Loikaw may not be as popular as other cities in Myanmar, but don’t let that fool you. Loikaw is a smaller but beautiful upcoming tourist destination that is worth a visit. You will be surprised by some of the unique things to do and places you can explore at this hidden destination.
You might wish to revisit it someday again, to take a break and relax at Loikaw.
If you have plans to visit Myanmar and are not sure if Loikaw should be included in your itinerary, keep reading. In this list, we have put together some of the things to do in Loikaw and around. We have a hunch that if you include this city in your travel plans, you will be thrilled you did so.
Within the city
1. Taung Kwe Pagoda
Impressively built on a big rock with many smaller pagodas sticking out. Requires climbing several flights of stairs around the rock to reach the top. At night the temple is lit like a fairground with twinkling lights. Also a good place to weather watch or star gaze on darker platforms. Alternatively, go during dusk or dawn to watch the sunset or sunrise.
2. Naung Yar Lake
Tranquil lake in the middle of the city with a wooden bridge crossing it. Popular with local young adults as a hangout spot. Have a picnic here if the mood strikes you.
1. Ngwe Taung Dam
A dam by the town of Demoso, which forms a mirror like lake. A picturesque spot to take pictures with the background fields and hills. The dam regulates the irrigation of surrounding fields.
2. Umbrella Pond (Htee Pwint Lake)
30 minutes south of Loikaw. Small pond by Demoso with mud that occasionally rise up in several places forming a mound that looks like an umbrella - likely from gas formation within the pond. Said to be lucky if you see one of these umbrellas bubbling up.
3. Htee Sel Khar Waterfalls
1 hour north of Loikaw. Staircase type waterfalls with a pontoon bridge crossing the water straddling Kayah and Shan states. A popular place for a dip with many people from the surrounding area visiting.
4. Seven Lakes (Seven Stages Lake)
1 hour south of Loikaw. A series of lakes where it was said was formed by 7 mythological creatures who landed in the area. With a backdrop of surrounding hills, it's a scenic location.
5. Kyet Cave (Ya Sa Ku)
1 hour east of Loikaw. A limestone cave with mysterious ancient wooden coffins inside ranging in sizes. Some coffins are located in hard to reach nooks within the cave. It was said that ancestors of the local population were interred in these coffins inside the cave. There are no visible skeletons or bones. There is a small monastery outside the cave. Within the cave is pitch black without lights (2017), so carry a flashlight or other light source.
6. Kayan people villages
South of Loikaw and around Demoso, west of the Salween river in the mountains between 1000 and 1500 m. Ask around which villages are good for visiting or organise a local transport/tour to go around (5,000-10,000 kyat). You will have to decide about the ethics of this form of tourism. Try to find a tour that benefits the local community.
7. Sunboon village
Leaving town south along highway 5; at the first traffic toll gate take the left track. 50 m down, women can be seen sitting weaving with goods for sale. 500 m further on, there are a few wooden houses with Kayan. Older people don't understand Burmese, so an interpreter is suggested if you really want to interact.