Inside Burma Tours

Kalaw

A former colonial hill station and home to a variety of minority cultures, Kalaw is a delightful addition to any itinerary visiting the Inle Lake region of Shan State.

Kalaw Map

“The cool hills of Shan State are where the British retreated to in the height of summer, and Kalaw retains a strong draw today. Colonial history, minority cultures, great scenery and elephants - what more could you want?”

Tyler Palma, Group Tours Ground Manager & Senior Tour Leader

Located at 1,320 metres above sea level in the hills to the west of Inle Lake, Kalaw's cool climate and lush surroundings made it a popular destination for the British during the colonial era. Thanks to this, Kalaw bears many of the hallmarks of the hill stations elsewhere in Asia - such as picturesque period architecture, often in a mock-Tudor style.

Kalaw is an excellent base for visitors who wish to trek in the beautiful, hilly scenery of surrounding Shan State, visiting the villages of the local minority groups and escaping the muggy heat of the lowlands. From here, it is possible to make a two-day trek to Inle Lake - a popular choice with more adventurous travellers.

Finally, many visitors who make it to Kalaw will want to set aside some time to visit the Green Hill Elephant Camp, a home for retired logging elephants. This sanctuary leads Burma in terms of ethical treatment of its animals and its efforts to conserve the surrounding area. Guests can interact with the elephants, learn about being a mahout (elephant handler), take treks into the forest, and help with conservation efforts by planting trees.

Recommended Accommodation in Kalaw

The following are our favourites from among the western-style hotels and Burmese-style inns of Kalaw.

Experiences in Kalaw

Kalaw offers a wealth of exciting experiences that will help you get beneath the surface of Burma's fascinating culture. See below for a few of our favourites

Weather in Kalaw

The Climate Guide for Kalaw is perfect for planning your holiday. Monthly weather averages give the best indication of what the weather is usually like for every month of the year including figures for temperature, rainfall and sunshine.

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Max Daytime Temperature (°C) 23 25 28 30 28 25 25 24 25 25 24 22
Min Night-time Temperature (°C) 8 10 13 17 18 18 18 17 17 17 13 9
Hours of Sunshine (Daily) 9 10 9 8 6 4 3 4 5 6 7 8
Hours of Daylight (Daily) 11 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 12 12 11 11
Heat and Humidity Discomfort None None Low Moderate Low Low None None Low Low None None
Days with some Rainfall 2 1 2 6 15 20 22 23 19 12 6 2
Monthly Rainfall (mm) 5 5 7 49 167 227 241 281 259 187 66 12
UV Index (Maximum) 8 10 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 10 8 7