Inside Asia Tours

Colonial Pyin Oo Lwin

A two-hour, scenic drive from the ancient capital of Mandalay lies the picturesque hill station of Pwin Oo Lwin.

Established by the British as a retreat from soaring summer temperatures, the small town still retains a much anglicised feel.

The colonial presence in the town can be traced back to the end of the 19th Century when the British arrived after capturing Mandalay at the conclusion of the Third Burmese War. The town was renamed Maymyo (May Town) after Colonal May, the commander of the post and a veteran of the Indian Mutiny. In 1896 a permanent military post was established in the town and it later became a hill station and the summer residence of the British Government in Burma due to its cooler temperatures.

As many reminders of the colonial era are still present in town, exploring these landmark sites is a major highlight of the visit. From brick and timber houses with British names to the Botanical Gardens in the south of the town, a walk through Pyin Oo Lwin is a walk through Myanmar's recent history.

There are opportunities to enjoy a ride in a traditional horse and carriage through the town to visit some more of the colonial sites before ending at the jewel in Pyin Oo Lwin's crown, the magnificent and mature botanical gardens. Built in 1915, this lovingly maintained 175-hectre garden features more than 480 species of flower, shrub and tree. The most appealing aspect is the way flowers and overhanging branches frame views of Kandawgyi Lake's wooden bridges and small gilded pagoda. A perfect end to a fascinating day.

Colonial Pyin Oo Lwin

located in Pyin Oo Lwin

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