Where to Shop
in Pyin Oo Lwin
Interesting places for shopping
The main shopping area of Pyin Oo Lwin is centred on the Purcell Tower but is rapidly extending along the Lashio Road. On both sides of the main Lashio-Mandalay Road there are dozens of small, old fashioned streets containing workshops, tea shops, snacks and shops selling everything a bustling town requires. There's a large supermarket, Ruby Mart, with a good food court and various shops about 2 miles in the Lashio direction. The one thing you can't get is decent cheese!
Of greatest interest to visitors is the Main market, together with the shops which thrive on all four sides of the market. From top to bottom you can find household wares, farming utensils, dried food, plastic items, then the main food market. It's fascinating wandering through the colourful arcades, sniffing the herbs and spices, enjoying a slice of pineapple or watermelon, trying out new tastes and flavours as the fancy takes you. You'll find some of the best mangoes grown in the region, too. Ask for Mu Mu's art gallery, a very small shop in the market wall - he is an absolute mine of information too, besides being a world-exhibited artist.
The surprising thing about shopping in Pyin Oo Lwin is the range of goods available within a very small area. Second hand novels (dating back to the 1950s, and in good condition) to the latest electronic gadgets and well priced brands of mobiles; knitted clothes (including lovely red Christmas pom-pom hats) to delicious sweets and fudge; watch repairers to hair dressers; modern coffee shops and snack bars to misty old timeless tea shops and curio shops; they're all there and fun to browse in.
Have a good haircut (top of Station road - Gents) for 1,500 kyats, or a beauty treatment (Ladies) at one of many salons. Modern clothes shops abound in the shopping area, and two well stocked shoe shops can be found opposite the small Shan market at the Lashio end of town (best to ask, since one of them is in a back street). Cheap toys, too, a little further along.
Pyin Oo Lwin produces some of Myanmar's best wines and jams. Don't leave without a pot of 'Nature's Own' Marmalade or Mingalar Damson or plum Wine. And in spring time, a carton of strawberries makes a succulent feast for the journey down to Mandalay!
This is also one of the centres for coffee growing in the country. A range of fine, export-quality coffee can be bought in town for a much lower price than in the main cities.