Journey north from the hot, dry plains around Mandalay to the green hills of the Shan plateau, passing through quiet towns and rural villages, to the former British hill station of Maymyo (Pyin Oo Lwin). The town was founded in 1896 as a place where the British colonial administrators could come to escape the heat of the plains. They named it Maymyo (May Town), after Colonel May of the 5th Bengal Infantry. Many colonial houses and structures from this era can still be seen today on a walking tour of the town in the company of a local guide. Highlights include the Purcell Tower, which was a present from Queen Victoria, and the National Kandawgyi Gardens, founded in 1915 by the English botanist Alex Rodgers. This 176-hectare botanic garden is home to more than 480 species of flowers, trees and shrubs, and is also a great location to enjoy high tea or locally grown strawberries with cream.
Burma (Myanmar) has a rich cultural
heritage and a long, eventful history.