Shan State is one of the best places to visit and relax in summer. In colonial period, senior government offcials head to in Kalaw or Taunggyi to spend their summer. Shan state is also very diverse and colorful region since it is home to many national races including Shan, Palaungs, Danu, Lahus, Inthas, Taungyoe, etc. Almost all ethnic groups have their own traditions and cultures. Then, the places in Southern Shan state especially Kalaw, Pindaya, Inle lake, Kakku , Taunggyi, Htam Sam Cave are defnitely worthy a visit. You can easily get there and also do not need to worry for accommodation. In almost every region of Southern Shan State, there is a fve-day market, where you can buy various fresh and cheap products from local inhabitants’ own farms.
Inle Lake is a huge lake (22 km long and 10km across) located in Shan State, over 900 meters above sea-level, and it is outrageously beautiful. The strangest thing about Inle is native lake-dwellers, living on ‘floating islands’. It is one of the most significant and productive ecological system supporting an immense variety of plants and animals and yielding great wealth for Myanmar through its occurrence of floating islands and the living style of the natives. Inle Lake is stunning and to appreciate the extensive natural waterways from the lake shores and unsurpassed luxury accommodation of villas built over the waters and shores of one of Myanmar's most stunning natural and cultural wonders, Inle Lake. It is the perfect location in which to explore the wonders of this unique destination with private outdoor terrace for viewing a spectacular sunset over the lake and hills beyond.
Although Pindaya is a small town in Southern Shan State, it becomes one of the mustsee tourist destinations of Myanmar for its famous limestone caves. Pindaya is Danu Autonomous Region and the main inhabitants are Danu and PaO. If you want to go Pindaya from Kalaw by car, it takes only 45-minute. Pindaya caves containing thousands of ancient Buddha stuppas is the major tourist attraction of Pindaya. You should not miss to visit Boataloke Lake where seven fairies used to take bath according to legend.
Kalaw has been very popular hilly resort since the colonial period. It is located 1320m above sea level and surrounded by pine trees and Shan plateau. The distance between Kalaw and Yangon is only 634.2km. One can reach Kalaw within 7 hours by car. You can also get there by train. There is direct train from Yangon that takes 26 hours to reach Kalaw. Such a long duration is due to having many stop overs along the way. However, the landscape is astonishing, nice and mountainous and dramatic. Around Kalaw, there are also many interesting places to visit and do many activities including hiking and trekking. Green Hill Valley Elephant Camp, a 45-minute drive from Kalaw is recently popular in Southern Shan State. Visitors to this Elephant Camp can find local village traditions and natural beauty of the surrounding forest and get opportunity to learn about Mahouts and their Elephants in the nature. Then, the visitors can also participate in this Elephant Camp’s program; replantingand conserving of the forest to save the environment.
Taunggyi is the capital of Shan State, with a moderate climate. Hot-air Balloon Festival is famous and held every November in Taunggyi. Taunggyi has an estimated population of 205,000 As of 2010, making it the fifth largest city in Myanmar and is at an elevation of 4,712 feet (1,436 m) above sea level. The name Taunggyi means "huge mountain" in the Burmese language, and is named after the ridge on the east of the city, part of the Shan Hills system, whose prominent high point is called Taung-chun or "The Spur." Locally this spur is popularly known as Phaya Taung. The ridge has a more prominent and more popular feature known as Chauk Talone, meaning the Craigs. Although within the Shan State, the Shans are not the predominant population of this city. The Inthas and the Pa-Ohs, who are also the original inhabitants of the Shan Plateau, form the most visible population. They however are culturally and linguistically different from the Shan. Recently there has been a flood of Chinese immigrants. Taunggyi lies within the Myelat region of Shan State
Deep in the heart of Myanmar's Shan State lies one of the largest cluster of Asia's most spectacular ancient monuments.The site contains over 2000 Buddhist stupas with origins dating back many centuries. It exists not only as an outstanding example of traditional art and architecture but also as a testament to the religious devotion of one of Myanmar's many ethnic races, the Pa-Oh. According to legend, Kakku was built by the grandson of King Kyansittha, "King A Laung Si Thu" and they were built around the 13th century, A.D. Kakku, lies in Taunggyi Township, Shan State. It is 2½hour's drive from Heho & 2½hours drive from Inle Lake .
Located high in the Shan Hills at the center of the Golden Triangle, it is one of the country's most remote outposts and probably the most scenic town in the Shan State. Built around a small lake, and dotted with aging Buddhist temples and crumbling British colonial architecture, Kentung is probably the most scenic town in the Shan State. Living almost side by side in small communities are groups of Ang, Lahu, Pao, Wa, Lihsaw, Padaung, Shan, Chin and Akha.
The capital of northern Shan State is 7 hours drive from Mandalay.It has a population of 150,000. It serves as Myanmar-China border trade centre.The scenery on the way with its towering mountains, the swiftly flowing Duhtawady River running alongside most of the way in the foot hills and the spectacular Gohteik Gorge are captivating and once in Lashio the central market and hot springs are also interesting places to visit.