About Pyin Oo Lwin

Myanmar's City of Flowers

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A historical town

During the early 1900s the Government of Burma moved to Maymyo (the earlier name of present-day Pyin Oo Lwin) to escape the heat.  Although the original Government House (left), constructed in 1903, was completely destroyed in about 1943, many houses, shops and churches from that period remain.  An exact replica of Government House has now been built as a high class hotel, and there are plans for a Maymyo Museum to be housed in it.  The original town plan has hardly changed, and Circular Road runs along the bottom of the ridge, once known as The Rides, a favourite colonial recreational area.  In actual fact, there were a number of horse riding trails, radiating out from the town into the countryside, and these were very well used until the early 1940s.  Today various unmarked traces of these rides can be found, often looking like country tracks, even in well populated areas.  Click here for some extracts from writings about Maymyo in earlier years, as well as eighteenth and twenty-first century accounts of our favourite festival, Thingyan.  You will certainly get the feelings of a living town from an almost forgotten and vanished era.  Click here for a detailed map of Maymyo in 1945, with notable places overlaid.  Some postcards (an example is just above) show the barracks, a view of the town, the centre of town (where the Purcell Tower, 1936, now stands), Government House, the Secretariat, the Convent, and the Maymyo Club.  You can download this set of seven views here (pdf file, 884kb).  You may also download sections of the 1944 map of Maymyo, showing the main residential areas: Circular Road area, Government House area, Craddock Court area, and the Railway Station area.  These files are about 500kb each.  A (Microsoft Word (*.doc)) document giving the names and locations of Maymyo houses can be downloaded here.

 

 

 

 

 

Local market spilling out onto suburban streets  Market Street.  A thriving, bustling area, full of colour and interest

Catholic ChurchPyin Oo Lwin Post Office

 

 

 

 The town is surrounded by myriad small pagodas, places of great beauty and quietness

          

A town of national importance

Today, Pyin Oo Lwin is particularly noted for four centres of national economic importance.  It is the centre of sericulture (silkworm rearing).  The Sericulture Research Centre, near the Kandawgyi National Gardens, conducts three distinct roles: the intensive planting and harvesting of mulberry trees (leaves for the silk worms, bark for hand made paper), the rearing of the actual silk worms, and the reeling of the silk from the cocoons.  It has a large research centre for indigenous medicinal plants.  And it has one of the country's few pharmaceutical production facilities.  In addition, Pyin Oo Lwin is the centre of the country's principal flower and vegetable production.  The most important flowers grown intensively are chrysanthemum, aster and gladiolus, which are exported to every corner of Myanmar throughout the year.  Lastly, Pyin Oo Lwin is the centre of Myanmar's rapidly growing coffee industry.  A number of factories in the town process coffee beans for country-wide distribution, with a growing amount now prepared for export.

A country town of exceptional beauty

Pines in Kandawgyi Gardens Pyin Oo Lwin Nursery near Kandawgyi Lodge Blossom in Kandawgyi Gardens Dat Gaing waterfall, AnisakahnMaymyo "crocuses" in May

Wherever you go in Pyin Oo Lwin, the natural beauty of this edge of the Shan Plateau is around you.  Trees, blossom, flower and fruit farms, stunning landscapes, wide vistas and narrow hidden charms - all surround the visitor without effort.  Birds and butterflies dart in and out of the flowering shrubs and bushes along the roads.  The bustling markets overflow with vegetable and orchard produce.  And everywhere you are in the company of hard working farmers, traders and merchants - many of whom will be happy to practise their English language skills with you, or to teach you a phrase or two of Myanmar or Shan.  For the ultimate horticultural enjoyment, visitors all need to visit the Kandawgyi National Gardens.  This beautifully created garden is unique.  A stunning four acre orchid garden was opened here in 2007.

Communications - telephone, fax, email and internet

Visitors to Pyin Oo Lwin, and to the rest of Myanmar, need to prepare themselves before their visit if they wish to stay in close communication with friends and relatives abroad.  Telephone charges are high (between $5 - $10 a minute for some overseas destinations), and public (ie from main post offices) international fax services are available only in Mandalay and Yangon.  GSM, in the centre of town, sells limited period phone cards (sims) which work in unlocked mobile phones, allowing visitors to keep in touch at reasonable cost.  Major hotels in Pyin Oo Lwin have fax services.  Internet services have been considerably relaxed during the last year, and the old restrictions on email services have gone. There are many internet facilities in Pyin Oo Lwin.  AnT and Shwe Tay, among others, in the centre of town offer fairly quick broadband email and internet (see Where to Shop).

 

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