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Pyin Oo Lwin


Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo; p 250 ) is a one-off curiosity that makes for an easy escape from sweaty
lowland Mandalay. As the former British-era summer capital, it retains a wide scattering of co-
lonial buildings big and small and a remarkable botanical garden that’s one of Southeast Asia’s most
manicured. Today, local tourists and a new generation of elite fl eeing the heat are treated to some of
provincial Myanmar’s best cuisine and most imaginative hotels. And to give it all a photogenic twist,
the local taxi service is by colourful horse and cart. National Kandawgyi Gardens, Pyin Oo Lwin

Mrauk U


While exploring the many temples, monasteries and ruined city walls of the former Rakhaing
capital of Mrauk U (Myohaung; p 279 ), you realise what an amazing place this sleepy town
was at its zenith in the 16th century. Giant structures such as the Dukkanthein Paya and Kothaung
Paya appear even more impressive amid the beguiling rural landscape of gently rounded hills and
vegetable fi elds, through which the locals weave their way, aluminium water pots balanced on their
heads. Stay an extra day and travel by boat to the Chin villages (p 286 ) scattered along the Lemro
River. Pagoda in the hills, Mrauk U
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