Inside Burma Tours


Best known for its sacred grottoes, lakeside Pindaya is a beautiful location from which to explore rural Shan State. We recommend visiting minority villages on a gentle day stroll through the countryside, or taking a longer overnight trek to nearby Inle Lake.

Pindaya Map

“Famed for the golden grottoes crammed with Buddhas, Pindaya is surrounded by a rich, bucolic landscape. I guarantee you'll never see a better-tended field of cabbages!”

Tom Weston, Sales Director

Pindaya lies a couple of hours' drive through rolling, cultivated countryside from Inle Lake, in Shan State. This sleepy habitation is renowned for two reasons: firstly, its spectacular banyan trees, distinctive for their aerial prop roots growing from the tree's branches to the ground, and secondly the sacred Pindaya Caves - a series of natural limestone grottoes in the side of the mountain overlooking the town. Over the years, these caves have been filled with countless golden Buddha statues, ranging from the massive to the miniscule, covering every corner, wall, nook and cranny.

Of these Buddha statues, many date to the late 18th century - with some thought to date back as far as the early to mid-1700s - while others date from later periods, right up until the present day. This wide and ongoing timeframe means that the Pindaya Caves exhibit an extraordinary range of styles of religious art and iconography, quite unparalleled anywhere else in Burma.

There are many local legends concerning the Pindaya Caves. One such legend tells that the caves were once home to a giant spider, who captured seven princesses and confined them in his lair. The princess was rescued by Prince Kummabhaya of Yawnghwe, who shot the spider dead with a bow and arrow. Another legend claims that the blocked-off passage at the end of the cave leads to the ancient city of Bagan.

The bucolic surrounding countryside surrounding Pindaya offers wonderful walking and trekking possibilities - ranging from short strolls between rarely-visited villages to more adventurous two-day hikes over the hills to Inle Lake. We highly recommend staying in a monastery or simple local homestay as part of a multi-day hike, for an authentic insight into rural Burmese life.

Recommended Accommodation in Pindaya

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

Experiences in Pindaya

Pindaya 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 Pindaya

The Climate Guide for Pindaya 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 25 25 25 24 22
Min Night-time Temperature (°C) 8 9 13 16 18 18 18 18 17 16 13 9
Hours of Sunshine (Daily) 9 9 9 8 6 4 3 4 5 6 7 8
Hours of Daylight (Daily) 11 11 12 13 13 13 13 13 12 12 11 11
Heat and Humidity Discomfort None None Low Moderate Low Low Low None Low None None None
Days with some Rainfall 2 1 2 6 15 19 21 22 18 12 6 2
Monthly Rainfall (mm) 5 5 7 50 163 211 215 267 251 189 66 12
UV Index (Maximum) 8 10 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 11+ 10 8 7