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Loikaw is the capital of Kayah State, one of the least visited but more picturesque places we’ve found in Burma (Myanmar). The state is home to mountain-top pagodas, volcanic lakes, mysterious caves and a vast array of ethnic groups, including the Padaung – female members are often referred to somewhat disrespectfully as the “long necks” due to the golden rings traditionally placed around their necks from a young age. Bordering Thailand and rich in rivers and teak, this area has a long history of conflict between the Burmese junta and local ethnic military groups who have competed for control over the natural resources and fertile lands.

Starting in the early 2010s, the area opened up and begun development for tourism. Travel to remote regions off the beaten track may still require permits. A guide is recommended to help with navigation and safety. The state is heavily mined due to the prior conflict.

Best time to visit

The best time to visit Loikaw in Myanmar is from November until April, when you will have a pleasant till hot temperature and limited till mediocre rainfall. The highest average temperature in Loikaw is 33°C in april and the lowest is 25°C in january. 

Between the months of June and September the climate is very unfavorable. The rainiest months are July and August. The rains can interfere with your outside activities.

In the month of May & Octobre the climate is just OK.

Check the below table for the general idea of Loikaw weather throughout the year.

Month Avg. High (°C) Avg. Mean (°C) Avg. Low (°C)
Jan 27.3 20.2 10.2
Feb 30.3 22.9 11.7
Mar 33.6 26.4 14.8
Apr 34 28.2 19.1
May 31.9 27.2 20.4
Jun 29.7 26.2 21.5
Jul 27.9 24.9 21.1
Aug 27.9 24.9 21
Sep 29.1 25.7 21
Oct 28.9 24.6 18.7
Nov 28.8 23.9 17.2
Dec 27.2 20.8 11.6

Loikaw's current weather and 7-day forecast

LOIKAW WEATHER

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. 

Further afield

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.

1. Kayah Resort

Add: U Khun Li Street, Naung Yah (A) Quarter, Loikaw, Loikaw District, Kayah, Myanmar

Situated in the capital of Kayah State, Loikaw, this is one of, if not the best hotel in town. It's a perfect place to relax after a day exploring with good facilities, decent food and comfortable rooms. Conveniently situated less than 10 minutes from the Loikaw Airport it also feels satisfyingly secluded once you’re there.

The rooms are comfortable and generous in size. There’s an outdoor swimming pool for those wanting to unwind, and you'll no doubt be there to explore the local tribal villages and to enjoy the profound range of natural attractions nearby including caves, waterfalls and stunning panoramic vistas. 

2. Hotel Loikaw

Add: 9 Street, Naung Yar A Quarter (End of street by Htee Ngar Yar Lake)

Large hotel about 15 min north of the city centre beside a lake and one of the oldest hotels in Loikaw. There are rooms in a tower constructed in 2018/2019 as well as rooms in much older wooden bungalows constructed of what appears to be teak. Private bathrooms. Restaurant on-site. The hotel appears to be a popular venue in hosting large groups with large conference space. Front desk staff speak English and can arrange private cars and tours. Bicycles also available. 

3. Kayan Golden Sky Motel

Add: 29, Khattar St, Mingalar Ward (south side of the river, 300 m before Taung Kwe Pagoda)

Motel with 12 non-smoking rooms (double, twin & family), all featuring AC, TV with satellite channels, private bathroom. Family run business. Breakfast included served from 06:30 to 09:00 on the rooftop. Free wifi accessible from all areas. Free parking. Free bicycle to borrow. Motorbikes can be rented. Guide & transportation can be organized from here. Payment by cash or Visa/Mastercard. 

4. Thingaha Inn

Add: No.72 Nawarat St Daw Noe Ku Quarter (from the clock tower on Highway 5 head south; take the last left turn before the steel bridge over the river; the Inn is about 350 m along on the right side; the sign is in Myanmar Burmese but can be recognised by a large space for car park in front)

Basic breakfast included. Wifi and shared bathrooms, sometimes hot water. Helpful landlady. Bicycle hire is available but bikes in poor condition. 

5. Nan Ayar Inn

Add: No.112A, Nat Shin Naung Street, Daw Oo Khu Quarter

Basic accommodation with two different types of rooms. Basic breakfast included. 15,000 kyat double with shared bathroom and 25,000 kyat double with private bathroom.

Since it's Myanmar and a small town don't expect much open after 21:30 or before 08:00.

1. Mingalar Hin Htote. 

Opening hours: Daily 07:00-16:00. 

Budget: ~500 kyat. 

Popular restaurant known for its Hin Htote (rice flour and meat steamed in a banana leaf), a specialty of the region. Eat it with chili sauce. Busy with both people eating in and buying hin htote for takeout. 

2. Shan Noodle Shop 

Shop selling Shan noodles, which are rice noodles topped with a mix of spices, peanuts, and chilis. Busy during the breakfast-lunch hours. 

3 Shwe Ya Ti 

Restaurant with a patio overlooking the Balu Chaung River. Serves traditional Burmese foods such as Burmese curries. Food available pre-made and made to order.

Get in

1. By bus

Loikaw Bus Station (north of airport on the NH5). 

Bus station for minivans to regional towns and long distance buses linking to larger cities. 

From Kalaw:

Costs around 5,000 kyat (October 2015) and approximately 7 hours travel time. Departing Kalaw at 04:30 in front of Morning Star eatery just behind Aung Chan Tha Zedi. First stop is just outside Aungpan, from where it departs again at 06:00. Recommended to take the front seats for the view but have a blanket and warm clothes as the driver may leave the door open and the mornings are cold. On the way the driver might ask if you're hungry and stop at a rice restaurant with view over south lake, but best to take a picnic as this is not guaranteed. 

From Taunggyi:

Costs around 3500 kyat (November 2018) and takes approximately 5 hours. Departing from Bus Station ti Hsiseng at 07:30. Beautiful journey through small villages. 

2. By train

Loikaw Train Station. 

Small train station with service connecting to the greater rail network at Aungban. 

From Mandalay/Thazi/Kalaw: 

Thazi is on the main railway from Yangon to Mandalay. From Thazi you can take a train up the mountains; go to Aungban. In Aungban there is a junction for the branch railway line to Loikaw which was constructed in 1992. The trip is slow, but the landscape very scenic, and tickets are cheap. Tickets can be bought only at the stations, usually a few hours before departure. 

3. By plane

Loikaw Airport (LIW IATA) - 5 min north by car from city centre.

From Yangon or other big cities, flying to Heho airport then catch a private car to Loikaw.

Direct flight to Loikaw airport is also available at certain days of the week. Please contact us for the flight schedule

Contact us for the latest flight schedule and price. Or you can check via some online platform such as SkyScanner.com or Kayak.com

Here you can find some tips to book the cheapest flight

Get around

Most of the town can be covered on foot. Surrounding temples and villages are easy by bicycle if you are comfortable with traffic on busy roads. Alternatively, a tuktuk or taxi can be hired. Local buses travel the main road. Ticket prices are based on distance.

To reach sights further away from Loikaw, a hired private car is recommended due to the remoteness of some of the sights and the lack of public transport options. Reaching areas off the highways may necessitate a 4x4 vehicle due to dirt roads. The monsoon season will also impair any travel to these areas due to its effect on dirt roads.

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Myanmar BLOG ARTICLES

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There is an understandable uncertainty with how you should travel to the Asian region if you are planning to. This is why we present you the list of 19 Asian countries, along with details on the current travel situation. As each country applies precisely defined regulations, you should always check the official websites listed in the article below for the latest government announcements.

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