Loikaw Trip: Day 1 (The last trip of 2014)

I said “Yes” without any questions or hesitations when my friends mentioned they chose Loikaw, the capital of Kayah State, as the annual end of the year trip. Not many people from Yangon would go to Loikaw to visit but I’m all about traveling so why not! I was so thrilled and looked forward to the adventure. But the day before I left when I learned it would be a 17 hours bus ride from Yangon, I wasn’t thrilled any more. 17 hours?? Yikes!
Kayah State is Myanmar’s smallest and one of its least visited place. When I looked at the map, I thought it would take 7 hours bus ride but in reality it takes about 17 hours by land.

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17 hours bus ride seemed too much for me, but again, I thought it might be fun traveling with 9 other friends. It indeed was fun with non-stop laughters for 10 hours. We started from Aung Mingala Bus Terminal from Yangon at 12:00 p.m. on the 29th of December.

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We arrived to Kalaw around 11:00 p.m and it was about 12C outside and we weren’t ready for that weather. It was so cold that we couldn’t laugh anymore. By the time we reached to Loikaw, it was 4:00 a.m. in the morning and very cold outside. We got on a “taxi” truck and all 10 of us tried to stick together to keep ourselves warm while sitting at the back of the truck. Thank God it was only 5 minutes drive to the hotel. After checking in at the hotel, we slept until 9:00 a.m and we were ready to explore Loikaw.

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Loikaw is a really small city. We could just walk around the city on our own. After breakfast, we went to visit a friend’s grandparents’ baptist church. On the way, we stopped and ate various street food.
Naung-Yah Lake

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The highlight for most visitors to Loikaw is the Taung-Kwe Zedi which means stupa of the cleft mountain.

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Panoramic view of Loikaw

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We had lunch by Belu Creek and discussed about our return trip. Three of us needed to head back to Yangon a day early and the best way would be by flight. Sadly there was no flight on Tuesdays and Thursdays so instead of leaving on the 1st, we had to leave on the evening of 31st. It was a bummer that we would miss New Year celebrations with the gang. Oh well!

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After sorting out about when to leave, we wanted to see more of Loikaw. We went to Christ the King Cathedral.

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After that, we had dinner at three different places trying out all kinds of noodle dishes.

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To be continued

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