About Pyin Oo Lwin    Home

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, 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 Aureum hotel. 


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 about 100 miles 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 (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 areaGovernment House areaCraddock Court area, and the Railway Station area. A (Microsoft Word (*.doc)) document giving the names and locations of Maymyo houses can be downloaded here.

       Pyin Oo Lwin Post Office

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 research and 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.



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 Botanic Gardens.  This beautifully created garden is unique.  A stunning four acre orchid garden was opened here in 2007, as well as a comprehensive butterfly and insect collection.


The nearby amusement park and Landmarks Garden is certainly worth a visit, especially for children.