This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Kalaw.
Kalaw, Myanmar (Burma), is located in the Shan State of Myanmar. It is about two hundred kilometers southeast of Mandalay and just under three hundred kilometers southeast of Bagan. It can be a dizzying ride up the hills to get to Kalaw, as mini-buses turn and twist their way up the hillside at flying speeds. If the mini-buses are fully loaded, drivers even sometimes turn off the air conditioning to enhance engine power, making the ride even more uncomfortable. Take motion sickness prevention medication beforehand if needed.
Kalaw is a quiet and peaceful little town surrounded by hills and enjoys a cooler temperature compared to both Mandalay and Bagan. Locals are really enjoying the new wave of tourism, and are friendly and helpful. There aren't a lot of tourist attraction in the town of Kalaw. There is a small central market that sells produce and fruits, as well as some home goods. Many travelers come to Kalaw for one thing -- to hike or get to Inle Lake. There are many tour agency groups that offer one-, two-, or three-day hiking, biking, and/or motorbiking tours to Inle Lake. Kalaw is small enough to explore by foot. Most restaurants, shops, and hospitality establishments are within minutes of walking.
Hostels in Kalaw, Myanmar (Burma) are not very prominent; instead, there are many hotels and smaller guesthouses. It's a bit difficult to pre-arrange accommodations in Kalaw, as many do not have an online presence. Upon arrival, there will be many motorcycle taxis waiting for travelers to unload and ask if they already have accommodations booked. They are a reliable and great source in finding accommodations to your liking. If looking for the cheapest option, ask the taxi driver and they will bring you. Ask for the second cheapest and they will bring you as well. That is on top of the taxi fare.
Written by local enthusiast for Kalaw hostelsCharmaine