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Top 5 Myanmar Destinations for 2018

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Top 5 Myanmar Destinations for 2018
 
Had your fill of Myanmar’s most popular attractions? We asked the team from Sampan Travel to list their top five off-the-beaten-track destinations in the country to make 2018 the most adventurous year yet.
 
Indawgyi Lake, Kachin State
 
Indawgyi is Myanmar’s largest and—in our opinion—most beautiful lake. With reflections of Noah’s Ark, its mythical origin is of a sinful village flooded by a punitive dragon. Today, over the site of the drowned village is the Shwe Myitzu Pagoda, which in March is accessible via two sandy causeways. Foreigners can stay in a quirky guesthouse in the village of Lonton, meet the Shan Ni (Red Shan), and kayak on the lake with the organisation Inn Chit Thu—‘Lovers of the Lake.’
 
Getting There: From Kachin capital Myitkyina travellers can take a train to Hopin and from here a motorbike taxi or shared pick-up truck. Trains to Hopin can also be boarded from Mandalay and Katha.
 
Mindat and Kanpetlet, Chin State
 
There is nowhere else in Myanmar quite like Chin State, where redbrick churches instead of shimmering pagodas sit atop the hills. From the scruffy town of Mindat, fortified with thick Chin coffee (best taken with a wedge of lime) travellers can scale Chin’s highest peak, the rhododendron-strewn Mt Victoria—Nat Ma Taung in Burmese, Khaw Nu Thone in Chin dialect. One can clamber down to the town of Kanpetlet for a plate of mithun meat in one of the wooden lodges, breaking bread with intrepid birdwatchers on the look out for black-naped woodpeckers and the Chin Hills wren-babbler.
 
Getting There: There are daily busses and minibuses from Pakokku near Bagan to both Mindat and Kanpetlet.
 
Kyaing Tong (Kengtung), Shan State
 
Once a royal town of Tai kings, the palace of Kyaing Tong (‘Walled City of Tung’) was demolished by the Junta in 1991, and in its place now sits a hotel, looking over the serene Naung Tung Lake. Set in the heart of the Golden Triangle, one can hike up into the surrounding hills and visit the diverse smattering of ethnicity. Travellers can meet the Akha, the Lahu, and the Eng; one’s arrival in the villages of the latter will be heralded by the ululations of ragamuffin children in the trees, slingshots stuck smartly into their scraggly trousers.
 






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