Explore Pyin Oo Lwin - Myanmar’s Highland City of Flowers on a next trip to Myanmar Explore Pyin Oo Lwin - Myanmar’s Highland City of Flowers on a next trip to Myanmar

Explore Pyin Oo Lwin – Myanmar’s Highland City of Flowers on a next trip to Myanmar

Explore Pyin Oo Lwin – Myanmar’s Highland City of Flowers on a next trip to Myanmar


Established by the British as a retreat from soaring summer temperatures the small town of Pyin Oo Lwin (Maymyo) still retains a much anglicized feel.

The colonial presence in the town can be traced back to the end of the 19th Century when the British arrived after capturing Mandalay at the conclusion of the Third Burmese War. The town was renamed Maymyo (May Town) after Colonal May, the commander of the post and a veteran of the Indian Mutiny. In 1896 a permanent military post was established in the town and it later became a hill station and the summer residence of the British Government in Myanmar (the British named it Burma) due to its cooler temperatures.

During British rule Pyin Oo Lwin was also an important educational centre with the Government English High Schools such as St. Albert’s, St. Joseph’s Convent, St. Mary’s, St. Michael’s and Colgate all based here. Maymyo was renamed to Pyin Oo Lwin in 1989 when the government abandoned colonial titles to the original Myanmar names before British rule.

Pyin Oo Lwin offers visitors cool days and nights, peaceful rural roads and tracks for walkers and cyclists, trekking in the fruit and flower producing countryside, and interesting shopping.  Old times can be re-lived with coach rides, and many historical and beautiful places are within easy reach.  Just over an hour’s drive from Mandalay, and with spectacular views from the road up the escarpment, Pyin Oo Lwin is an ideal and refreshing destination for visitors to Upper Myanmar.

 Explore Pyin Oo Lwin - Myanmar’s Highland City of Flowers on a next trip to Myanmar

How to go Pyin Oo Lwin

Comfortable buses are now available throughout the country, and they offer the most economical way to visit Pyin Oo Lwin from Yangon.  There is a choice of one day bus and several night buses direct to/from Yangon. Flights are now available between Mandalay and Bangkok.  Business visas can be bought at Mandalay airport, but you should be sure to have the correct documentation. There are also several agencies offering an e-visa service.

From the Mandalay International Airport there are two choices: either hire a taxi (Sein Myanmar or Seven Diamond are best) directly to Pyin Oo Lwin (cost about $35 (35,000 kyats); or take a taxi into Mandalay (Shwe Myanmar has a stand at the airport Arrivals Hall – $4 per person) to the roadside stop for Pyin Oo Lwin taxis.  The cost of a seat in a shared taxi is about $6-7 (or about $35 for 4 foreigners sharing). The first option takes about 1.5 hours, the second about 2.5 hours altogether.

Staying in Pyin Oo Lwin

Pyin Oo Lwin has hotels from top class down.  Comfortable country inns with good food and service, medium range hotels, and budget hotels – all give that old-fashioned individual attention and assistance.

In the off-season (after mid-April to end September) bookings aren’t needed.  It’s worth calling in advance for rooms in the better hotels since they do fill up occasionally – on the weekends near Full Moon days, for example.

Lots of places to eat, ranging from Feel and Woodland (European food, international quality and ambience) to Food Markets which are set up outside the Main market and the Shan market from about 4pm onwards.  Quality and hygiene varies, and MSG is on the wane.

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