so the small size wasn’t much of a wonder. It is not far from National Kandawgyi Park. A variety of vegetables were grown as well as strawberries. Entrance fee of 2,500 Kyat per person was charged that includes a complete Hi tea set. The tea set includes fruits, a cold drink or coffee. A red barn-like structure or cottage near the entrance makes the place quite an interesting one. The water tower was also an attraction and the place was becoming a well known or preferred spot for pre-wedding photo shoots.
(3) YGW Garden
YGW Garden is another interesting place, a garden, with a restaurant. The garden also had some small live bears, monkeys and birds that visitors can observe. The garden and restaurant was made up and constructed western country style with many country style memorabilia lying around making it even more interesting. It is another interesting photo spot. To go there take the Pyin Oo Lwin-Lashio road toward Peik Chin Myaung Cave. Just after descending the winding mountain side road and before entering Wetwun Village, you’ll see a sign on a white wall pointing toward YGW Garden. The drive down the narrow entrance road took about 3 minutes but as the road was narrow, it would amount to test of the driving skill of the driver if any cars came down the road from the opposite direction.
(4) Pine tree row and pine tree road
This place became popular quite recently. It was on the circuit road around the town. The road was a good road that go through a small pine forest and that was where many people came simply to take pictures of the pine forest with rows of pine tree together with the road and the car. But do be careful and don’t step onto the road when taking pictures.
(5) Royal Rose Garden
This was where roses where sold in thousands to tens of thousands. It is a commercial rose farm rather than a place made for tourist attraction or a garden or a park so it is best to go there to buy roses. And then you can have a look around. It is at Sin Gaung Lay Village situated on the way to Yay Pyan Taung Waterfall.
(6) National Landmarks Garden
National Landmarks Garden was just beside the National Kandawgyi Park. The garden contains scale models of well known landmarks of each States and Regions in Myanmar. A buggy can take you around the sight quickly but if the weather was fine, a leisurely walk could be enjoyable even though the walk would be a considerable distance.
(7) Htoo orange farm
Htoo orange farm can be reached by going past Pwe Kauk Waterfall and on to Pinlane Vallage. Entrance fee was Kyat 2,000 per person. With the ticket, you can get a free fresh orange juice at the restaurant inside. You can take a ride on a tractor trailer to go around the farm and pluck oranges from the trees. The oranges you plucked from the tree were then sold to you at a price of Kyat 1,500 per kilo. So don’t get over eager and pluck more than you want.
(8) Governor’s House
The Governor’s House was another place to visit. The whole house can be rented for a night but the price was quite high. The house has a small restaurant as well as an indoor swimming pool. An entrance fee is collected for visitors and photography is not permitted inside the house. Some life-like wax models that include Myanmar’s last king, King Thibaw can be seen there.
(9) Bronze statues of three kings
The three bronze statues of the three kings that founded first, second and third Myanmar empires, King Anawrahta, King Bayinnaung and King Alaungpaya at the entrance to Defence Services Academy was also becoming a place for visitors to the town to take photo.
(10) Clock Tower
The clock tower in the heart of Pyin Oo Lwin town was known as Purcell Tower during colonial time and was built to commemorate the Silver Jubilee of the reign of King George V of Britain. Most visitors took photographs there but some may not know the historical story behind the building of the clock tower.
More and more places of interest will keep on cropping up and Pyin Oo Lwin will keep on attracting visitors with both new and old places to visit. For me, I’ll be visiting it quite frequently to visit the new places and to revisit the old places.
Translated by Handytips